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Zurich Instruments AG

Zurich Instruments AG (ZI) spun off from ETH Zurich in 2008 by 3 co-founders with the vision to become market leader in lock-in amplifiers. Today this goal has been reached and the vision is to become the first commercial supplier for off-the-shelf quantum processor control systems. FPGA technology has always played a key role in ZI’s development: they allowed ZI to introduce a paradigm shift in instrumentation, where functionality moved from hardware to firmware. This enabled ZI to share the same hardware platform for functions like arbitrary waveform generators, digitizers, boxcar averagers, PLLs, PIDs and spectrum analysers.

Today ZI has grown to more than 50 people, has offices in Switzerland, France and China, is self-financed and independent of third parties. The company has a track record of successful commercial exploitations from EU-funded projects.

ZI group picture

Main tasks in the project

In OpenSuperQ, ZI is responsible for the full stack of room-temperature electronics and control and measurement software of the multi-qubit system. The provided system will integrate with the cryogenic electronics and quantum processor on one end and the Quantum SDK on the other end. ZI will design, manufacture and test hardware components and continuously deliver and test software components. The tasks of ZI will be embedded in WP4 “Qubit Operation and Control” which is also led by ZI. In addition, ZI will support the system integration in the Central Quantum Computing Laboratory (WP 5).


Expertise of staff members involved

Adrian Messmer

Master’s degree (1994) in Electrical Engineering from ETHZ. Messmer joined ZI in 2012 and is Vice President of Research and Development. Prior to ZI, Mr. Messmer worked at NXP as R&D Manager for mobile communication platforms. He has a track record of successfully coordinating national and European Projects and is managing this project on behalf of ZI.

Niels Haandbæk

PhD degree (2016) in Electrical Engineering from ETHZ, Master’s degree (2000) in Electrical Engineering from Technical University of Denmark. Haandbæk joined ZI in 2009 as Senior Development Engineer. Previously, he worked at Philips Semiconductors and ST-Ericsson as Development Engineer for mixed-signal ASICs for mobile communications. Haandbæk is responsible for developing digital signal-processing platforms powering current and future products. He will lead the soft- and firmware-related tasks of ZI in this project.

Flavio Heer

PhD degree (2005) in Physics from ETHZ. Heer is the CTO of ZI and a member of the founding team. Heer is responsible for technology development and innovation. He accumulated circuit-design know-how during his PhD and as a group leader at ETHZ. He is a specialist in analog circuit design and signal processing and will lead the hardware-related tasks of ZI in this project.

Yves Salathé

PhD degree (2018) in Physics with Prof. Andreas Wallraff at ETHZ. The focus of his thesis is on digital signal processing systems to enable quantum computing and simulation experiments with superconducting qubits. Salathé joined the team at ZI in January 2018 as development engineer.