New EU Consortium Launches 4-year Quantum Scaling Project

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A European consortium has been launched with the goal of scaling silicon quantum technologies. Named QLSI (Quantum Large-Scale Integration with Silicon), it’s a four-year four-year, €15 million ($17.7 million)  EU project coordinated by CEA-Leti, the Grenoble, France-based electronics and IT research institute, and it aims to lay the foundation for industrial-scale semiconductor quantum processors.

The organization said the project will focus on demonstrating that “spin qubits” are the leading platform for scaling to large numbers of quantum bits, or qubits, the building blocks of quantum information processing.

The QLSI consortium brings experienced academics with knowledge of in silicon nanostructures and spin qubits, RTOs with silicon CMOS technology expertise, international businesses in the semiconductor and computing industries, as well as Europe’s quantum start-up sector.

“The partners have already realized many of the key advances in the field of silicon quantum, like CEA-Leti with a first step towards scaling in 2016 by demonstrating the first qubit fabricated by mass-production CMOS technology,” the organization said in its announcement. “The QLSI consortium will take this principle to the next level with the demonstration of a 16-qubit chip, and will also make an 8-qubit chip available for external use through the Quantum Inspire open-access quantum cloud environment.”

Why the commitment to silicon? “Owing to their experience, the partners have already quantified promising single qubit performance: small size, high fidelity, fast read-out and manipulation,” stated the consortium. “Working with silicon, the next step is to leverage the vast infrastructure of the global semiconductor industry.”

QLSI will pursue four essential results:

  • Fabrication and operation of 16-qubit quantum processors based on industry-compatible semiconductor technology
  • Demonstration of high-fidelity (>99 percent) single- and two-qubit gates, read-out and initialization with these devices in a lab environment
  • Demonstration of a quantum computer prototype, with online open-access for the community, integrating such a high-quality quantum processor in a semi-industrial environment (up to eight qubits available online), and
  • Documentation of the requirements to address important issue of scalability towards large systems >1,000 qubits.

The project is an addition to the EU’s Quantum Flagship program, a 10-year, €1 billion ($1.18 billion) R&D initiative launched in 2018. It is a coherent set of research and innovation projects selected through a thorough peer-review process. The overall goal is to consolidate and expand European scientific leadership and excellence in quantum computing, to kick-start a competitive European industry in quantum technologies and to make Europe a dynamic and attractive region for innovative research, business and investments in this field.

Europe is well-positioned to move the EU’s spin-qubit R&D work forward in what is a high-stakes competition among advanced technological countries, said Maud Vinet, CEA-Leti’s quantum hardware program manager, who will lead the project. “The QLSI project ramps up a dedicated effort across all leading European groups in the field of spin qubits to develop complete processor systems that eventually will reach the thousands of qubits expected as a first step to show the potential for universal, error-corrected quantum computing.”

The 19 QLSI members include:

CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission  – development and fabrication of spin qubits

Univ. of Twente, the Netherlands – physics experience and charge-and-spin properties of Si nanostructures

Technological University Dublin – demonstration of spin qubits

Univ. of Konstanz, Germany – theoretical simulations and modelling of spin qubits and their properties

CNRS, the French National Centre for Scientific Research ​– demonstration of spin qubits

Hitachi – physics experience and charge-and-spin properties of Si nanostructures

Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC), Belgium – technological developments aiming at spin qubits

IHP (Leibniz-Institut), Berlin – development of Si-based quantum materials for spin qubits

TNO, the Netherlands organization for applied scientific research – demonstration of spin qubits

ATOS – development of quantum validation platform

Fraunhofer institutes IPMS & IAF, Germany – technological developments aiming at spin qubits

STMicrolectronics – development of quantum validation platform

Univ. of Copenhagen – demonstration and characterization of spin qubits

Infineon Dresden – development and fabrication of spin qubits

UCLQ Quantum Science and Technology Institute, UK – physics experience and charge-and-spin properties of Si nanostructures

Quantum Motion – design and validation of spin qubit devices and architectures

Forschungzentrum Julich / FZJ research institute, German – demonstration of spin qubits

Soitec – technological developments aiming at spin qubits

Univ. of Basel, Switzerland – physics experience and charge-and-spin properties of Si nanostructures