The fully-automated BOMPD precisely detects the time delay between an optical pulse train, and the zero-crossings of a microwave signal. It generates a baseband signal that is proportional to the timing error between the two inputs, which in turn can be used in a phase locked loop configuration to tightly synchronize a laser to a microwave source or vice versa. Due to its balanced detection scheme, the BOMPD is immune to amplitude fluctuations of both optical and microwave sources and greatly suppresses the AM-PM conversion noise in the photodetection process. Cycle offers two additions to the BOMPD to complement our customers’ applications: RF generation option (which includes a low-noise VCO for generating an RF signal based on an optical clock), low-noise option (down to 5 fs synchronization). Standard optical wavelengths are 800 nm, 1030 nm, and 1550 nm. Please contact one of our timing experts for your customization needs.


  • Tight synchronization between ultrafast lasers to microwave signals
  • Tight synchronization between microwave signals to ultrafast lasers
  • Tight synchronization of microwave sources to the output of stabilized fiber links
  • Generation of ultra-low-noise microwave signals from an ultrafast optical oscillator
  • Tight synchronization of ultrafast lasers to electron bunches in an accelerator, when used together with a bunch arrival monitor (BAM)

Operation Principle:

  • Synchronization of an ultra-short pulse laser and a RF master oscillator


  • Synthesis of low phase-noise RF signals from laser-pulse train references



To detect the phase between a microwave signal and an optical pulse train, Cycle‘s solution uses the output from a balanced optical microwave phase-detector (BOM-PD). Unlike traditional RF-based methods, whose performance is limited by excess noise in the photodetection process, Cycle‘s patented technology provides a true timing measurement by comparing laser pulses in the optical domain. In this way, it effectively eliminates AM noise and AM-to-PM noise associated with typical photodiode-based detection schemes.

Cycle‘s products, technologies and their uses may be covered by US patent 7940390 and US patent 7397567, as well as other pending international patents.


  • True timing measurements with attosecond resolution
  • Phase detection by electro-optical sampling in the optical domain
  • Easily replaces photodetector-based synchronization electronics
  • Temporal resolution not limited by excess noise in the photo-detection process which is a known issue of traditional detectors
  • Reduces temperature- and power-dependent phase errors compared to traditional methods
  • Based on balanced detection scheme, which is insensitive to amplitude noise (AM) as well as amplitute-to-phase noise (AM to PM)
  • Rugged, fiber-based construction with temperature-stabilized enclosure


  • Timing sensitivity from 10 to 100 μV/ fs
  • Input optical wavelengths 800 – 1700 nm
  • Input optical power as low as 1 mW (depending on pulse duration and wavelength)
  • Directly measures jitter frequencies from DC to > 100 MHz

Product sheet: Balanced Optical Microwave Phase Detector

Contact our microwave expert Johann Derksen for more information: