skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on April 1, 2023

Title: DigiQ: A Scalable Digital Controller for Quantum Computers Using SFQ Logic
The control of cryogenic qubits in today’s super-conducting quantum computer prototypes presents significant scalability challenges due to the massive costs of generating/routing the analog control signals that need to be sent from a classical controller at room temperature to the quantum chip inside the dilution refrigerator. Thus, researchers in industry and academia have focused on designing in-fridge classical controllers in order to mitigate these challenges. Due to the maturity of CMOS logic, many industrial efforts (Microsoft, Intel) have focused on Cryo-CMOS as a near-term solution to design in-fridge classical controllers. Meanwhile, Supercon-ducting Single Flux Quantum (SFQ) is an alternative, less mature classical logic family proposed for large-scale in-fridge controllers. SFQ logic has the potential to maximize scalability thanks to its ultra-high speed and very low power consumption. However, architecture design for SFQ logic poses challenges due to its unconventional pulse-driven nature and lack of dense memory and logic. Thus, research at the architecture level is essential to guide architects to design SFQ-based classical controllers for large-scale quantum machines.In this paper, we present DigiQ, the first system-level design of a Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ)-friendly SFQ-based classical controller. We perform a design space exploration of SFQ-based controllers and co-design the quantum more » gate decompositions and SFQ-based implementation of those decompositions to find an optimal SFQ-friendly design point that trades area and power for latency and control while ensuring good quantum algorithmic performance. Our co-design results in a single instruction, multiple data (SIMD) controller architecture, which has high scalability, but imposes new challenges on the calibration of control pulses. We present software-level solutions to address these challenges, which if unaddressed would degrade quantum circuit fidelity given the imperfections of qubit hardware.To validate and characterize DigiQ, we first implement it using hardware description languages and synthesize it using state-of-the-art/validated SFQ synthesis tools. Our synthesis results show that DigiQ can operate within the tight power and area budget of dilution refrigerators at >42,000-qubit scales. Second, we confirm the effectiveness of DigiQ in running quantum algorithms by modeling the execution time and fidelity of a variety of NISQ applications. We hope that the promising results of this paper motivate experimentalists to further explore SFQ-based quantum controllers to realize large-scale quantum machines with maximized scalability. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
2022 IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
400 to 414
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Scalability of today’s superconducting quantum computers is limited due to the huge costs of generating/routing microwave control pulses per qubit from room temperature. One active research area in both industry and academia is to push the classical controllers to the dilution refrigerator in order to increase the scalability of quantum computers. Superconducting Single Flux Quantum (SFQ) is a classical logic technology with low power consumption and ultra-high speed, and thus is a promising candidate for in-fridge classical controllers with maximized scalability. Prior work has demonstrated high-fidelity SFQ-based single-qubit gates. However, little research has been done on SFQ-based multi-qubit gates, which are necessary to realize SFQ-based universal quantum computing.In this paper, we present the first thorough analysis of SFQ-based two-qubit gates. Our observations show that SFQ-based two-qubit gates tend to have high leakage to qubit non-computational subspace, which presents severe design challenges. We show that despite these challenges, we can realize gates with high fidelity by carefully designing optimal control methods and qubit architectures. We develop optimal control methods that suppress leakage, and also investigate various qubit architectures that reduce the leakage. After carefully engineering our SFQ-friendly quantum system, we show that it can achieve similar gate fidelity and gate timemore »to microwave-based quantum systems. The promising results of this paper show that (1) SFQ-based universal quantum computation is both feasible and effective; and (2) SFQ is a promising approach in designing classical controller for quantum machines because it can increase the scalability while preserving gate fidelity and performance.« less
