PQSC Programmable Quantum System Controller

The Zurich Instruments PQSC Programmable Quantum System Controller brings together the instrumentation required for quantum computers of up to 100 qubits and more. Its ZSync low-latency real-time communication links are designed specifically for quantum computing; the PQSC overcomes the practical limitations of traditional control approaches, making automated and rapid qubit calibration routines a reality. Programming access to the powerful Xilinx UltraScale+ FPGA is the basis for developing new and optimized processing solutions for rapid tune-up and error correction adapted to the specific algorithm and computer architecture used.

PQSC Key Features

  • Control up to 100 qubits
  • Synchronization of up to 18 HDAWGs, i.e., 144 output channels
  • < 100 ns communication latency
  • Customization through user access to FPGA Xilinx® UltraScale+™️ XCZU15EG-2I
  • LabOne® control software (check compatibility) and APIs for LabVIEW, Python, C, MATLAB, .NET  


PQSC Applications

  • Superconducting qubits
  • Semiconductor spin qubits
  • Trapped ion qubits

PQSC Description

The PQSC comes with 18 ZSync ports to connect with Zurich Instruments HDAWG for qubit control and UHFQA for qubit readout. The scalable architecture supports setups with 100 and more accurately synchronized AWG channels and provides status monitoring to ensure quality and reliability of qubit tune-up routines. The ZSync links distribute the system clock to all instruments and synchronize all instruments to sub-nanosecond levels. Further they provide a bidirectional data interface to send qubit readout results to the PQSC for central processing, and to send trigger signals to the slave instruments to initiate synchronized actions. The ZSync links adhere to strict real-time behavior, all data transfers are predictable to single clock-cycle precision. This allows for implementation of rapid tune-up procedures, syndrome decoding and error correction routines. The LabOne control software provides a high-level interface to all instruments in the system and comes with APIs for LabVIEW, Python, C, MATLAB, .NET.

PQSC Specifications

Type Xilinx® UltraScale+™️ XCZU15EG-2I
System logic cells 747k
CLB flip-flops 682k
CLB LUTs 341k
DSP slices 3,528
Block RAM 26.2 Mb
UltraRAM 31.5 Mb
CPUs and memory
Application processor Quad ARM® Cortex TM-A53 up to 1,333 MHz
Real-time processor Dual ARM® Cortex TM-R5 up to 533 MHz
Input frequency Auto-detect 10 MHz / 100 MHz
Input coupling 50 Ω, SMA connector
Output frequency Switchable 10 MHz / 100 MHz
Output amplitude > 1 Vpp in 50 Ω
Connectivity and others
Host connection LAN / Ethernet, 1 Gbit/s
USB 3.0
JTAG over USB 2.0 for Xilinx® ChipScope™️ access
device connection 18 ZSync ports
ZSync communication bandwidth Down-stream 200 MB/s
Up-stream 100 MB/s
ZSync communication latency < 100 ns
Trigger 2 trigger inputs, 2 trigger outputs,
3.3 V TTL on SMA connector
Digital I/O 32 bits, 3.3 V TTL, general purpose

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