Quantum computers are believed to have the potential to solve certain types of calculations much more efficiently than is possible with today’s technologies. At present, however, the technology is still at the very beginning of its development and it is difficult to estimate what will be possible – and what may not be.
Google has been working for years on the development of quantum processors and quantum algorithms. At the same time, research into new technologies for quantum computers is one of the focal points of the Jülich Research Centre. The Research Centre plans to operate a European quantum computer with 50 to 100 superconducting qubits, which will be developed in the EU’s Quantum Flagship Programme and made accessible to research and industry at Forschungszentrum Jülich. The number of qubits provides an indication of the performance of a quantum computer. Currently, 50 to 70 qubits are considered a record. However, it is disputed which architectures and processes count for this. The Canadian company D-Wave claims a power of more than 1000 Qubits for its computer. On the other hand, the quantum computer introduced by IBM at the beginning of the year has only 20 qubits but follows a different approach.
The research initiative aims to accelerate the development of quantum technologies in Europe and has a funding volume of 1 billion euros for a period of ten years.
“Quantum computers offer the possibility of solving certain algorithmic problems in a matter of seconds, which would take many years with today’s supercomputers. As a company that sets standards in this field, Google is an important partner for us to join forces in further developing this technology,” explains Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt, CEO of Forschungszentrum Jülich.
“Quantum processors can help to launch new environmentally friendly technologies or revolutionize methods of artificial intelligence. We are keeping a close eye on developments in Europe and look forward to contributing to the success of quantum technologies in Europe through our cooperation with the Jülich Research Centre,” explains Hartmut Neven, Technical Director at Google and Head of Quantum Artificial Intelligence Labs.
Google and Forschungszentrum Jülich will also provide mutual support in the training of young scientists and experts. According to experts, a shortage of experts in the field of quantum computing is already foreseeable.
In addition, Google and Forschungszentrum Jülich will jointly research quantum hardware and quantum algorithms. This will enable researchers from both partners to carry out simulations on the supercomputers at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) and to experiment with Google’s quantum processors.