Mar 3, 2022

Novel design greatly improves output from commercial circuit boards next to superconducting qubits

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have constructed and tested a system that allows commercial electronic components—such as microprocessors on circuit boards—to operate in close proximity with ultra-cold devices employed in quantum information processing. That design allows four times as much data to be output for the same number of connected wires.

In the rising excitement about , it can be easy to overlook the physical fact that the data produced by manipulation of quantum bits (qubits) at cryogenic temperatures a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero still has to be initiated, read out, and stored using conventional electronics, which presently work only at room temperature, several meters away from the qubits. This separation has obstructed development of quantum computing devices that outperform their classical counterparts.

That extra distance between the quantum computing elements and the external electronics requires extra time for signals to travel, which also causes signals to degrade. In addition, each (comparatively very hot) wire needed to connect the electronics to the cryogenic components adds heat, making it hard to maintain the ultracold temperature required for the quantum devices to work.

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