  2. Quantum computing (QC) is a new paradigm offering the potential of exponential speedups over classical computing for certain computational problems. Each additional qubit doubles the size of the computational state space available to a QC algorithm. This exponential scaling underlies QC’s power, but today’s Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices face significant engineering challenges in scalability. The set of quantum circuits that can be reliably run on NISQ devices is limited by their noisy operations and low qubit counts. This paper introduces CutQC, a scalable hybrid computing approach that combines classical computers and quantum computers to enable evaluation of quantum circuits that cannot be run on classical or quantum computers alone. CutQC cuts large quantum circuits into smaller subcircuits, allowing them to be executed on smaller quantum devices. Classical postprocessing can then reconstruct the output of the original circuit. This approach offers significant runtime speedup compared with the only viable current alternative -- purely classical simulations -- and demonstrates evaluation of quantum circuits that are larger than the limit of QC or classical simulation. Furthermore, in real-system runs, CutQC achieves much higher quantum circuit evaluation fidelity using small prototype quantum computers than the state-of-the-art large NISQ devices achieve. Overall, this hybridmore »approach allows users to leverage classical and quantum computing resources to evaluate quantum programs far beyond the reach of either one alone.« less
  3. We describe an approach to the integrated control and measurement of a large-scale superconducting multiqubit array comprising up to 10^8 physical qubits using a proximal coprocessor based on the Single Flux Quantum (SFQ) digital logic family. Coherent control is realized by irradiating the qubits directly with classical bitstreams derived from optimal control theory. Qubit measurement is performed by a Josephson photon counter, which provides access to the classical result of projective quantum measurement at the millikelvin stage. We analyze the power budget and physical footprint of the SFQ coprocessor and discuss challenges and opportunities associated with this approach.
  4. High-fidelity gate operations are essential to the realization of a fault-tolerant quantum computer. In addition, the physical resources required to implement gates must scale efficiently with system size. A longstanding goal of the superconducting qubit community is the tight integration of a superconducting quantum circuit with a proximal classical cryogenic control system. Here we implement coherent control of a superconducting transmon qubit using a Single Flux Quantum (SFQ) pulse driver cofabricated on the qubit chip. The pulse driver delivers trains of quantized flux pulses to the qubit through a weak capacitive coupling; coherent rotations of the qubit state are realized when the pulse-to-pulse timing is matched to a multiple of the qubit oscillation period. We measure the fidelity of SFQ-based gates to be ~95% using interleaved randomized benchmarking. Gate fidelities are limited by quasiparticle generation in the dissipative SFQ driver. We characterize the dissipative and dispersive contributions of the quasiparticle admittance and discuss mitigation strategies to suppress quasiparticle poisoning. These results open the door to integration of large-scale superconducting qubit arrays with SFQ control elements for low-latency feedback and stabilization.
  5. The current phase of quantum computing is in the Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) era. On NISQ devices, two-qubit gates such as CNOTs are much noisier than single-qubit gates, so it is essential to minimize their count. Quantum circuit synthesis is a process of decomposing an arbitrary unitary into a sequence of quantum gates, and can be used as an optimization tool to produce shorter circuits to improve overall circuit fidelity. However, the time-to-solution of synthesis grows exponentially with the number of qubits. As a result, synthesis is intractable for circuits on a large qubit scale. In this paper, we propose a hierarchical, block-by-block opti-mization framework, QGo, for quantum circuit optimization. Our approach allows an exponential cost optimization to scale to large circuits. QGo uses a combination of partitioning and synthesis: 1) partition the circuit into a sequence of independent circuit blocks; 2) re-generate and optimize each block using quantum synthesis; and 3) re-compose the final circuit by stitching all the blocks together. We perform our analysis and show the fidelity improvements in three different regimes: small-size circuits on real devices, medium-size circuits on noisy simulations, and large-size circuits on analytical models. Our technique can be applied after existing optimizations tomore »achieve higher circuit fidelity. Using a set of NISQ benchmarks, we show that QGo can reduce the number of CNOT gates by 29.9% on average and up to 50% when compared with industrial compiler optimizations such as t|ket). When executed on the IBM Athens system, shorter depth leads to higher circuit fidelity. We also demonstrate the scalability of our QGo technique to optimize circuits of 60+ qubits, Our technique is the first demonstration of successfully employing and scaling synthesis in the compilation tool chain for large circuits. Overall, our approach is robust for direct incorporation in production compiler toolchains to further improve the circuit fidelity.« less