We Made 1 000 Qubits for Quantum Computing Possible
At Bluefors, we are on a mission to support the quantum technology community by developing such cryogenic technology that enables progress in the field both among scientists and industries. We are experts in cryogenics, which is an integral part of quantum technologies. If you want to harness the quantum effects for devices that operate at an energy scale comparable to a few gigahertz to tens of gigahertz, you need to use temperatures close to absolute zero to avoid noise in the system. We build cryogenic measurement systems for this purpose, and our largest cooling platform KIDE is our take on how we see the cryogenics evolving. As we are in active dialogue with the players in the quantum technology community, we hear how they wish to reach the next levels in their roadmaps, leading to a bigger demand on cooling power and on the size of payload space to fit their technology to. We find solutions where others see restrictions and bring it together for a higher purpose. The real heroes in this story are the users of our machines. Through our technology, it is our job to enable them to accomplish their mission, and as a result yet to be seen, they might cure some illnesses – or even save the world from climate crisis.
Designing a Cryogenic Platform Ready for 1 000 Qubits
The cryogenic platform KIDE was an outcome of our team figuring out how we would solve it when the community has a demand for a bigger system. The result became KIDE, a device where the user has a clear interface where they can attach their technology to. KIDE is ready to house more than 1 000 qubits (based on today’s existing technology, and after miniaturization up to 10 000 qubits). It has the capability to be expanded into clusters of connected chambers through its flat, hexagonal shape.
It is not straight forward to just super-size the generic systems that we already have on offer since the system would become very bulky and hard to access. That’s why we firstly rethought the usability by designing a self-supporting vacuum chamber with multiple doors to enable the maintenance of the system for just one person. Secondly, in this large infrastructure you need more cooling power and possibilities to cool big areas. This we solved with multiple cooling units basing on Bluefors’ traditional, well-proven technology. Each cooling unit has the same cooling power as a Bluefors XLD1000sl System: 30 μW at 20 mK and 1 000 μW at 100 mK. The cooling units also give a clear interface to the cryogenics. As the units are dedicated to different tasks in the system, it gives the users a better control of their technology by allowing them to decide what temperature versus cooling power they should use.
The KIDE is about five to six times larger than our largest generic dilution refrigerator, the above mentioned XLDsl, which is already a large and powerful measurement system. However, compared to the volume of the XLDsl, the KIDE is a cryogenic room with about 1.6 square meters size of Mixing Chamber Flange. Outside, the vacuum chamber measures just under 3 meters in height and 2.5 meters in diameter, and the floor beneath it needs to be able to take about 7 000 kilograms of weight. Due to the KIDE self-standing structure, it can support about 500 kilograms of additional weight, which is much more than our standard systems. It enables a state-of-the-art measurement infrastructure, which means it can house around 4 000 lines or more with the current signal technology. The 1 000 signal paths in our standard XLDsl System corresponds to being able to operate a few hundred qubits. So, in comparison to the XLDsl, KIDE is capable of a more complex measurement infrastructure, it has more cooling power, and a very large space for the payload.
R&D scientist Jean-Philippe Girard, Mechanical Engineering Manager Amir Niknam, and R&D Project Manager Antti Lehtosalo from the KIDE team.
On Route to Enable the Big Change in Quantum Computing
KIDE is a platform set to enable the big change in quantum computing. Our dedicated team has been tirelessly working on the machine so that the quantum computing community can accomplish their groundbreaking goals. Our R&D scientist, Jean-Philippe Girard talks about the team’s experience on working on the KIDE platform: “This project is probably the most ambitious challenge that Bluefors has faced. Since the beginning, the overall mood surrounding KIDE is excitement. Our team is thrilled to contribute to the growth of quantum computing and to overcome the technical difficulties on the way. It is invigorating to be immersed into such a pool of creativity, where the team is constantly buzzing with new concepts and ideas to optimize KIDE. Some ideas were implemented right away, while some others exceeded the initial scope and deserved to be explored in a later phase.”
During KIDE development, the team kept a good balance between the conception and the implementation. There were multiple occasions when both complemented each other in a great way. Jean-Philippe reflects on the time before the first cooldowns of the KIDE platform with an anecdote: “During the assembly and the initial test runs of the KIDE, we had noticed that the shield design could be more practical when opening and closing the shields. We planned for easy operation, but we had gone overkill on reducing the weight of the shields, which made them wobbly to handle. Though operating on a schedule, with such a sterling team we could redesign and manufacture the new shield panels before the first full cooldown – a milestone everybody had been waiting for. With the parts coming in promptly, the new design proved to be much easier to handle and assemble while improving the thermal conductivity. Now we were ready to cool down the KIDE, and then we could do our tests.”
The team found the results came up positive with an improved shield performance. “The first full cooldown was successful and the whole system worked as designed. It was worth a toast. We could be proud of our team being agile and being able to act on the fly to improve the elements of the first generation of KIDE. It is a privilege to work in a team working to enable a big change in quantum computing,” says Jean-Philippe.
Get In on the Action
The KIDE platform is grand in its size, grand in its cooling power, and what a grand space it has for attaching quantum technology. We built it to cater to the anticipated needs of the quantum computing in the future, and that is why we are inviting you to a dialogue. Contact our Sales Engineers to hear more about the Bluefors KIDE platform and we can discuss what the future could bring you.
Watch our video from fall 2022 about designing a large-scale cryogenic platform for the needs of quantum computing.