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Architectural Guidelines and Best Practices for Scalable Circuit QED Quantum Computing

Workshop at the IEEE Quantum Week

October 13th, 2020

12:45-18:45 EDT
10:45-16:45 MST
18:45-02:45 on October 14th CEST


What does it take to build a scalable quantum computer? Superconducting circuits were identified as a promising platform to build a quantum computer a while ago, but for scientists and engineers from academia and industry the goal of a truly scalable system based on this platform remains ambitious. While some common strategies have been developed, identifying a broader set of globally accepted guidelines with the long-term goal of forming industry standards is increasingly important. Our IEEE Quantum Week workshop will provide a platform for speakers and audience from academia, industry, and test & measurement instrument manufacturers to look into what activities have already been undertaken, how common mistakes can be avoided and what actions are still required within the superconducting circuits community to agree on a general set of guidelines that will simplify and support the development of quantum computers.


To encourage lively exchanges between the speakers and the audience, we will ask attendees to vote on short session-specific statements at the start and at the end of each session. These statements will encapsulate controversial points and pressing issues, and will form the basis for the general discussion at the end of every session.

Targeted audience

The workshop targets a broad and interdisciplinary audience from academia, industry, and governmental institutions. Participants of the workshop will benefit from some background knowledge of superconducting circuits, quantum computation and/or of the higher levels of the quantum computing stack. However, we expect the workshop to be equally interesting for members of quantum computing communities other than circuit QED, as well as for less experienced members of the IEEE Quantum Week audience.

Invited speakers

Frank Wilhelm-Mauch (FZJ)

Jerry Chow (IBM)

Travis Humble (ORNL)

Irfan Siddiqi (LBL)

John Martinis (UCSB)

Florent Lecocq (NIST Boulder)

Michael Biercuk (Q-CTRL)

Olli Ahonen (IQM)

Jens Hedegaard Nielsen (Microsoft)

Workshop organizers

Tobias Thiele, Application Scientist for QT:

Moritz Kirste, Application Scientist:

Vikrant Mahajan, VP Sales & Operations USA:

Frank Wilhelm-Mauch, Professor at Saarland University and Coordinator of the OpenSuperQ project:


To attend this workshop, please note that you will have to register for the Virtual IEEE Quantum Week (QCE20). This is because our event is part of the community-building workshops hosted during QCE20. Take a look at this page and do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the workshop's organizers if you have questions.


Session Duration Speaker Chair
Introduction 5' Zurich Instruments  
Collaborative approaches between industry and research 5' Voting Moritz Kirste
20' Frank Wilhelm-Mauch (FZJ)
20' Jerry Chow (IBM)
20' Travis Humble (ORNL)
5' Voting
15' General Discussion
Common architectural approaches for quantum (control) hardware 5' Voting Tobias Thiele
20' Irfan Siddiqi (LBL)
20' John Martinis (UCSB)
20' Florent Lecocq (NIST Boulder)
5' Voting
20' General Discussion
Common architectural software approaches for the quantum stack 5' Voting TBD
20' Michael Biercuk (Q-CTRL)
20' Olli Ahonen (IQM)
20' Jens Hedegaard Nielsen (Microsoft)
5' Voting
20' General Discussion
Concluding remarks 5' Zurich Instruments  



Frank-Wilhelm Mauch is professor of quantum and solid-state theory at Saarland University. He studied physics at the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, where he also obtained his PhD. He started working on quantum computing in 1999, and before joining Saarland University carried out research at TU Delft in the Netherlands and at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Since 2018, Prof. Mauch has been the coordinator of the European project OpenSuperQ. He is a member of the German and American Physical Societies, and serves on the IEEE benchmarking working group for quantum computing as well as on the cryoelectronics roadmap editorial board.


Jerry M. Chow is the director of Quantum Hardware System Development at IBM, leading the effort to plan and implement IBM's quantum hardware systems roadmap through design, characterization, and system integration. His technical expertise is in the area of superconducting qubit quantum computing. Dr. Chow received his PhD in physics from Yale University, where he worked on implementing the first quantum processor with superconducting qubits. He joined IBM as a Research Staff Member in 2010. In 2016, he co-lead the IBM Quantum Experience project that made a real quantum processor accessible to anyone on the cloud, an achievement recognized with the 2019 Gold Edison Award in the Next Gen Computing category.

Florent Lecocq is a research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado. The Advanced Microwave Photonics group focuses on developing technologies for quantum measurement and quantum information science using superconducting circuits. This includes the implementation of high-speed parametric qubit gates, non-reciprocal parametric amplifiers, microwave opto-mechanical devices and microwave-to-optical interconnects. Dr. Lecocq received his PhD in physics from the University of Grenoble and the Néel Institute before joining NIST in 2011.


Michael Biercuk is the CEO and founder of Q-CTRL, and a professor of quantum physics and quantum technology at the University of Sydney. He is also chief investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems. He founded Q-CTRL in 2017, relying on his specialist knowledge in the field of quantum control engineering and supported by venture capital backing from some of the world’s leading investors. Prof. Biercuk received his PhD at Harvard University; he held a research fellowship in the Ion Storage Group at NIST Boulder and worked as a consultant to DARPA. He is a TEDx and SXSW speaking alumnus and winner of the 2015 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.

Travis S. Humble is a distinguished scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the director of its Quantum Computing Institute, and deputy director of the DOE Quantum Science Center. Dr. Humble is developing the infrastructure and use cases for quantum computing to impact DOE's mission of scientific discovery. He also holds a joint faculty appointment with the University of Tennessee Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, where he mentors students on developing energy-efficient computing solutions. He received his doctorate in theoretical chemistry from the University of Oregon before joining ORNL in 2005 as an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow, and became part of the ORNL research staff in 2007.

Olli Ahonen manages and leads IQM's software development, including the design and delivery of the software stack connecting IQM's quantum computers to end users. He also leads the efforts for defining the software architecture, interfaces, and standards in this emerging field. He has 12 years of experience as a software developer, technology lead, and manager in private companies including European digital agency Futurice and software statup Kivra Oy, where he headed product development as the startup's CTO before joining IQM. He holds a Lic.Sc. (Tech.) and M.Sc. (Tech.) from Aalto University.

Irfan Siddiqi is a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Siddiqi and his research group, the Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory, focus on the development of advanced superconducting circuits for quantum information processing, including applications to computation and metrology. Prof. Siddiqi is known for his contributions to quantum measurement science, including real-time observations of wave function collapse, tests of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, quantum feedback, and the development of a range of microwave-frequency quantum-noise-limited amplifiers and detectors. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and in 2006 was awarded the APS George E. Valley Jr. prize for the development of the Josephson bifurcation amplifier.


John Martinis is professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In the mid-eighties, he carried out pioneering experiments with superconducting qubits for his PhD thesis. He then worked on a variety of low-temperature device physics projects, and was awarded the London Prize in low-temperature physics in 2014 for his contributions to this field. Prof. Martinis has been focusing on quantum computation since the late nineties. From 2014 to 2020 he worked at Google with the goal of building a useful quantum computer, which led to an experiment demonstrating the "quantum supremacy" of a quantum processor in 2019.

Jens Hedegaard Nielsen is a software development engineer at Microsoft Quantum. The software he develops is available online as the QCoDeS project. His professional experience includes instrument interfacing, data acquisition and data visualization. Previously he worked as a research software developer at University College London, where he worked on software for research across fields from digital humanities to chemical engineering. He holds a PhD in experimental physics from Aarhus University on laser alignment and manipulation of small molecules with ultrafast femtosecond laser pulses.

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