This article was published on April 21, 2023

New research milestone could solve quantum scalability

Startup QuiX has demonstrated a fully-integrated quantum light source for qubit generation


New research milestone could solve quantum scalability
Linnea Ahlgren
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Linnea Ahlgren

Linnea is the senior editor at TNW, having joined in April 2023. She has a background in international relations and covers clean and climat Linnea is the senior editor at TNW, having joined in April 2023. She has a background in international relations and covers clean and climate tech, AI and quantum computing. But first, coffee.

Wherever you fall on the quantum sceptic spectrum, you cannot deny that the potential of the technology is fascinating. Don’t worry, we will admit to not understanding it fully yet either, but the founders of QuiX Quantum do. 

Together with scientists from the Leibniz University Hannover, the team has demonstrated a fully-integrated quantum light source on a chip smaller than the size of a one-euro coin. 

The study, called “Fully on-chip photonic turnkey quantum source for entangled qubit/qudit state generation,” just FYI, was published in Nature Photonics this week. Its results could reportedly prove a game-changer for technologies such as quantum computing. 

Photonics offer temperature advantages

Quantum photonics is a field of research that explores the behaviour of light and its interactions with matter at the quantum level. Quantum light sources produce photons that can be used as quantum bits, or qubits. One of the main advantages of photonics compared to superconductor approaches is that it is compatible with room temperature operating conditions. 

However, most sources are external laser systems, making them bulky and non-reproducible and thus unsuitable for out-of-lab use or production at larger scale. Integrated, or on-chip sources are becoming popular due to being more compact and stable.

A fully-integrated light source, such as the one demonstrated by QuiX and Leibniz University scientists, will allow all stages of the Quantum Information Processing (QIP) to be on a single chip, which will lead to greater stability and scalability of the technology.

Plug-and-play photonics solutions

QuiX Quantum was founded in January 2019. Since then, the company has raised over €5.5 million in funding and already become the European market leader for quantum computing hardware based on photonics. They sold their first quantum processors in 2021, and are building 8- and 64-qubit Universal Quantum Computers worth €14 million for the German Aerospace Center. 

The company says its goal is “the continued disruption of quantum computing with our high-tech, scalable, future-proof, plug-and-play integrated photonic solutions.” Its recent breakthrough could not come at a better time. The EU has just launched a €19 million project to help quantum startups transition from lab to market. 

Earlier this year, QuiX Quantum took home the prestigious Prism Award for its 20-mode Quantum Photonic Processor. This award is known as the “Oscars of Photonics,” presented during the Photonics West conference in San Francisco.

“In four years, we went from an idea to delivering award-winning, market-leading hardware for photonic quantum computing,” Stefan Hengesbach, CEO of Quix, stated. “This awarded processor is the core element of our current generation quantum computers, which has already created a huge impact in the quantum ecosystem as an excellent tool to perform fundamental quantum mechanical experiments on-chip.

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