Inside Quantum Technology

GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum get $25 million in federal funds to advance partnership

Almost a year after PsiQuantum and GlobalFoundries announced a photonic quantum computer manufacturing partnership, the partners are now set to receive $25 million in federal funding to help advance their project.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer Thursday announced that the federal government’s recently-passed Fiscal Year 2022 spending package includes $25 million to spur a new phase in the partnership — the expansion of research and development at Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York (Rome Lab) to manufacture and test photonic quantum computing technology. 

The money also is intended to help create jobs, “attract and retain top scientific talent to Upstate New York, and will make critical progress to compete with China to develop a first of its kind quantum supercomputer,” a statement from Sen. Schumer said. 

GlobalFoundries is based in Malta, New York, and announced massive expansion of its facilities last year as the Biden White House and many others in the federal government started planning to allocate more funding to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry to become more competitive with firms in China and throughout Asia.

Sen. Schumer’s statement added, “The next frontier of quantum computing technology is being developed right here in Upstate New York. I am proud to deliver this $25 million in federal funding for this expanded partnership between GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum to bolster the cutting edge research being done out of the Rome Lab, create new jobs, and secure America’s future as the leader of cutting edge technology. Now more than ever federal funding is needed to ensure that the U.S. stays ahead of our international competitors – including China – in the race to develop the next generation of high tech and this will supercharge our researchers to continue to make groundbreaking discoveries in quantum computing.” 

GlobalFoundries just last month announced a new silicon photonics manufacturing platform. In addition to its work with PsiQuantum, the company also has said it is working with other photonics-based quantum firms like Xanadu, Ayar Labs, Lightmatter and Ranovus. 

GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield said the new federal funding will help the company advance its new platform, “a foundational technology that’s required to deliver quantum computing that enables a higher level of cryptography and encryption that are so critical to our national security. For years to come, this partnership will create hundreds of engineering and manufacturing jobs in our most advanced manufacturing facility in upstate New York. And as the only U.S.-headquartered semiconductor foundry, this announcement shows GF’s continued commitment to invest in U.S. manufacturing and technology.” 

Specifically, some of the money will be used for new fab integration and tooling to be installed at GlobalFoundries that are required to develop and build components for PsiQuantum’s photonic quantum computer.

The partnership between GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum was cited last month of Fast Company’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.

Meanwhile, the Air Force Research Laboratory has worked with a number of quantum technology companies, and last year was designated as the Quantum Information Science Research Center for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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