$25M Federal Funding for Quantum R&D for GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum

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Federal funding of $25 million has been awarded to semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries and quantum development company PsiQuantum for quantum computing research and development. This funding, secured as a part of the recently passed Fiscal Year 2022 spending package, is intended to expand research conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York to manufacture and test photonic quantum computing technology.

In May 2021, GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum revealed what the companies said is a quantum computing manufacturing breakthrough: the first single photon detector in a silicon chip. This means that the element necessary to “see” the qubits, the essential building block of quantum computing, can be integrated into a chip which the companies can then scale up to process useful computations. The achievement validates the companies’ shared bet that they can lean on the 50-plus year history of semiconductor chip advancements and then seek quantum scale, they said.

“The $25 million in funding will help fund specific investments that are being made at GlobalFoundries, including new fab integration and tooling… that are required to develop and build components for PsiQuantum’s photonic quantum computer,” the companies said in their announcement. “The funding will enable the partnership between PsiQuantum and GlobalFoundries to develop and manufacture the core components of the world’s first utility-scale quantum computer.”

Last year, Rome Lab was designated as the Quantum Information Science Research Center for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. This laid the foundation for the $10 million announced earlier this year for the “Quantum Computing Test Bed” at the Innovare Advancement Center, which aims to be a global catalyst to converge world-class talent in areas including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and quantum, to tackle the country’s greatest challenges to national security and economic competitiveness.

“The next frontier of quantum computing technology is being developed right here in Upstate New York. I am proud to deliver this $25 million in federal funding for this expanded partnership between GlobalFoundries and PsiQuantum to bolster the cutting edge research being done out of the Rome Lab, create new jobs, and secure America’s future as the leader of cutting edge technology,” said Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), who helped secure the funding. “Now more than ever federal funding is needed to ensure that the U.S. stays ahead of our international competitors – including China – in the race to develop the next generation of high tech and this will supercharge our researchers to continue to make groundbreaking discoveries in quantum computing.”

“This funding is a significant step toward the further advancement of our technology-leading silicon photonics platform, a foundational technology that’s required to deliver quantum computing that enables a higher level of cryptography and encryption that are so critical to our national security,” said GlobalFoundries CEO Tom Caulfield. “For years to come, this partnership will create hundreds of engineering and manufacturing jobs in our most advanced manufacturing facility in upstate New York. And as the only U.S.-headquartered semiconductor foundry, this announcement shows GF’s continued commitment to invest in U.S. manufacturing and technology.”

Earlier this year Schumer announced over $293 million in federal funding for the Rome Lab as a part of the FY22 omnibus legislation.  Rome Lab is also a source of growth for the regional economy and a major source of employment. According to the U.S. Air Force’s 2020 economic impact analysis, Rome Lab employed over 1,200 workers with an annual payroll of $150 million and generated over $500 million in regional economic activity. Because of Rome Lab’s strong commitment to excellence in developing and enhancing this nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure, as well as its commitment to employing local residents with good-paying jobs, Schumer has long fought to ensure Rome Lab has what it needs to succeed and maintain its strong workforce. Since 2018, the senator has directly secured over $80M for Rome Lab’s for quantum computing efforts and over $20 million for UAS research and development.