Automated cryogenic system speeds quantum computing development

April 22, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Automated cryogenic system speeds quantum computing development
Semiconductor test and measurement supplier FormFactor has launched its first product for the emerging quantum computing market - a scanning Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) microscope.

The HPD IQ1000 is offered as the first commercial product of its kind to enable unattended and high-throughput characterization of trapped magnetic flux in superconducting circuits. Device designers, says the company, can now eliminate the guesswork involved in the design of resilient superconducting circuits, and significantly reduce development time by locating and capturing detrimental magnetic vortices to enhance device performance.

Device characterization is a requisite for the development of the established CMOS semiconductor industry. As the quantum industry matures and scales up the number of qubits for commercialization, intelligence to enhance device performance becomes increasingly important. The HPD IQ1000 is designed to bridge the gap by providing essential cryogenic system integration and automation, helping superconducting circuit designers to gain advantage over competing qubit implementation technologies.

The IQ1000 is designed for sub-micron resolution imaging at the extreme low temperatures at which superconducting circuits operate. The system cools the sample down to below 4 Kelvin and can control sample temperature from less than 3 Kelvin to over 20 Kelvin. The HPD Scanning SQUID Microscope includes:

  • Rapid Image Acquisition: Scan speed of up to 100 microns per second, capable of 100 x 100 micron image acquisition in less than two minutes
  • High Resolution Imaging: Imaging resolution of 200-500 nanometers (depending upon SQUID sensor used)
  • Autotuning: The system autotunes and locks the SQUID magnetic flux sensor system and automatically maintains optimal system tuning
  • Unattended operation: All scan procedures can be pre-programmed and run unattended
  • Sample size: The system can accommodate samples up to 20x20 mm
  • Cryogen-free: The system is cryogen-free and the microscope core is vibration-isolated from the cryocooler

"Products like our IQ1000 Scanning SQUID Microscope are critical for quantum technology developers," says Amy Leong, Senior VP and General Manager of the Emerging Growth Business Unit at FormFactor. "Helping to build the quantum computing test and measurement supply chain is a priority at FormFactor. We're excited that we can leverage our extensive cryogenic expertise


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