The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has awarded five contracts to develop quantum computers based on ion traps with a total volume of €208 million. The money goes to eleQtron, NXP Semiconductors Germany, Parity Quantum Computing Germany, Qudora Technologies and Universal Quantum Germany. They should use it to build prototypes of quantum computers within four years.
Charged atoms as carriers of information
Quantum computers use the laws of quantum mechanics to speed up computing processes. They have the ability to solve problems in critical applications that today’s supercomputers take years to compute. Quantum bits (qubits) can assume states 0 and 1 at the same time – that is, not just one by one as with classical computers.
Quantum computers can be implemented in different ways. Ion traps are a promising possibility. Electrically charged atoms (ions) are used as information carriers and are held in one place by electromagnetic fields. Lasers as well as radio or microwaves can change the state of the particles in a targeted manner.
At least 50 functional qubits on a chip
In the first project, NXP, eleQtron and Parity Quantum Computing as a consortium will present a display with ten qubits, DLR Reports. Operations are scheduled to begin at the end of 2023. Two other funded initiatives include building prototypes of quantum computers with at least 50 fully functional qubits on a scalable chip. Universal Quantum and Qudora/NXP are developing their own systems for this purpose. One of the points I focus on here is that the slide can be corrected for errors in perspective.
In two other projects, modular and scalable quantum computers based on ion traps will be created. The plan is to link several chips into a global quantum computer architecture. Each module must act as its own micro-quantum processor with ten qubits each. This structure can later grow into many chips with thousands of qubits.
Supports DLR in the range Quantum computing initiative, for which the Federal Ministry of Economics provides a total of 740 million euros, various technological approaches and contributes its skills and issues to research and development. In Germany, more funding comes mainly from the Federal Research Ministry: last year it released about 17.7 million euros for the “Quantum Photonic Integrated Computer” (QPIC-1) project.
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