Taiwan's quantum computing advancement: Collaboration with IQM to boost research on low-temperature CMOS

Bryan Chuang, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Taiwan's efforts in advancing low-temperature CMOS and quantum computing technologies are set to receive a significant boost with the recent signing of a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) and Finland-based IQM Quantum Computers. The MOU aims to accelerate quantum computing development in Taiwan by leveraging IQM's expertise and technology.

Under the MOU, TSRI gains access to IQM's knowledge, facilitating the integration of advanced quantum computing technologies. IQM will not only deliver purchased quantum computers to TSRI but will also dispatch technical personnel to support its hardware integration and coordination efforts.

Manpower shortages at the Institute of Physics of the Academia Sinica resulted in a slight delay in quantum computer development, causing a fidelity lag. Lo Meng-Fan, director general of the Department of Natural Sciences and Sustainable Development under the National Science and Technology Council, told the DIGITIMES that the collaboration with IQM emerged as a solution, allowing advanced low-temperature components from academic research teams to be tested in IQM's quantum computer boasting a fidelity of up to 99.9%.

Luo emphasized that TSRI's collaboration with IQM is not merely a procurement endeavor but a strategic move to test Taiwan's quantum computing solutions. The success of the solutions could lead to global market opportunities, as Taiwan's solutions might be sold to governments and businesses worldwide, entering the international quantum computer supply chain.

TSRI is executing the "Quantum Computer Sub-Systems R&D Platform Planning Project," aiming to fast-track quantum computer subsystem development and aid local industries in adopting quantum key technologies. TSRI Director General Alex Hou said the technical details of the collaboration are expected to be finalized by 2024, with IQM's quantum computer then to be placed at TSRI for testing.

Hou further clarified that IQM's quantum computer acquisition aims at testing Taiwan's low-temperature circuits, with no specific requirement for a set number of quantum computers. This underscores the collaborative and research-focused nature of the partnership.

Several research teams in Taiwan are developing Cryo-CMOS chips designed to operate at ultra-low temperatures for driving and reading large-scale solid-state quantum bits. While these chips may not entirely replace existing equipment from Keysight Technologies, they can significantly simplify peripheral circuits and save costs, making them integral to the evolving quantum computing landscape, according to Hou.

The research team led by Professor Li Jiun-Yun at National Taiwan University is currently generating digital signals to control quantum bits through a signal generator, then converting them into analog signals and driving qubits through radiofrequency circuits. By using reflective circuits combined with low noise amplifiers (LNA), quantum information is transformed into optical signals for reading, enhancing the fidelity of quantum computers. In addition, the team headed by Professor Li Pei-Wen at Yang Ming Chiao Tung University is also conducting related research.