1 September, 2021 – sureCore, the ultra-low power embedded IP specialist, has announced that it is developing a range of CMOS IP suitable for operation at the extremely low temperature required for Quantum Computing (QC) applications. This will enable the design of Cryo-CMOS control chips that can be co-located with the qubits in the cryostat. This will help solve the current problem of extensive and performance limiting cabling used to connect the qubits with their associated control electronics usually running at room temperatures outside the cryostat. For Quantum Computers to realise their incredible potential, thousands, if not millions of qubits will be needed, and they must be kept at cryogenic temperatures to ensure correct operation. Currently, the major barrier to scaling is the amount of control cabling, which is in direct proportion to the number of qubits within the system. This problem can only be solved by moving the control electronics into the cryostat.

However, there are challenges as Paul Wells, sureCore’s CEO, explained: “We are uniquely positioned to solve two of the key challenges to developing Cryo-CMOS. Currently, the standard industrial operating temperature range for most commercial CMOS process technologies is from -40°C to 125°C and this is reflected in the transistor SPICE models supplied by silicon foundries. By working closely with both industry partners and foundries, we plan to design and characterise silicon IP capable of operation down to 4°K.

“The second challenge is to ensure that the control electronics dissipates as little heat as possible so as to minimise the cooling load on the cryostat. Hence it is critical that, as far as is possible, low power design techniques are deployed. We are experts in reducing the power consumption of CMOS; our design methodologies have already demonstrated up to 50% dynamic power reduction in embedded memory IP. By deploying these techniques in the design of Cryo-CMOS, we aim to minimise the excess heat generated thereby easing the scalability challenges for large Quantum Computers.”

sureCore already has silicon-proven, ultra-low power, embedded memory IP that it will customise for this Cryo application and will be launched as its CryoMem™ range. Using the knowledge gained from the development of CryoMem, sureCore plans to create a range of IP tailored for the development of complete QC control electronics in Cryo-CMOS. The company will offer a complete portfolio of Cryo-IP for licensing by companies wishing to develop Cryogenic control ICs.

Paul Wells, added: “This new IP library will help unlock the potential of QC by accelerating the development of cost effective, cryogenic control ASICs for the hundreds of QC companies out there competing to deliver competitive Quantum Compute solutions.”

sureCore™ — When low power is paramount™

sureCore, the ultra-low power, embedded memory specialist, is the low-power innovator who empowers the IC design community to meet aggressive power budgets through a portfolio of ultra-low power memory design services and standard IP products. sureCore’s low-power engineering methodologies and design flows meet the most exacting memory requirements with a comprehensive product and design services portfolio that create clear market differentiation for customers. The company’s low-power product line encompasses a range of close to near-threshold, silicon proven, process-independent SRAM IP.