npj Quantum Information

Laser-annealing Josephson junctions for yielding scaled-up superconducting quantum processors

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As superconducting quantum circuits scale to larger sizes, the problem of frequency crowding proves a formidable task. Here we present a solution for this problem in fixed-frequency qubit architectures. By systematically adjusting qubit frequencies post-fabrication, we show a nearly tenfold improvement in the precision of setting qubit frequencies. To assess scalability, we identify the types of “frequency collisions” that will impair a transmon qubit and cross-resonance gate architecture. Using statistical modeling, we compute the probability of evading all such conditions, as a function of qubit frequency precision. We find that, without post-fabrication tuning, the probability of finding a workable lattice quickly approaches 0. However, with the demonstrated precisions it is possible to find collision-free lattices with favorable yield. These techniques and models are currently employed in available quantum systems and will be indispensable as systems continue to scale to larger sizes.