TQD Spotlight: Zurich Instruments’ Quantum Analyzer Aimed at Real-time Multi-Qubit Readout

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Zurich Instruments
Zurich Instruments, a pioneer in advanced test and measurement instruments, continues to make major advances in delivering cutting-edge instrumentation for scientists and technologists who work in advanced laboratories. (Credit: Zurich Instruments, 2020)

Quantum scientists and engineers will need precise and reliable qubit measurement capabilities to build quantum computing devices solving real-world problems. Zurich Instruments, a pioneer in advanced test and measurement instruments, continues to make major advances in delivering cutting-edge instrumentation for scientists and technologists who work in advanced laboratories.

According to the company, as quantum processors based on superconducting or spin qubits become larger and more complex physical systems, the corresponding increase in footprint for the classical readout devices that measure quantum chips stands as a clear instrumentation challenge.

“Current state-of-the-art control and readout systems for superconducting or spin qubits combine several instruments and analog mixing stages to reach the microwave resonator frequencies needed for readout. Keeping all pieces of equipment calibrated and synchronized over long time periods is tedious and error-prone,” says Dr. Tobias Thiele, Application Scientist for Quantum Technologies at Zurich Instruments. “Now consider what happens when you plan to scale up your system to hundreds of qubits: the effort with cabling and system tune-up, the number of required instruments – they simply do not scale in your favor.”

The company believes their latest advances will be considered among the ground-breaking technologies that will help quantum researchers and entrepreneurs develop real-world quantum devices.

The company believes their latest advances will be considered among the ground-breaking technologies that will help quantum researchers and entrepreneurs develop real-world quantum devices. The products include a few “firsts” for the quantum industry.

Groundbreaking Quantum Analyzer

Zurich Instruments recently launched the SHFQA Quantum Analyzer, the first-ever instrument that can perform direct readout of up to 64 superconducting or spin qubits in parallel and in real time. It supports readout frequencies of up to 8.5 GHz with a wide and clean analysis bandwidth of 1 GHz – all that without the need for mixer calibration.

The Zurich Instruments team created the SHFQA as the next generation of quantum computing instrumentation and designed it for experimentalists. Indeed, this instrument covers many functionalities that would otherwise require larger instrument racks and complex cabling arrangements. For example, the SHFQA combines signal generation at microwave frequencies with direct qubit readout and real-time multi-state discrimination, and it does away with tedious mixer calibrations.

A single SHFQA can read out the state of up to 64 qubits, 32 qutrits or 20 ququads using up to 4 readout lines. Thanks to the analysis chain, this happens in real time and with optimal signal-to-noise ratio. With additional features such as multi-state discrimination and rapid resonator spectroscopy, the SHFQA is ready for use with the most demanding quantum algorithms.

“The SHFQA is the result of combining the experience and needs of our customers in quantum technologies with the exceptional talent of our R&D team. The outcome is an outstanding instrument that takes our philosophy of reducing laboratory setup complexity to new levels.”

This is where the SHFQA makes a difference, said Paolo Navaretti, product manager at Zurich Instruments.

“The SHFQA is the result of combining the experience and needs of our customers in quantum technologies with the exceptional talent of our R&D team,” said Navaretti. “The outcome is an outstanding instrument that takes our philosophy of reducing laboratory setup complexity to new levels.”

(Credit: Zurich Instruments, 2020)

Software Support and Integration

As part of the Quantum Computing Control System (QCCS), the SHFQA is seamlessly integrated into new or existing setups featuring the HDAWG Arbitrary Waveform Generator and the PQSC Programmable Quantum System Controller. Thanks to the LabOne QCCS control software, the SHFQA can be added to quantum computing setups of varying sizes and specifications on instrument connectivity, providing the necessary support for feedback and error correction codes such as fast qubit reset or surface codes. The LabOne user interface already known to Zurich Instruments’ customers gives access to an overview of all settings on the instrument, from the readout-band center frequency to the configuration of the low-latency analysis chain.

Compact Design

The SHFQA comes in a compact design with 2 or 4 readout channels, each of which can be controlled and triggered individually. Every channel can analyze up to 16 qubits in real time – time-staggered or in parallel. Thanks to the channels’ arbitrary waveform generator, matched complex filters, and multi-state discrimination, both signal-to-noise ratio and readout latency can be optimized. Turnkey features such as the fast acquisition of a resonator spectrum simplify and accelerate system characterization and calibration. A high level of integration with the upper levels of the quantum stack comes through the LabOne software, driver compatibility with Labber and QCoDeS, and API support for Python, C/C++, MATLAB®, LabVIEW™ and .NET.

Seamless Fit

The SHFQA integrates seamlessly with all devices in the Zurich Instruments Quantum Computing Control System so that it is ready to run fast feedback and error correction protocols. A single SHFQA helps to reduce the complexity of small qubit setups; a few synchronized instruments make it possible to scale up to systems of 100 qubits and more.

To read more about the new Zurich Instruments SHFQA Quantum Analyzer, including a detailed list of its specifications, visit www.zhinst.com/shfqa and the SHFQA instrument page. To arrange a live demo, write to info@zhinst.com.

About Zurich Instruments

Zurich Instruments makes cutting-edge instrumentation for scientists and technologists in advanced laboratories who are passionate about phenomena that are often notoriously difficult to measure. The company’s core offering includes lock-in amplifiers, impedance analyzers, arbitrary waveform generators, and the first commercially available quantum computing control system. Zurich Instruments brings innovation to scientific instrumentation and quantum control systems in the medium-frequency (MF), ultra-high-frequency (UHF) and now also super-high-frequency (SHF) ranges by combining frequency- and time-domain tools within each of its products. This approach reduces the complexity of laboratory setups and unlocks new measurement strategies.