Europe consolidates its Rydberg quantum computer projects

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By Nick Flaherty

The European Commission is consolidating four quantum computing projects based on Rydberg atom technology to create a single platform.

The €5m European infrastructure for Rydberg Quantum Computing (EuRyQa) project aims to establish the technology as a leading platform for scalable quantum computing in Europe with  eleven partners from seven countries.

Rydberg system use ultra-low temperature trapped atoms, rather than ions, and have already demonstrated systems with 324 qubits. EuRyQa includes Pasqal in France, QM Technologies in Israel as well as the Qruise spinout from the Research Centre Jülich.

The project is coordinated by the University of Strasbourg and includes the University of Stuttgart, German consultancy Eurice, the University of Amsterdam and the Technical University of Eindhoven as well as the research institute Idryma Technologias Kai Erevnas in Greece, Associacao Portuguese Quantum Institute and Università degli Studi di Padova in Italy.

Bringing together four complementary European Rydberg platforms will create a single European solution for Rydberg-based quantum computing, together with the first pan-European benchmarking and standardisation of the technology, says the project.

Pasqal is one of the leading contenders for quantum computing in Europe, with co-founder Professor Alain Aspect receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month. Last month the company launched a system with 324 qubits.

“We will provide a common quantum computing stack for Rydberg atoms, a federated cloud service, solutions to concrete computational problems, and key technology for fault-tolerant quantum computing with Rydberg qubits. The success of EuRyQa will be a game changer for Europe in a global competition for quantum computing, said Prof. Guido Pupillo at the University of Strasbourg and EuRyQa coordinator

A Dutch partner of the project is the Rydberg atom quantum computing team from Quantum Delta Netherlands (QNDL) with two quantum computing testbeds in Amsterdam and Eindhoven. This team is building a cloud-based quantum computing facility in Eindhoven that will be accessible via the Quantum Inspire platform. Part of this team are Robert Spreeuw and Florian Schreck from the Amsterdam hub and Rianne Lous, Edgar Vredenbregt and Servaas Kokkelmans from the Eindhoven hub.

“EuRyQa enables deep connections between our Quantum Delta NL Rydberg Quantum Computing team with other important European teams, many of which have complementary expertise to us”, said Florian Schreck, Professor at the University of Amsterdam. “This will strengthen the European and the Dutch efforts to create societal impact with quantum computing.”

Servaas Kokkelmans, Associate Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology and coordinator of QDNL action line 1 (Research and Innovation), shares: “With the launch of this project, the European Commission recognizes the importance of an international infrastructure for quantum computing based on ultracold atoms. Our CAT1 program is one of the four leading platforms in EuRyQa, and together we implement the knowledge of fundamental atomic physics into robust quantum technology.”

EuRyQa is funded under the Horizon Europe programme with €5m over the next three years.;

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