Reports: China Mass Producing Dilution Refrigerator Critical to Superconducting Quantum Computing

China flag on the pushpin and red threads on the wooden map
China flag on the pushpin and red threads on the wooden map
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Insider Brief

  • A China news service is reporting that the country has begun mass production of the “EZ-Q Fridge.
  • The scientists report the news represents a potential advance in equipment critical to quantum computing amid ongoing foreign technological restrictions.
  • The EZ-Q Fridge is designed to provide an ultra-low temperature environment, nearing absolute zero Celsius, crucial for the optimal performance of quantum computing chips.

A leading China news service is reporting that the country has begun mass production of the “EZ-Q Fridge,” a dilution refrigerator essential for superconducting quantum computer chips. This development, reported by the Global Times and attributed to ECNS, the official English Language website of China News Service, represents a potential advance in equipment critical to quantum computing amid ongoing foreign technological restrictions.

“In a first, China achieved mass production of a dilution refrigerator, a key device that can provide ultra-low temp environment close to absolute 0 for superconducting quantum computer chips,” China Science declared in a message on X.

The EZ-Q Fridge is designed to provide an ultra-low temperature environment, nearing absolute zero Celsius, crucial for the optimal performance of quantum computing chips, the news service reports. This capability not only ensures rapid and stable cooling but also positions China at the forefront of quantum computing technology. According to Wang Zhehui, who leads the research team and spoke to the Global Times, the refrigerator has excelled in trials and has begun deliveries to customers as of the second quarter of 2023.

The news is significant given the backdrop of technological blockades by Western countries, which have restricted China’s access to critical components necessary for quantum computing research. Despite these challenges, the Anhui Quantum Computing Engineering Research Center and QuantumCTek Corp, known for their pioneering work in quantum communication-based encryption, independently developed the EZ-Q Fridge.

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It’s also significant because — if verified — this marks China’s entry into the production of commercially available dilution refrigerators for cooling superconducting quantum computer chips.

Wang said the refrigerator has competitive cooling efficacy and excelled during its operational tests. The EZ-Q Fridge can maintain temperatures as low as 10mK, providing the ultra-low and stable environment necessary for quantum computing experiments. This development ends China’s reliance on international manufacturers, particularly those from Finland, the UK, and the US, who have dominated the dilution refrigerator market and restricted exports to China.

The team behind the EZ-Q Fridge is also involved with the “Zu Chongzhi” superconducting quantum computer, which has previously depended on dilution refrigerators made in Finland. Wang told the news service he has confidence in the potential of the “Made in China” equipment to outperform Western models and lead the global market in this niche technology sector.

Looking forward, Wang and his team plan to collaborate with universities and research institutes to further quantum computing software and hardware development.

This move not only signifies China’s growing independence in critical technological areas but also its ambition to lead in the quantum computing field, Wang told the news service.

“Meanwhile, we will step up efforts to increase our production capacity in a bid to meet domestic scientific research needs, and, more importantly, to allow Chinese homegrown equipment to go global,” Wang said.

News and information from China is often subject to censoring by authorities and should await independent confirmation. This is not the first time scientists from the country have declared they have achieved domestic production of dilution fridges. In October 2023, the news services announced that China’s Origin Quantum Computing Technology Co. Ltd., a company based in Hefei City, was producing a dilution refrigerator.

For more market insights, check out our latest quantum computing news here.

Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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