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Introducing the largest quantum photonic processor to date

By Sandra Helsel posted 09 Jun 2022

(Phys,org) Researchers working in the EU-funded PHOQUSING project are developing a hybrid computational system based on cutting-edge integrated photonics that combines classical and quantum processes. IQT-News summarizes below.

The project’s goal is to develop a quantum sampling machine that will put Europe at the forefront of photonic quantum computing. With this goal in mind, PHOQUSING project partner QuiX Quantum in the Netherlands has created the largest quantum photonic processor compatible with (nanometer-sized semiconductor crystals that emit light of various colors when illuminated by ). The processor is the central component of the quantum sampling machine, a near-term quantum computing device able to show a quantum advantage.

“Quantum sampling machines based on light are believed to be very promising for showing a quantum advantage,” reports a news item posted on the QuiX Quantum website. “The problem of drawing samples from a , mathematically too complex for a classical computer, can be solved easily by letting light propagating [sic] through such quantum sampling machines. At the very core of quantum sampling machines there are large-scale linear optical interferometers, i.e. photonic processors.”

The processor the research team developed is a “record-size” 20-mode silicon nitride photonic chip that is optimized for use at the near-infrared wavelength range, operating at a wavelength of 925 nanometers. According to a webinar video presenting the processor, the 20 input modes with 190 unit cells and 380 tunable elements likely make this processor the most complex photonic chip available today.

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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