Reliable transmission of critical signals at very low temperatures Up to 24-way with compact and simple connection Attenuators available to suppress thermal noise
Intelliconnect (Europe), the UK based specialist manufacturer of RF, Microwave, Waterproof and Cryogenic connectors and cable harnesses announce the availability of their CryoCoax Q-CON high density cryogenic connector.
With the fast-growing rollout of quantum computing, and the development of large-scale high qubit machines, a greater number of microwave cables are now necessary for control and readout lines to the quantum processor. These have traditionally been provided by individual coaxial cables fitted with SMA connectors which offer limited packaging due to their 8mm hex coupling, which also requires space for access for tooling during installation.
Cryocoax a division of Intelliconnect, have developed high-density multiway connectors based around the SMPM interface which not only provide many more coaxial lines in a given space but also simplifies the installation and customisation within a dilution refrigerator. Typical spacing using SMA connectors is limited to approximately 16mm, whereas the new Q-CON high-density connectors are designed with a pitch of 4.75mm. The SMPM interface provides a simple push to mate connection only requiring a hex key to tighten the two fasteners.
The connector components are machined from high purity copper and beryllium copper and are gold plated to provide best thermal conductivity. Non-magnetic versions can also be specified if required. The connectors are compatible with .047” (1.19mm) size coax, either semi-rigid, flexible or conformable versions are available. Semi-rigid cables are available in Niobium Titanium, Stainless Steel, Copper, Cupronickel and Beryllium Copper as well as combinations of these with silver plated conductors, providing the user with a large choice in terms of thermal conductivity and attenuation.
To minimise passive heat load, cable materials with low thermal conductivity are normally favoured, however, with the exception of superconductors this typically goes hand in hand with poor electrical conductivity. Flexible cables having silver plated copper conductors are typically used for connections from the top of the dilution refrigerator to connect the control electronics at room temperature and can be terminated with conventional SMA connectors. Conformable copper coax options are also available and are often used at the lowest stage.
Superconducting Niobium-Titanium cables are often specified in quantum applications this material can be challenging, if not impossible, to solder. To overcome this, CryoCoax developed solderless connections for these high-density connectors as well as the traditional SMA, 2.92 and SMP connectors.
Standard configurations of the new Q-CON high-density connectors are 8-way, 16-way and 24-way with either smooth bore or full detent options, connector blocks can be ganged together to potentially give hundreds of coax lines in a dilution refrigerator. Two connector blocks form a mated pair, one having a full detent male SMPM interface, and the other a smooth bore SMPM male interface, these are used in conjunction with ‘bullet’ style female to female SMPM adaptors fitted between a pair of connector blocks.
The ‘bullet’ adaptors are retained in the full detent connector block. These can be combined with 8-way, 16-way and 24-way attenuator blocks available in 0dB, 3dB, 6dB, 10dB and 20dB. CryoCoax worked with a leading attenuator manufacturer in developing these attenuator blocks to compliment the high-density connectors. Attenuators are employed to suppress thermal noise and provide thermalisation of the centre conductors.
Steve Groves, Sales and Marketing Director at Intelliconnect, says, “Our CryoCoax division leads the way in cryogenic connectivity not only for quantum computing but also research, test and measurement and medical applications.”
Intelliconnect (Europe) Ltd is the largest UK based manufacturer of RF, microwave, waterproof and cryogenic connectors and cable harnesses suitable for applications including wearable technology, medical, telecoms, satcoms, military, aerospace, space, general microwave communications, rail traction, oil and gas and marine. Intelliconnect also manufacture the market leading Pisces range of waterproof RF connectors, coaxial adaptors to facilitate inter-series connection and gender change etc. dust-caps and offer value added services.
Intelliconnect’s cable division are specialist manufacturers of affordable, high quality, high frequency microwave cables including triaxial assemblies, semi-rigid, semi-flexible and cryogenic cables as well as standard RG/LMR type products. Cables can be waterproofed to IP68 and include special features including phase matching and ruggedised assemblies for use in harsh environments.