QCE20 Workshop on

Qubit Control Requirements for Practical Scalable Quantum Computation



  • David E. Root, Keysight Laboratories, Keysight Technologies, Inc., Santa Rosa, California (Lead)
  • Nizar Messaoudi, Quantum Engineering Solutions, Keysight Technologies, Waterloo, Ontario


Controlling qubits is the heart of a quantum computer, indeed the very basis of all quantum engineering. Control is critical for qubit initialization, manipulation, readout and low-latency feedback for error correction. The engineering of such control systems is therefore among the most important and central requirement for quantum engineering of functional and useful quantum computers. Rapidly improving qubit systems in multiple and diverse technologies are enabling the potential and realization of NISQ systems with hundreds or more functional qubits. A key requirement for optimal qubit processor performance is the ability to control the qubits robustly, flexibly, and cost-effectively with classical control systems. Despite differences in the proposed qubit platforms, there is a common thread with respect to control requirements. Furthermore, there is no qubit technology platform capable of addressing all the different requirements to realizing quantum computing networks. This has led to extensive research into hybrid approaches, where different qubit technologies are integrated together to address the broader requirements beyond computation (e.g., quantum memory, communication). To address these evolving needs, qubit control systems should be agnostic to the quantum hardware platform as much as possible. This Workshop will explore requirements for general qubit control systems, and avenues for more tightly integrating control into future multi-technology platforms such as cryogenic electronics. We’ll examine the competing technical requirements of different qubit technologies while discussing the value of hardware agnostic approaches to leverage the underlying requirements.

Target Audience

Practicing electrical engineers and microwave engineers seeking to learn enough about the intersection of quantum mechanics and engineering – quantum engineering – to fill the gap in the workforce. The expected background is basic microwave and electrical engineering at the bachelor’s level, with ideally at least an introductory quantum mechanics background or strong interest, and basic knowledge of linear algebra. Some knowledge of analogue and digital electronics, microwave hardware, and measurement science will be useful. Previous successful quantum engineering workshops at IEEE conferences have focused on distinct qubit technologies and their specific microwave engineering challenges. But none of these workshops have focused specifically on the classical control system requirements needed to effectively address the wide variety of scalable technologies with qubit numbers in the hundreds to thousands. This workshop will differentiate itself by covering the entire control system stack from high level SW down to RF waveforms and readout in real-time HW.

Confirmed Speakers and Topics

  • Prof. William Oliver, MIT — Engineering Quantum Control of Superconducting Qubits
  • Prof. Michel Pioro-Ladrière, University of Sherbrooke — Qubit Control Requirements for Spin-based Quantum Technologies
  • Dr. David P. Compagna, Honeywell Quantum Solutions — Trapped Ion Qubit Control
  • Nizar Messaoudi, Keysight Technologies — Real-time Evolving Systems
  • Dr. Joe Bardin, AI Quantum, Google LLC & UMass Amherst — Towards Scalable Control of Superconducting Quantum Processors
  • Dr. Simon Gustavsson, Labber Quantum — Software for Quantum Control
  • Prof. Joseph Emerson, University of Waterloo & Quantum Benchmark Inc. — Benchmarking NISQ systems