Siemens has announced its commitment to semiconductor improvement. After all, large German companies are strongly active in this field, as the cases of VW, ZF and Bosch show. Siemens Digital Industries Software established a collaboration with sureCore and Semiwise to develop groundbreaking cryogenic CMOS circuits capable of operating at temperatures near absolute zero – a fundamental component of quantum computing systems. The joint effort holds the potential for dramatic advances in both performance and power efficiency for next-generation integrated circuits (IC) targeting quantum computing – considered the leading edge in the high-performance computing (HPC) research and development.

Siemens and semiconductor at cryogenic temperatures

The key to unlocking the potential of quantum computing for HPC and other fast-growing applications lies in the availability of control electronics capable of operating at cryogenic temperatures. Using advanced analog/mixed-signal IC design technology from Siemens, Semiwise has developed cryogenic CMOS circuit designs featuring cryogenic SPICE models as well as SPICE simulator technology that can perform accurate analyses at cryogenic temperatures. Semiwise is providing this intellectual property (IP), developed using Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE (AFS), to sureCore for the development of sureCore’s revolutionary line of CryoIP, which aims to enable the design of CryoCMOS control chips seen as crucial for unlocking the commercial potential for quantum computing.

In the development of its CryoIP product line, sureCore also used Siemens’s Analog FastSPICE platform and Siemens’ Solido Design Environment software, both of which demonstrated reliable operation at cryogenic temperatures, empowering sureCore to construct analog circuits, standard cell libraries, and memory designs including SRAM, register files, and ROM, using Semiwise’s cryogenic transistor models. Further, Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE software showcased exceptional capabilities in handling foundry device models at cryogenic conditions, helping deliver efficient analog, mixed-signal, and digital circuit design and verification functionality without convergence issues. The result is a high level of accuracy and performance, setting the stage for potentially groundbreaking advancements in quantum computing.

The opinions of those directly involved

Professor Asen Asenov, CEO of Semiwise and director for sureCore, highlighted the significance of this achievement: “For the first time, through cryogenic transistor measurements and Technology Computer-Aided Design (TCAD) analyses conducted with Siemens’ EDA technologies, we have developed process design kit (PDK)-quality compact transistor models, including corners and mismatch, enabling the production-worthy design of cryogenic CMOS circuits.”

sureCore is rapidly progressing towards its first CryoIP tapeout, leveraging GlobalFoundries’ 22FDX® PDK.

Paul Wells, CEO of sureCore, underscored the pivotal role of this partnership. “The critical storage element and the bit cell must essentially be treated as an analog circuit that is highly sensitive to process variability and mismatch,” said Wells. “When we develop new memory designs and their associated compilers, we need to run thousands of statistical circuit simulations to guarantee the yield and reliability of our IP. Our partnership with Siemens EDA has enabled us to leverage Siemens’ Custom IC verification technology to build robust cryogenic IP cores, specifically tailored for Quantum applications.

This partnership symbolizes Siemens’ unwavering dedication to advancing the quantum computing domain,” said Amit Gupta, general manager and vice president of the Custom IC Verification Division, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “The groundbreaking technologies and solutions developed have the potential to redefine the boundaries of high-performance computing.”

Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE platform, powered by technology from Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE eXTreme platform, offers circuit verification for nanometer analog, radio frequency (RF), mixed-signal, memory, and custom digital circuits. Siemens’ Analog FastSPICE platform offers a comprehensive use model, including small signal, transient, RF, noise, aging, and multi-sim verification capabilities, with drop-in compatibility with industry-standard SPICE-based flows.

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