Cisco joins Nu Quantum on U.K. QNU project
Cisco Systems has been playing in the quantum space for years, working on quantum networking, security, and other objectives, and now the networking giant has been revealed as a new partner of Nu Quantum, a Cambridge, U.K.-based quantum networking company working on a U.K. government project.
Nu Quantum, which has been around since 2018 and announced its latest funding last November, recently won a U.K. government contract with a gross value of £2.3 million under the LYRA quantum networking project. Cisco will become an end user for the project, and along the way will contribute to key system requirements and help to evaluate final deliverables, according to a Nu Quantum statement.
The goal of the LYRA project is to create a quantum networking unit (QNU) prototype for a data center environment in the form of a discrete 19-inch rack-mount module for control-plane and optical interfacing. This scalable, modular architecture would allow for in-field upgrades to support different quantum computer modalities and alternative wavelengths. The solution also incorporates a new high-precision timing-architecture and digital control bus, allowing the system to easily scale to support a large cluster of quantum-compute nodes, according to Nu Quantum. Such a QNU would be used to connect multiple QPUs to increase quantum computing scalability, power, and performance.
“We are honored to be awarded the contract from UK SBRI to pilot the first prototype of a quantum data center in the world, and to have an amazing partner like Cisco,” said Nu Quantum co-founder and CEO Carmen Palacios. “LYRA takes the cornerstone quantum networking units from optical-bench to a deployable, prototype-product, capable of supporting test-bed integration with trapped-ion qubits and software stacks. The LYRA QNU is designed for future support of different qubit modalities and is a huge step forward in bringing quantum out of the lab and into real-world use.”
Peter Shearman, Head of Co-Innovation at Cisco UK & Ireland, added, “The potential of quantum computing is extremely exciting. However, it is increasingly accepted that to reach its potential quantum networking will be needed to scale quantum computing to a Fault Tolerant era. We are delighted to partner with Nu Quantum to accelerate this journey towards a modular, qubit-agnostic and data center-optimized future.”
Cisco Research Scientist Stephen DiAdamo is scheduled to speak at IQT’s The Hague event this April.
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.