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Quantum Research


Quantum Research

Flexible, Low Noise Signals For Triggering Qubits

Building a deterministic multi-channel precision signal generation system

Quantum computing researchers around the world are rapidly scaling up from single qubit proof-of-concept designs to complex multi qubit designs for validation of operating theory. With IBM's launch of their new 50-qubit system, the world is on track towards a truly useable quantum computer. However, quantum computing still has challenges to overcome. Current quantum systems are incredibly complex and challenging to use. Each qubit requires some number of precisely timed and sequenced RF pulsed control signals. In general one does not specifically need an AWG to generate these signals. However, researches need a scalable way to build deterministic multi-channel precision signal generation systems.

Getting high fidelity, precise signal sources

One of the more difficult challenges facing quantum researchers, regardless of the technology in play, is sourcing the very precise signals needed to understand and evaluate the behavior of the qubits. When the smallest detail could derail your entire experiment, a controlled high precision signal will save time and allow you to iterate quickly through test setups and waveforms. Tektronix AWG5200 Series delivers unparalleled signal fidelity coupled with class-leading sample rate and memory depth, giving you the industry's best signal stimulus solution.


The general setup, starts with a base signal source generating IQ that is then passed along to other systems for amplification (or attenuation) and up conversion, and potentially to the trigger system of choice.

Overcoming the scalability problem

With as many as 3 AWG channels needed for the proper control of each qubit and with the number of qubits you're working on likely to increase in the future, cost per channel and scalability are important considerations in any quantum computing measurement solution. The AWG5200 offers 8 highly synchronized channels with low cross talk at an attractive $10,000 per channel. Multiple instruments, channel-channel sync in a given instrument is assumed to be a given.


IBMs 7 qubit device. Photo courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation.

Simplifying your test set-up

When you're working with the worlds most complex quantum systems, the last thing you need is complexity in setting up your measurement equipment. The AWG5200's full suite of waveform generation plugins are cross-compatible with legacy Tektronix AWG software, which means you don't need to relearn a set-up process. Plus, you can automate test set-ups using MATLAB scripts, making for a simpler yet comprehensive test set-up.


An IBM cryostat wired for a 50 qubit system. Photo courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation.