Swedish companies will be able to use a functioning 25-qubit quantum computer by 2024-2025, thanks to a new cloud system that utilizes existing quantum architecture at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
The project was made possible thanks to an initial donation of SEK 102 million (EUR 9.2 million) from the charity committee Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
Most U.S. public clouds now offer remote access to quantum computing technology, but given the complexity of the technology, Chalmers believes Swedish users would benefit from a domestically hosted, low-latency system.
The foundation has funded a quantum computer running at Chalmers for internal use. The technology currently has 25 working qubits, but is expanding to reach 100 qubits by 2029.
Ongoing R&D meant the system was not capable of external projects, which led to the idea of seeking funding for a fully functional copy.
Now, the Wallenberg Foundation has agreed to fund the project, ensuring the delivery of a second-year Swedish quantum computer fully intended for industry and research.
The project’s testbed will begin operations in 2024, with a 12-24 month validation period before a public launch the following year.
In addition to the 25-qubit computer, Chalmers will also guide companies in deploying quantum algorithms for key use cases, providing expert advice from a bespoke “quantum help desk”.
This follows Paris-based quantum startup Welinq announcing a €5 million pre-seed funding round.
The Welinq is attractive because it is one of its kind that eschews the ion-trap architecture, a popular way to run qubits and quantum gates without the use of superconducting circuits that require extremely cold operating conditions.
While superconductors pose a further disadvantage due to the size of the superconducting unit, Welinq says ion traps can also outperform using neutral atoms connected from a separate quantum computer, in effect allowing the use of repeatable qubit enablers. to scale the hardware.
That sounds particularly enticing, since scaling up is a key hurdle to delivering massive quantum advantage. Some argue that the most valuable quantum applications may require more than 100 qubits to function properly, and that a 100-qubit milestone could provide a quantum advantage over all the world’s supercomputers combined. Tech.eu covered Welinq’s concept in depth earlier today.
Commenting on behalf of Chalmers and its Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technologies, Professor Per Delsing said: “We … will build a replica of our quantum computer and use it as a test bed for companies and researchers to run algorithms on.
“The aim is to increase Sweden’s level of competence in quantum technology and lower the barriers to accessing quantum computers.
“The idea is that users don’t need much prior knowledge. It’s enough for a company to encounter a problem they’ve heard can be solved with a quantum computer. The quantum helpdesk will help them from there.”
The Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology has a 12-year funding grant to drive quantum innovation in Sweden. Three years after the initiative launched in 2018, the annual budget of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has doubled.