Putting Quantum Bits into the Fiber Optic Network
(NovusLight) Dutch research center QuTech and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT launched the ICON project QFC-4-1QID on September 1, 2019. In this long-term strategic partnership between the research institutions, the scientists will be developing quantum frequency converters that will connect quantum processors to fiber optic networks. The new technology will be used in the world’s first quantum Internet demonstrator in 2022.
“ICON – International Cooperation and Networking” is an internal funding program launched by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to bring top international researchers together and to facilitate cooperation with excellent foreign research institutions on a project basis.
Quantum computers will soon make it possible to perform highly complex calculations and algorithms in the shortest possible time and, thus, will revolutionize information technology. In the future, several quantum computers will be connected to a quantum internet in an absolutely secure manner creating many new possibilities such as for instance distributed quantum computing. To accomplish this, photonics is a key technology.
In the QFC-4-1QID project, the partners are developing technologies with which the wavelength or frequency of individual photons can be specifically converted without impairing quantum information. They aim to then transmit the photons through glass fibers with low loss and to couple qubits – the smallest computing units of a quantum computer – over long distances.