(VentureBeat) Researchers on Google’s AI Quantum team recentlyh unveiled a cryogenic controller fabricated using CMOS technology and designed in partnership with University of Massachusetts professor Joseph Bardin. Google says the 1-millimeter-by-1.6-millimeter controller — which provides an instruction set for single-qubit operations — runs at between room temperature and 3 degrees Kelvin (about -454.27 degrees Fahrenheit) and consumes less than 2 milliwatts of power — 1,000 times less power than Google’s current control electronics.
Google’s new custom integrated circuits control qubits from within the cooling system, reducing the number of physical connections needed to and from quantum processors.
Joseph Bardin and Erik Lucero, staff research scientist and hardware lead on Google’s AI Quantum Team, caution that it’s merely a first step toward a “truly scalable” qubit management system — the controller only addresses a single qubit, and it still requires several connections to room temperature. Still, they say it’s promising progress in the pursuit of reducing the energy required to control qubits while maintaining the control required to perform “high-quality” qubit operations.