In what is believed to be the first commercial sale of photonics-based universal quantum computers, QuiX Quantum has cut a €14 million (about USD $13.5 million) deal with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to deliver 8-qubit and 64-qubit computers to DLR as part of a four-year joint project related to the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative.
Quix, based in the Netherlands, already has a non-universal quantum computer using its own Quantum Photonic Processor in the form of a reprogrammable interferometer. The timeline for the DLR deployment falls within the company’s schedule and roadmap for creating a fully universal, photonic quantum computer.
DLR already has identified needs that include post-quantum cryptography, quantum machine learning, planning optimization for satellite operations, and simulation of chemical redox reactions for the development of battery systems. The center is receiving funding for the project from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).
For Quix, the sale comes a few months after the company raised about $5.6 million in funding, and not long after Dr. Stefan Hengesbach took over as CEO of Quix. DLR put out a call for proposals for quantum photonic processors last year, and has been involved in a number of other quantum projects, including working with NASA on quantum software.
DLR and Quix are establishing an innovation center in Ulm, Germany, to collaborate on the project.
“We merge competencies from the Netherlands and Germany in one location, at the innovation center of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative in Ulm,” says Dr. Hengesbach. “QuiX Quantum has already proven the functionality of its integrated quantum photonics and is successfully supplying Quantum Photonic Processors to customers throughout Europe… One of the things we expect from the cooperation with DLR is a systematic investigation and demonstration of the potential fields of application, especially in the numerous disciplines of DLR.”
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.