€14m photonic quantum computer for German Aerospace Center

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Dutch startup QuiX Quantum is to develop a prototype universal photonic quantum computer for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in a €14 million project.

Starting at 8 qubits, the aim is for QuiX Quantum to deliver a 64 qubit photonic quantum computer in four years as part of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative.  This will integrate the existing technologies from their processors with sources, detectors, and feedforward.

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 “We merge competencies from the Netherlands and Germany in one location, at the innovation center of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative in Ulm. QuiX Quantum has already proven the functionality of its integrated quantum photonics and is successfully supplying Quantum Photonic Processors to customers throughout Europe,” said Stefan Hengesbach, CEO of QuiX Quantum. “One of the things we expect from the cooperation with DLR is a systematic investigation and demonstration of the potential fields of application, especially in the numerous disciplines of DLR.” 

The photonic quantum computer will be used on problems such as post-quantum cryptography, quantum machine learning, planning optimization for satellite operations, and simulation of chemical redox reactions for the development of battery systems. Through its own research, DLR has a clear need for the future use of quantum computers in all its focal areas of aeronautics, space, energy, transport, security, and digitization. 

“With QuiX Quantum, we are integrating another company into our quantum computing initiative by commissioning it to develop the technology field, here specifically for photonic quantum computing. In our innovation center in Ulm, another player in the quantum computing ecosystem will thus advance this technology with us,” says Dr. Robert Axmann, head of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative. 

QuiX Quantum has already developed a non-universal quantum computer with a current running Boson Sampler, which is a special purpose quantum computer. At the core is the QuiX Quantum Photonic Processor in the form of a reprogrammable interferometer.  

A commercialized 20-mode Photonic Processors by QuiX Quantum are low-loss, multimode, fully reconfigurable interferometers for quantum computing that operate at room temperature, vastly reducing the cost and size. The QuiX Quantum Photonic Processors are already being used in the UK, France, Germany, and Hungary.

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