Filtronic, a company that develops RF solutions for mission-critical environments, has applied its robust and customized RF millimeter wave (mmWave) filtering solutions to cater to the requirements of quantum computing systems. The company has solved several critical challenges in collaboration with their mmWave and filter design teams when approached by a key quantum computing manufacturer.
In quantum computers, quantum bits, or qubits, serve as the basic unit of data or information, which due to quantum mechanics allows a coherent superposition of both states. With quantum computers, processing capability has made a giant leap forward, with massive performance gains for certain applications.
In quantum computing systems, microwave technology can play a key role. Microwave circuits can be used to both excite and read back the quantum states within the quantum computer’s processor. They are employed within quantum computers that operate at superconducting temperatures and are particularly sensitive to mmWave noise, which if not addressed, can reduce the overall efficiency and performance of the quantum computer and impact the feasibility. This motivated Filtronic’s filter experts to design, customize, and characterize microwave filters that ultimately resulted in excellent out-of-band rejection at very high mmWave frequencies. The mmWave characterization was undertaken at the company’s state-of-the-art laboratories and manufacturing facilities.
Other unique challenges were also associated with quantum computing that demanded tailored solutions. For instance, a different approach to material selection is required for cryogenic environments owing to the fundamental changes in the material’s properties at superconducting temperatures. Furthermore, standard microwave bandpass filters are not typically tested at high mmWave frequencies and are neither physically nor mechanically suited to the application specific requirements.
To resolve this issue, Filtronic’s filter team had integrated and stacked multiple waveguide filter channels together, thereby offering a flexible and compact solution. Additionally, these customized filters can be retuned individually, ensuring flexibility to the customer in a compact space and making them suitable for the demanding environment.
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