Release notes


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  • To accommodate larger runtimes, the flash layout as changed. As a result, the contents of the flash storage will be lost when upgrading. Set the values back (IP, MAC address, startup kernel, etc.) after the upgrade.


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  • The --embed option of applets is replaced with the environment variable ARTIQ_APPLET_EMBED. The GUI sets this enviroment variable itself and the user simply needs to remove the --embed argument.
  • EnvExperiment‘s prepare calls prepare for all its children.
  • Dynamic __getattr__‘s returning RPC target methods are not supported anymore. Controller driver classes must define all their methods intended for RPC as members.
  • Datasets requested by experiments are by default archived into their HDF5 output. If this behavior is undesirable, turn it off by passing archive=False to get_dataset.
  • seconds_to_mu and mu_to_seconds have become methods of the core device driver (use e.g. self.core.seconds_to_mu()).
  • AD9858 DDSes and NIST QC1 hardware are no longer supported.
  • The DDS class names and setup options have changed, this requires an update of the device database.
  • int(a, width=b) has been removed. Use int32(a) and int64(a).
  • The KC705 gateware target has been renamed kc705_dds.
  • artiq.coredevice.comm_tcp has been renamed artiq.coredevice.comm_kernel, and Comm has been renamed CommKernel.
  • The “collision” and “busy” RTIO errors are reported through the log instead of raising exceptions.
  • Results are still saved when analyze raises an exception.
  • LinearScan and RandomScan have been consolidated into RangeScan.
  • The Pipistrello is no longer supported. For a low-cost ARTIQ setup, use either ARTIQ 2.x with Pipistrello, or the future ARTIQ 4.x with Kasli. Note that the Pipistrello board has also been discontinued by the manufacturer but its design files are freely available.
  • The device database is now generated by an executable Python script. To migrate an existing database, add device_db = `` at the beginning, and replace any PYON identifiers (``true, null, ...) with their Python equivalents (True, None ...).
  • Controllers are now named aqctl_XXX instead of XXX_controller.
  • In the device database, the comm device has been folded into the core device. Move the “host” argument into the core device, and remove the comm device.
  • The core device log now contains important information about events such as RTIO collisions. A new controller aqctl_corelog must be running to forward those logs to the master. See the example device databases to see how to instantiate this controller. Using artiq_session ensures that a controller manager is running simultaneously with the master.
  • Experiments scheduled with the “flush pipeline” option now proceed when there are lower-priority experiments in the pipeline. Only experiments at the current (or higher) priority level are flushed.
  • The PDQ(2/3) driver has been removed and is now being maintained out-of tree at All SPI/USB driver layers, Mediator, CompoundPDQ and examples/documentation has been moved.
  • The master now rotates log files at midnight, rather than based on log size.
  • The results keys start_time and run_time are now stored as doubles of UNIX time, rather than ints. The file names are still based on local time.
  • Packages are no longer available for 32-bit Windows.


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  • When using conda, add the conda-forge channel before installing ARTIQ.


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  • The format of the influxdb pattern file is simplified. The procedure to edit patterns is also changed to modifying the pattern file and calling: ::1 3248 call scan_patterns (or restarting the bridge) The patterns can be converted to the new format using this code snippet:

    from artiq.protocols import pyon
    patterns = pyon.load_file("influxdb_patterns.pyon")
    for p in patterns:
  • The “GUI” has been renamed the “dashboard”.

  • When flashing NIST boards, use “-m nist_qcX” or “-m nist_clock” instead of just “-m qcX” or “-m clock” (#290).

  • Applet command lines now use templates (e.g. $python) instead of formats (e.g. {python}).

  • On Windows, GUI applications no longer open a console. For debugging purposes, the console messages can still be displayed by running the GUI applications this way:

    python3.5 -m artiq.frontend.artiq_browser
    python3.5 -m artiq.frontend.artiq_dashboard

    (you may need to replace python3.5 with python) Please always include the console output when reporting a GUI crash.

  • The result folders are formatted “%Y-%m-%d/%H instead of “%Y-%m-%d/%H-%M”. (i.e. grouping by day and then by hour, instead of by day and then by minute)

  • The parent keyword argument of HasEnvironment (and EnvExperiment) has been replaced. Pass the parent as first argument instead.

  • During experiment examination (and a fortiori repository scan), the values of all arguments are set to None regardless of any default values supplied.

  • In the dashboard’s experiment windows, partial or full argument recomputation takes into account the repository revision field.

  • By default, NumberValue and Scannable infer the scale from the unit for common units.

  • By default, artiq_client keeps the current persist flag on the master.

  • GUI state files for the browser and the dashboard are stores in “standard” locations for each operating system. Those are ~/.config/artiq/2/artiq_*.pyon on Linux and C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\m-labs\artiq\2\artiq_*.pyon on Windows 7.

  • The position of the time cursor is kept across experiments and RTIO resets are manual and explicit (inter-experiment seamless handover).

  • All integers manipulated by kernels are numpy integers (numpy.int32, numpy.int64). If you pass an integer as a RPC argument, the target function receives a numpy type.


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  • TCA6424A.set converts the “outputs” value to little-endian before programming it into the registers.


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  • setattr_argument and setattr_device add their key to kernel_invariants.


  • The HDF5 format has changed.
    • The datasets are located in the HDF5 subgroup datasets.
    • Datasets are now stored without additional type conversions and annotations from ARTIQ, trusting that h5py maps and converts types between HDF5 and python/numpy “as expected”.
  • NumberValue now returns an integer if ndecimals = 0, scale = 1 and step is integer.


  • The CPU speed in the pipistrello gateware has been reduced from 83 1/3 MHz to 75 MHz. This will reduce the achievable sustained pulse rate and latency accordingly. ISE was intermittently failing to meet timing (#341).
  • set_dataset in broadcast mode no longer returns a Notifier. Mutating datasets should be done with mutate_dataset instead (#345).


  • Experiments (your code) should use from artiq.experiment import * (and not from artiq import * as previously)

  • Core device flash storage has moved due to increased runtime size. This requires reflashing the runtime and the flash storage filesystem image or erase and rewrite its entries.

  • RTIOCollisionError has been renamed to RTIOCollision

  • the new API for DDS batches is:

    with self.core_dds.batch:

    with core_dds a device of type The dds_bus device should not be used anymore.

  • LinearScan now supports scanning from high to low. Accordingly, its arguments min/max have been renamed to start/stop respectively. Same for RandomScan (even though there direction matters little).