PsiQuantum accelerates quantum computing roadmap via UK partnership

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PsiQuantum’s modularised quantum computing system networks individual cryogenic units using conventional fibre optics. (Image: Business Wire)

Quantum computing firm PsiQuantum has joined forces with the UK STFC's Daresbury Laboratory and National Quantum Computing Centre to build advanced cryogenic systems that will be necessary to scale photonic quantum computers to millions of qubits. 

The collaboration, which has seen PsiQuantum open a new R&D facility at the Daresbury Laboratory, will deliver quantum computing subsystems with the highest cryogenic cooling power deployed to date, according to the partners.

This would represent a major step towards large-scale error-corrected quantum computers capable of solving commercially relevant problems.

All leading quantum computing efforts require cryogenic cooling, however the advantage of a photonic approach is that the cooling requirements are far less demanding. In PsiQuantum’s case, cryogenic cooling is required to operate extremely sensitive single-photon detectors, which are used to read the state of the photonic qubit.

The partnership with Daresbury Laboratory will accelerate PsiQuantum's roadmap and increase its cryogenic capabilities 100-fold, with single cryogenic modules capable of delivering 100W of cooling power at liquid-helium temperatures. In addition to supporting larger arrays of quantum chips, this additional cooling power will allow PsiQuantum to implement power-hungry features that are essential for scaling up quantum computers, including chip-to-chip networking and integrated control electronics.

The collaboration will also leverage the UK’s highly-skilled talent and knowledge in cryogenic engineering, while granting PsiQuantum access to one of Europe's largest liquid-helium cryogenic plants. 

Related article: What keeps quantum executives awake at night?

Mark Thompson, Chief Technologist and Co-Founder at PsiQuantum, said, "We are very excited to be setting up a lab in the UK in collaboration with the STFC's Daresbury Laboratory. The UK has a long history in quantum technologies and a talent pool of exceptional quantum engineers. The STFC team and facilities are world-class, with a deep history of accomplishments in large-scale scientific infrastructure. Access to existing cryogenic infrastructure and expertise accelerates PsiQuantum's mission to deliver a large-scale quantum computer."

The establisment of the new research centre is backed by £9 million of UK government funding – part of a new package of projects aiming to drive forward the actions of the UK's Science and Technology Framework.

Michelle Donelan, the UK’s Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, said: “The establishment of this facility is a huge vote of confidence in the UK’s unrivalled expertise in innovation, demonstrating how the UK is spearheading crucial breakthroughs in quantum technologies.”

Quantum computer innovation has been chasing faster gate speeds for the past two decades (Image: Shutterstock/Quardia)

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Quantum computer innovation has been chasing faster gate speeds for the past two decades (Image: Shutterstock/Quardia)

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Dr Peter Leibinger, CTO of Trumpf, speaking at the World of Quantum forum at Laser World of Photonics. Credit: Matthew Dale

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