A Precise High Count-Rate FPGA based Multi-Channel Coincidence Counting System for Quantum Photonics Applications

Ekin Arabul, Stefano Paesani, Scott R Tancock, John Rarity, Naim Dahnoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
443 Downloads (Pure)


Coincidence counters play the role of gating events from the background noise in almost every quantum photonics setup. Precise multi-channel and high count-rate coincidence counting tools have become desirable due to an increase in the complexity of quantum photonics experiments. However, timing analyzers are struggling to meet these needs. We are proposing a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based coincidence counting system which provides 8 operational channels with 8.9 ps root mean square (RMS) resolution (with a bin width of 7.7 ps) and a count-rate of 320 million counts per second (MCPS) (with 40 MCPS per channel). We have successfully tested our design in different quantum photonics scenarios such as the detection of two-photon interference
and pseudo-photon-number resolving detection of a coherent state of light where it has shown its capability of working beyond the saturation of detectors. Also, we have introduced a Dual Data Rate Registration TDC, which improved the linearity of the time tagging operation by using both clock edges
without increasing the dead-time or using the space excessively. 1.2 LSB in max DNL error, 1.8 LSB in max INL error, 10 ps in FWHM and 3.2 ps in RMS resolution improvements were achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7500114
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Quantum Information Institute
  • QETLabs
  • Photonics and Quantum


  • Time-to-Digital Converters
  • Coincidence Counting
  • Timing Measurement
  • Field Programmable
  • Gate Array
  • Quantum Computing
  • Quantum Information
  • Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector


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