Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Cryogenic Wafer Probe System Enables Superconducting Compute

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The system operates at 4 Kelvin and below to accelerate the development of superconducting compute applications

A fully automated cryogenic wafer probe system, developed by FormFactor in collaboration with Northrop Grumman Corporation, operates at 4 Kelvin (-269.15 degrees Celsius) and below to accelerate the development of superconducting compute applications in data centres, where rapid growth in data traffic consumes an ever-increasing amount of electricity and real estate. Other applications range from artificial intelligence to pharmaceutical and chemistry developments, to cybersecurity, financial and weather modelling and more.

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Giving strength to the development of superconducting technologies is a Reciprocal Quantum Logic (RQL) processor, which delivers exponential improvements in computing power and reduces energy consumption (compared to traditional CMOS processors). The RQL processor leverages a well-established semiconductor circuit design and fabrication process, enabling faster time to market. Like other superconducting technologies, the processor must operate at temperatures close to absolute zero. It is to be noted that cryogenic test and measurement instruments are essential to device development.

“The ability to conduct testing at or below 4 Kelvin is critical to the development of superconducting circuits,” said Vern Boyle, vice president, advanced processing solutions at Northrop Grumman. “Performing these tests at the wafer-level provides a significant increase in production throughput at scale.”


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