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PsiQuantum expands its silicon photonics partnership with SkyWater

By Dan O'Shea posted 05 May 2023

PsiQuantum, which has been focused on the lofty goal of creating a 1-million-qubit photonic quantum computer, has expanded its development agreement with SkyWater Technology, the chipmaker whose silicon photonics semiconductor manufacturing capabilities it is leveraging.

The companies have teamed up to develop chips in SkyWater’s semiconductor manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Minnesota that will support PsiQuantum’s goal “to deliver a commercially viable, error-corrected general purpose quantum computer that scales beyond 1,000,000 qubits using silicon photonics,” the partners said in a statement.

SkyWater’s Technology as a Service (TaaS) model enables advanced technologies to be developed and produced efficiently in a production fab and actively supports quantum computing initiatives. SkyWater’s silicon photonics integration and manufacturing capabilities enable PsiQuantum to develop quantum chips that can be measured and tested for long-term reliability, critical to executing quantum algorithms which require millions or billions of gate operations. 

“We are delighted with the excellent 200 mm photonics capabilities of SkyWater and how they satisfy our critical development needs,” said PsiQuantum COO Fariba Danesh. “We have found the partnership with SkyWater beneficial due to the valuable speed and flexibilities of the team and company. Having domestic fabs with proven manufacturing capability and the development flexibility to support our required process flows is key to the success of our product plans. PsiQuantum is not only innovating in quantum architecture, but our teams are also driving advanced front end of line process innovation, and the ability to use unique process tooling in a proven factory will accelerate our program.”

“We are excited to see the unique outcomes of PsiQuantum’s technology as well as the substantial technological progress they have achieved at SkyWater,” said SkyWater CTO Steve Kosier. “PsiQuantum’s and SkyWater’s engineering teams are working together to co-create the reality of a quantum-enabled world. We look forward to continuing to support them through development and into their production ramp.”

PsiQuantum also has been working for at least the last two years with another silicon photonics manufacturing partner, GlobalFoundries, a partnership which earned a $25 million federal grant a little over a year ago. The company also was one of the quantum sector’s biggest funding winners back in 2021, when it announced a $450 million fundraising that brought its total funds at that time to $665 million.

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

Categories: quantum computing

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