Dutch research group QuTech is leading a project that will lead to a quantum network across part of Amsterdam.
The project with telecom operator KPN, SURF and OPNT will focus on connecting different quantum processors, a significant distance apart, across the Randstad area of the city. This TKI (Top consortium for Knowledge and Innovation) project would connect quantum processors to each other via optical channels to exchange quantum bits, or qubits, to enable distributed processing.
QuTech is a joint venture between the Technical Univeristy of Delft and research group TNO, while SURF is a cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions, while OPNT (Optical Positioning, Navigation and Timing) is a specialist in timing.
Quantum communication networks are expected to evolve over time towards a global quantum network, and this would allow secure communication; position verification; clock synchronisation; computation using external quantum computers; and more. Among other things, the project is intended to lead to new techniques, insights and standards that will bring a quantum network closer.
“Working with these partners, we expect to have taken significant steps towards a quantum network by the end of the TKI project,” said Erwin van Zwet, Internet Division Engineering Lead at QuTech
“Every day we are working on finding answers to the question of how network operators, such as KPN or SURF, can deploy a quantum network, and what sort of services they can offer their users. Although we are still in an early stage of development, we are already building the quantum internet ecosystem of the future by working with key partners. This ecosystem will prove crucial as our quantum network evolves into a fully-fledged quantum internet,” said Wojciech Kozlowski, a postdoc at QuTech and responsible for one of the work packages in the TKI project.