Pasqal’s ‘Neutral Atom’ Tech Promises 200 Qubits of Quantum Processing Power; Just Raised $30.5 Million
(VentureBeat) Pasqal is leveraging technology developed at the Institut d’Optique in Palaiseau, France and relies on a process called “neutral atoms.” According to cofounder and CEO Georges-Olivier Reymond, this technique has allowed the company to build processors with up to 200 qubits, inching ever closer to the coveted quantum advantage.
The company is making these advances through the “natural atoms” process. In many quantum computers, atoms are ionized, which means they are charged and harder to place in a stable state. Quantum computers can use a lot of power and require super cool environments to render the atoms in a state where they can process data.
Using neutral atoms requires less energy and avoids the need for the deep freeze, Reymond said. The ability to place the atoms in various two- and three-dimensional states is allowing some enterprise customers to perform tasks like quantum simulation and optimization.
This progress led to a partnership late last year with Atos, which is incorporating Pasqal’s technology into its own quantum computing. Reymond said it has already sold two quantum processing units to high-performance computing centers. The company is now focused on building quantum computers for on-premise customers, as well as a cloud-based quantum service.
The company has just raised $30.5 million in a round led by Quantonation, a VC firm that focuses on quantum, and the Defense Innovation Fund managed by French state bank Bpifrance. Other participants in the round included Runa Capital, Daphni, and Eni Next. The European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund had also previously announced it would back Pasqal.