CICC 2023
Conference paper

Cryogenic CMOS: design considerations for future quantum computing systems

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Today's quantum computing systems rely on commercial electronics operating at room temperature in order to perform control and readout operations for qubits [1] -[6]. The qubits operate at cryogenic temperatures; the signals that support control and readout of qubits therefore traverse multiple temperature stages in a dilution refrigerator to enable interaction with the qubits of a quantum computer. For many of the most advanced quantum computers built to date, the control of each individual qubit demands application of a radiofrequency pulse that is precisely calibrated in frequency, amplitude, and phase. Oubit readout demands the amplification of very low amplitude signals that are then post-processed to categorize the state of the qubit being measured. Oubit control electronics are implemented using arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) of various types. The scalability of such systems is challenged by the need to scale the number of qubit control electronics units linearly with the number of qubits in the system. One approach to mitigating this challenge that is under active exploration is the use of multi-channel AWGs (tailored to the requirements of qubit control) that operate at the 4K stage of a quantum computing system [7] -[10]. Oubit readout electronics are typically implemented using multiple stages of amplification and then DSP-based readout performed at room temperature. In today's systems, while readout electronics benefits from multiplexing of the readout signals (enabling a single cascade of moderately wideband amplifiers to support the delivery of multiple readout signals to the room-temperature electronics), again, the scalability of this approach is challenged much as is the case with control electronics. One approach to mitigating the readout challenge is the expanded use of cryogenic electronics in the readout chain. Success in the implementation of cryogenic control and readout solutions depends critically on multiple CMOS sub-components; in this paper we focus on SRAM and low noise amplifiers (LNAs). Note that SRAM is critical for both control and readout applications as a mixed-signal solution involving the combination of a custom processor and analog elements is highly desirable in both cases. Further, while the LNA is directly used as an element in the readout chain, a deep assessment of LNA performance and opportunities strongly benefits overall understanding of achievable noise performance in CMOS technologies at cryogenic temperatures and is therefore impoitant in both control and readout contexts.