(TechXplore) Intel’s Cryogenic Wafer Prober is a cryoprober tool designed to speed up the testing and validate qubits needed for quantum computing. Before their design, the electrical characterization of qubits was slower than with traditional transistors. Even small subsets of data might take days to collect.
Traditionally quantum computers and their chips are usually tested with a “super-low temperature dilution refrigerator,” to see what works out and what does not. Each quantum processor is tested for months in a low-temperature dilution refrigerator. With the prober, researchers can test qubits on 300mm wafers down to temperatures of a few kelvins. There is a timing advantage. Intel can characterize a large subset of these transistors on a 300mm wafer in about an hour and inform the feedback loop back to the fabrication line.
In order to build the Cryogenic Wafer Prober, Intel worked with Bluefors and Afore. Bluefors are noted for building cryogen-free dilution refrigerator systems with a focus on quantum computing, and Afore is noted for micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) test solutions.