QIST4400 Quantum computer architecture

The goal of this course is to introduce the students the overall system of a quantum computer, focusing on the classical hardware and software infrastructure required to build a quantum computer together with the quantum hardware.

Covered topics include:
- Quantum computer architecture; quantum languages; compilers; QISA; microarchitecture.
- Quantum simulator (QX simulator);
- Quantum error correction: quantum error correction codes; encoding; logical operations.
- Mapping of quantum circuits; placement of qubits; scheduling of operations; routing of qubits;
- Classical hardware for quantum computing: classical controller and quantum processor; qubit hardware and the need for cryogenic electronics;
- Receiver and transmitter architectures for controlling qubits: frequency up/down-conversion, modulation schemes, frequency generation.
- Hardware building blocks: amplifiers, analog-to-digital converters, digital-to-analog converters, digital processing, FPGA
- Cryo-CMOS: device characteristics, state-of-the-art, design principles.

Study Goals

By the end of this course, students are able to:

  •  Explain the different layers that are required to build a quantum computer.
  • Discuss the basic functioning of quantum error correction (QEC).
  • Carry out the mapping step of simple quantum circuits onto specific physical device layouts.
  • Interpret the results of different quantum circuits written in language QASM and executed using simulator QX, including the following: Basic quantum algorithms; Fundamental QEC codes; Surface code, especially for a Ninja star.
  • Identify and describe the different hardware blocks in the classical controller in a quantum computer.
  • Derive the specifications of the individual components in a classical controller form the requirements of the whole controller.
  • Compare different hardware blocks based on their specifications and can select the appropriate component for target functionality and specifications.
  • Describe the main features and advantages/disadvantages of the adoption of cryogenic electronics in general and cryo-CMOS specifically.


S. Feld

dr. Fabio Sebastiano

cryogenic electronics, quanutm computation, analog/mixed-signal circuit design, frequency references, sensors, sensor readout

Last modified: 2023-11-04


Credits: 5 EC
Period: 0/0/4/0