Photonic quantum computing tie-up achieves manufacturing milestone

May 07, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Photonic quantum computing tie-up achieves manufacturing milestone
Quantum computing company PsiQuantum and semiconductor foundry GlobalFoundries say they have achieved a major breakthrough in their partnership to build the world's first full-scale commercial quantum computer.

The companies announced that they are now manufacturing the silicon photonic and electronic chips that form the foundation of the Q1 system - the first system milestone in PsiQuantum's roadmap to deliver a commercially viable quantum computer with one million qubits and beyond. This demonstrates, say the companies, a world-first ability to manufacture core quantum components, such as single-photon sources and single-photon detectors, with precision and in volume, using the standard manufacturing processes of GF's world-leading semiconductor fab.

The companies have also installed proprietary production and manufacturing equipment in two of GF's 300mm fabs to produce thousands of Q1 silicon photonic chips (see image) at its facility in upstate New York, and state-of-the-art electronic control chips at its Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany.

"In the past year, we have experienced a decade of technological change," says Amir Faintuch, senior vice president and general manager of Compute and Wired Infrastructure at GF. "Now, due to the digital transformation and the explosion of data we are faced with problems that require quantum computing to further accelerate the Renaissance of Compute. PsiQuantum and GF's partnership is a powerful combination of PsiQuantum's photonic quantum computing expertise and GF's silicon photonics manufacturing capability that will transform industries and technology applications across climate, energy, healthcare, materials science, and government."

Quantum computing, say the companies, is expected to deliver extraordinary advances across a multitude of industries including pharmaceutical development, materials science, renewable energy, climate mitigation, sustainable agriculture, and more. PsiQuantum's Q1 system represents breakthroughs in silicon photonics, which the company believes is the only way to scale to 1 million-plus qubits and beyond and to deliver an error-corrected, fault-tolerant, general-purpose quantum computer.

The Q1 system is the result of five years of development at PsiQuantum designed to bring the world-changing benefits of quantum computing into reality, based on two fundamental understandings: 1) A useful quantum computer capable of performing otherwise impossible calculations requires 1 million-plus physical


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