A report about a programmable, cloud accessible and scalable photonic circuit able to operate different types of quantum algorithms published in Nature last week, represents a milestone for photonic quantum computing. The photonic quantum chip was manufactured by Swiss based LIGENTEC SA.
Quantum computers promise to solve problems that are impossible to compute by today’s supercomputers. The race for the best quantum computing technology is underway, many technologies are complex and require cryogenic cooling to temperatures down to -150 degree Celsius or lower. Photonics approaches have so far been considered impractical because of difficulties in generating the required quantum states, or the transformations of such states, on demand.
Canadian based hardware company Xanadu now reported in the Nature magazine a programmable, cloud accessible and scalable photonic circuit able to operate different types of quantum algorithms. Future applications are for example in the development of new drugs.
A photonic circuit is similar to an electrical IC, but uses photons instead of electrons. These photons are guided by optical waveguides, tiny structures carefully etched on the chip. The special feature of this photonic chip is its extremely low propagation loss and special material properties, finally enabling the desired quantum states. The photonic quantum chip was manufactured by Swiss based LIGENTEC SA with its unique and scalable Silicon Nitride Photonics technology.
“We are extremely excited to see this groundbreaking milestone in photonic quantum computing to be achieved by our customer” states Michael Geiselmann, co-founder of LIGENTEC. “We are also proud to have contributed to this achievement. This is the result of years of hard work and will be only the beginning of a great future for photonic integrated circuits”.
LIGENTEC SA, a spin-off from the EPFL Lausanne, offers application specific Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) to customers in disruptive high-tech areas such as Quantum Computing and Communication, LiDAR, New Space, Biosensors and more.
Picture: Pete Linforth / Pixabay