Last week we reported that the German Aerospace Center (DLR) had awarded €208.5 Million ($208M USD) in contracts for five different projects related to ion trap based quantum computers. Universal Quantum has just issued a press release with additional details about their portion of the program which indicates their portion will amount to €67 Million or about 32% of the total. Their activity will consist of two sub-projects. The first is to build a single chip quantum computer and the second one will be to connect two or more of these chips together to create a multi-chip quantum computer with 100 qubits. These projects will occur over a four year period.

The Universal Quantum technology is a little bit different from the others. Instead of controlling the qubits with precisely aligned lasers, they are using microwave signals. They are integrating some of the electronic control circuitry onto the same chip as the traps. Also, to connect multiple chips together to create a larger quantum processor, most researchers are looking to do this with photonic connections over optical fiber. But Universal Quantum has invented its own technique which they call UQ Connect that does this at high fidelity and connection rates using a method to precisely align multiple modules to create a shuttling path for ions between adjacent modules. Another advantage is that their system is designed to run at 70 degrees Kelvin. Although this is still cool, it is much easier and cheaper to achieve that requiring expensive dilution refrigerators which operate at millikelvin temperatures and cost $100’s of thousands of dollars. They believe that these approaches will allow them to scale their processors to larger sizes at a much faster pace than their competitors.

For more about Universal Quantum award with the DLR, you can view a Medium article with additional details here.

November 2, 2022