Infineon Technologies and Oxford Ionics have announced a collaboration to build high-performance and fully integrated quantum-processing units (QPUs). The combination of Oxford Ionics’ unique electronic qubit-control (EQC) technology with Infineon’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities, and expertise in quantum technology, will lay the foundations for the industrial production of QPUs offering hundreds of qubits within the next five years.
The goal is to move quantum computing technology out of the research lab into real industrial solutions.
Quantum computing opens up the next frontier in computing power for many industries seeking radical improvement in their processes and capabilities. Getting there requires developing qubit technologies that can be built at a massive scale while controlling a growing number of qubits and maintaining quantum error levels at and below the current state-of-the-art.
Oxford Ionics’ EQC technology offers a path to integrating trapped ion qubits — currently, the top qubit technology by quantum error levels — into Infineon’s mature semiconductor processes.
“The great challenge in quantum computing is scaling while improving performance,” said Chris Ballance, co-founder of Oxford Ionics. “There are technologies that can be fabricated at scale but don’t perform, and there are technologies that perform but don’t scale. Our electronic control is uniquely placed to do both. Working with Infineon and its mature and flexible semiconductor process, allows us to speed up the accessibility of a commercial QPU. Due to our market-leading error rates, these processors need dramatically fewer qubits to solve useful problems than other technologies.”
The first Oxford Ionics devices will be cloud accessible by the end of 2022, offering commercial players access to these cutting-edge quantum computers. Fully integrated devices with high enough performance to scale to hundreds of qubits are planned to be available in less than two years. The ultimate goal of Infineon and Oxford Ionics is to offer, within five years, individual, fully integrated QPUs offering hundreds of qubits networked together into a quantum supercomputing cluster using Oxford Ionics’s quantum networking technology.
“The role of Infineon is to take the ground-breaking work of Oxford Ionics to scale properly towards meaningful qubit counts and low error rates. Infineon’s ion traps can enable that in conjunction with our predictable, repeatable, and reliable manufacturing and assembly capabilities,” said Stephan Schaecher, director of New Application, Innovation, and Quantum Computing at Infineon Technologies Industrial Division.
Infineon’s ion trap modules
Infineon’s ion traps accelerate the development of powerful quantum computers to solve optimization problems that their classical counterparts could not address. This research already started in 2016 at Infineon fab site in Villach to combine scientific findings with industrial-scale quantum technologies.
Knowing how to industrialize and combine novel materials and technologies, Infineon offers an advanced technology platform for customized traps that are predictable, repeatable, and reliable. Based on this platform, Infineon paves the way toward thousands of qubits by working with partners on cryogenic control electronics and optics integration. This will allow scientists and companies to focus on their core tasks, push the boundaries of science and research, and create successful and winning quantum computing systems that will enable industry and academia to solve meaningful problems.
Infineon is pursuing various approaches towards quantum computing. Next to iontrap the company is also active in superconducting and semiconductor-based qubits. As a co-founder of the Quantum Technology and Application Consortium (QUTAC) Infineon drives the topic from technology to usable application.
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