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Linking analog to digital: scalable instrumentation for quantum computing and sensing

Speaker: Jan Benhelm Zurich Instruments
Time: 2019-06-21 14:00-2019-06-21 15:00
Venue: MMW-S527


“Controlling large scale quantum systems is really, really hard.” John Martinis, Google Quantum Spring Symposium 2019

Zurich Instruments’ mission is to support scientists and engineers in that effort by providing the most advanced instrumentation to efficiently link their analog qubits with the digital domain. We offer effective solutions for setup sizes from a single to up to 100 qubits  (see Figure and [1]).

Qubit control requires the orchestration of many phase-coherent electrical pulses in the RF and Microwave domain to drive 1-qubit and 2-qubit gates. The high channel density HDAWG provides a low trigger-to-first-sample-out latency and dynamic sequencing capability required by many complex algorithms to achieving high fidelities. For NV centers and ions state discrimination is performed by the integrated photon counters. For superconducting qubits and quantum dots the UHFQA Quantum Analyzer can read out up to 10 readout resonators simultaneously. Measurement speed and fidelity are optimized with adjustable matched filters.

To scale systems up to many qubits we offer the use of a Programmable Quantum System Controller (PQSC), that synchronizes and orchestrates all instruments to form an integrated real-time system. Its reprogrammable FPGA allows for the implementation of user-defined real-time algorithms for quantum processor control.

All basic functions – qubit characterization, initialization, readout, single qubit gates, entanglement generation – have already been successfully demonstrated by our project partners Leo DiCarlo (TU Delft) and Andreas Wallraff (ETH Zurich) [1-4].



  1. Quantum Computing Control System, https://www.zhinst.com/quantum
  2. J. Heinsoo et al, Phys. Rev. Applied 10, 034040 (2018), arXiv:1801.07904
  3. C. C. Bultink, Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 092601 (2018), arXiv:1711.05336
  4. IARPA LogiQ (https://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/research-programs/logiq) and Open SuperQ (http://opensuperq.eu/partners)

Short Bio:


Jan Benhelm is Zurich Instruments’ CMO and responsible for the worldwide marketing, product management, and application development. He earned a Ph.D. in Physics on trapped ion quantum computing, where he worked in the group of Prof. Rainer Blatt in Innsbruck, Austria. His work helped to improve quantum coherence times to more than 1 s and 2-qubit gate fidelities to more than 99% in 2008. After leaving academia, Jan spent 2 years at the Malik Management Center St. Gallen, Switzerland. As a management consultant, he developed quantitative HR models with clients and a passion for a systemic management approach before joining Zurich Instruments in 2011.