The TICC Timestamping/Time Interval Counter
The TAPR TICC is a two-channel timestamping counter with better than
60 picosecond resolution and less than 100 picosecond typical jitter.
It has an Allan Deviation noise floor below 1×10<sup>-10</sup> for a
one second measurement.
The TICC designed to measure low-rate time intervals, such as the
pulse-per-second signal from a clock or GPS, with very high resolution.
The TICC hardware is a “shield” that mounts on an Arduino Mega 2560
processor board, and the TICC software runs on the Arduino. Data is sent
via USB to a host computer for logging and analysis. The TICC can
currently perform over 100 measurements per second; we believe that software optimization will ultimately increase the measurement speed.
The TICC can output timestamp data for each channel, or the time interval
between the two channels. The channel inputs trigger with about 1.7 V and
are safe to 5 V. Input impedance is 1 megohm. The TICC requires an external
10 MHz reference clock at nominally +3 dBm, though the input circuit operates over a wide amplitude range.
The TICC is powered by the Arduino to which is is attached, which in turn
can be powered by the USB cable from the host computer.
The TICC software is open source and available from github.com The repository also includes documentation, data sheets, and other information on some of the hardware components. The software is undergoing active
TICC systems purchased from TAPR include the TICC shield and an Arduino 2560 Mega compatible board with TICC software loaded. The systems are tested for functionality prior to delivery.
TAPR kits can be complex depending on the kitting experience of each
builder. We don’t think you will have trouble with the kit,
but it does require some knowledge and experience to successfully go
from a kit to a finished, usable unit, depending on the mode of
The TAPR TICC was made possible by the efforts of:
John Ackermann, N8UR – Hardware and software designer, and Project Manager
George Byrkit, K9TRV – Software development and hardware tester
Jeremy McDermond, NH6Z – Software development
David McQuate, WA8YWQ – Software development
Tom Van Baak – Beta tester
and other contributors who ask to remain anonymous