The paper describes the construction, operation and test results of three most popular interpolators from a viewpoint of time-interval (TI) measurement systems consisting of many tapped-delay lines (TDLs) and registering pulses of a wide-range changeable intensity. The comparison criteria include the maximum intensity of registered time stamps (TSs), the dependency of interpolator characteristic on the registered TSs’ intensity, the need of using either two counters or a mutually-complementing pair counter-register for extending a measurement range, the need of calculating offsets between TDL inputs and the dependency of a resolution increase on the number of used TDL segments. This work also contains conclusions about a range of applications, usefulness and methods of employing each described TI interpolator. The presented experimental results bring new facts that can be used by the designers who implement precise time delays in the field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA).
Most systems used in quantum physics experiments require the efficient and simultaneous recording different multi-photon coincidence detection events. In such experiments, the single-photon gated counting systems can be applicable. The main sources of errors in these systems are both instability of the clock source and their imperfect synchronization with the excitation source. Below, we propose a solution for improvement of the metrological parameters of such measuring systems. Thus, we designed a novel integrated circuit dedicated to registration of signals from a photon number resolving detectors including a phase synchronizer module. This paper presents the architecture of a high-resolution (~60 ps) digital phase synchronizer module cooperating with a multi-channel coincidence counter. The main characteristic feature of the presented system is its ability to fast synchronization (requiring only one clock period) with the measuring process. Therefore, it is designed to work with various excitation sources of a very wide frequency range. Implementation of the phase synchronizer module in an FPGA device enabled to reduce the synchronization error value from 2.857 ns to 214.8 ps.