(Bits-Chips.nl) Delft startup Qblox is paving the way for building quantum computers with up to a 1,000 qubits and beyond though recently developed prototypes still consist of 50 qubits maximum.
The spinoff of the Delft-based quantum technology institute Qutech has set out to create a new system to control the qubits in a quantum computer. Though recently built prototype quantum computers can only handle about 50 qubits, the startup – anticipating future developments – is aiming to do up to a thousand.
At the moment, quantum computers require rather large setups. The qubits are positioned on a chip that’s placed in a cryostat that cools down to a temperature of about 10 mK – near absolute zero. Such a low temperature is essential to avoid noise in the system caused by heat, for this would result in the qubits losing their information. The cooling part of the installation already takes up a lot of physical space.
“We’re developing a modular system that enables our customers to scale up their system by simply adding additional control modules,” explains Qblox cofounder and CEO Niels Bultink. “The module we’re building can control 20 qubits and has dimensions similar to two Monopoly boxes stacked on top of each other. Former systems, using existing electronics, needed a tower of at least two meters high to control the same 20 qubits. If we fill this tower with our modules, we can drive at least 200 qubits.”
The compactness of the system is partly the result of the collaboration with Qutech. Bultink: “In our design, we use technology that follows prior and ongoing developments there. For example, we’ve integrated the functionality of the Qutech waveform generator.