Infineon teams for commercial ion trap quantum processors

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Infineon Technologies and Oxford Ionics in the UK have announced a collaboration to build fully integrated quantum processor units (QPUs) using ion trap technology.

Oxford Ionics has developed a unique electronic qubit control (EQC) technology which will enable processors with hundreds of qubits within the next five years. The goal of the collaboration is to move quantum computing technology out of the research lab into real industrial designs using Infineon’s mature commercial manufacturing expertise.

 “The great challenge in quantum computing is scaling whilst improving performance,” said Chris Ballance, Co-Founder of Oxford Ionics. “There are technologies that can be fabricated at scale but don’t perform, and there are technologies that perform but don’t scale. Our electronic control is uniquely placed to do both. Working with Infineon and its mature and flexible semiconductor process, allows us to speed up the accessibility of a commercial QPU. Due to our market-leading error rates, these processors need dramatically fewer qubits to solve useful problems than other technologies.”

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The first Oxford Ionics devices will be cloud accessible by the end of 2022, offering commercial players access to these cutting-edge Quantum Computers. Fully integrated devices with high enough performance to scale to hundreds of qubits are planned to be available in less than two years.

The ultimate goal of Infineon and Oxford Ionics is to offer, within five years, individual, fully integrated QPUs offering hundreds of qubits networked together into a quantum supercomputing cluster using Oxford Ionics’s quantum networking technology.

The current technology can produce 700 ion trap QPU devices on a wafer, although Infineon has not identified the wafer size or the process technology.  Infineon has been working on ion trap technology since 2016 at its fab in Villach to combine scientific findings with industrial-scale quantum technologies. Villach has production on 200mm silicon wafers. Based on its platform, Infineon is looking to thousands of qubits by working with partners on cryogenic control electronics and optics integration.

 “The role of Infineon is to take the ground-breaking work of Oxford Ionics to scale properly towards meaningful qubit counts and low error rates. Infineon’s ion traps can enable that in conjunction with our predictable, repeatable, and reliable manufacturing and assembly capabilities,” said Stephan Schaecher, Director of New Application, Innovation, and Quantum Computing at Infineon Technologies Industrial Division.

Infineon is pursuing various approaches towards quantum computing. Next to iontrap the company is also active in superconducting and semiconductor-based qubits. As a co-founder of the Quantum Technology and Application Consortium (QUTAC) Infineon drives the topic from technology to usable application.;; 

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