Inside Quantum Technology

Quantum News Briefs: December 28, 2023: Europe Prepares for More of a Leadership Role in Quantum Computing Ecosystem; Kyoto University Researchers Find Many photons are better than one for advancing quantum technologies; More qubits, more money, more mergers: Quantum predictions for 2024; and MORE!

Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.

Quantum News Briefs is a news series that looks at news in the quantum computing industry.

Quantum News Briefs: December 28, 2023: 

Europe Prepares for More of a Leadership Role in Quantum Computing Ecosystem

At the recent PUZZLE X conference in Barcelona, quantum computing was a major focus, featuring speakers like Nobel laureate Sir Roger Penrose and Quantinuum, Harvard, MIT, and Qilimanjaro experts. European companies and research institutions are exploring hybrid quantum computing to optimize various sectors, including logistics and advertising. A significant push is underway for quantum computing in life sciences, particularly cancer research and drug development. The European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) has chosen six sites within the EU to host the first European quantum computers, integrating technology from European firms in a €100 million project. This initiative aims to solve complex problems, including materials development and transportation. Amidst this, Oxford Quantum Circuits has launched a 32-qubit quantum computer, Toshiko, and Qilimanjaro focuses on analog quantum computing. These developments are amidst global security concerns, particularly regarding China’s quantum computing activities. The European Commission is keen on maintaining a competitive quantum ecosystem and achieving quantum milestones, highlighting the strategic importance of quantum technology in addressing both industrial and societal challenges.

Kyoto University Researchers Find Many photons are better than one for advancing quantum technologies

Researchers from Kyoto University and Hiroshima University have made an advancement in quantum technology by theoretically and experimentally confirming the advantages of non-Fock states (iNFS). Beyond the traditional single-photon source and linear optical elements, these complex quantum states could revolutionize applications in optical quantum computers, quantum sensing, and quantum cryptography. The study, published in Science Advances, demonstrated the generation of iNFS using an optical quantum circuit. This process involved manifesting two photons in three different pathways, showcasing the phenomenon of conditional coherence, where the detection of one photon indicates the presence of others in multiple pathways. The study also found that unlike quantum entanglement, which can be affected by traversing a single linear optical element, iNFS properties remain stable through many such elements. This discovery marks a significant advance in optical quantum technology and paves the way for larger-scale multiphoton, multimode states, and the development of optical quantum circuit chips.

Chinese Researchers Find a logical magic state with a fidelity beyond the distillation threshold realized on a superconducting quantum processor

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, the Henan Key Laboratory of Quantum Information and Cryptography, and the Hefei National Laboratory have significantly advanced quantum computing by preparing a logical magic state with high fidelity on a superconducting quantum processor. Their work, published in Physical Review Letters, demonstrates a viable method for generating high-fidelity logical magic states essential for fault-tolerant quantum computing. This achievement follows their previous work on error correction and marks a critical milestone in developing fault-tolerant computing based on the surface code. The researchers utilized the Zuchongzhi 2.1, a 66-qubit quantum processor, to successfully prepare three logical magic states with fidelities surpassing the distillation threshold, indicating the potential to feed low-fidelity magic states into a distillation circuit to obtain high-fidelity states for constructing fault-tolerant non-Clifford logical gates. This breakthrough could pave the way for larger-scale, more robust quantum computers and marks a significant step towards practical quantum error correction and fault-tolerant quantum computing.

In Other News: Sifted article: “More qubits, more money, more mergers: Quantum predictions for 2024”

A recent Sifted article highlights that in 2022, venture capital investment in European quantum computing startups more than doubled compared to 2021, reaching $257 million, despite the technology still being in its nascent stages and facing challenges such as small size and high error rates. Notable developments include more quantum-focused funds, like the €15m fund by QDNL Participations and a €52m fund from Redstone VC, and significant funding rounds for startups like France’s PASQAL. Looking ahead to 2024, experts predict continued investment growth, with public funding programs potentially surpassing €15bn and private investments reaching €500m. Established quantum computing firms are expected to benefit the most, while new entrants may face funding challenges. The sector may see consolidation, particularly between hardware and software companies. The debate over which quantum particles are most promising for building quantum computers continues, with superconducting and neutral atoms being strong contenders. Furthermore, more companies are anticipated to cross the 1,000-qubit threshold, a significant achievement in quantum computing. Error correction, the key to the full computing power of quantum computers, is expected to improve significantly. Quantum startups are exploring various applications, from portfolio optimization to drug discovery, and the convergence between AI and quantum computing is set to increase. Finally, quantum computing’s impact on cybersecurity is becoming a priority, with more organizations developing quantum-safe solutions.

Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is the Managing Editor at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, quantum computing, and AI. Her work has been featured in Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.

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