Pasqal raises $100M to construct a impartial atom-based quantum pc

Pasqal, a Paris-based quantum computing startup, immediately introduced that it has raised a $100 million Sequence B funding spherical let by Singapore’s Temasek. Along with Temasek, present traders Quantonation, the Protection Innovation Fund, Daphni and Eni Subsequent, in addition to new traders European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, Wa’ed Ventures and Bpifrance (via its Massive Enterprise Fund) additionally participated on this spherical.

What makes Pasqal, which was based in early 2019, stand out in an more and more crowded area of quantum computing startups is that the corporate is betting on impartial atoms quantum computing. This can be a comparatively new and doubtlessly game-changing method to constructing quantum processors. As a substitute of trapped ions (like IonQ) or superconducting quantum computer systems (like IBM), impartial atom quantum processors use lasers to carry atoms in place with what is actually an optical tweezer.

As you’ll be able to think about, constructing the expertise to carry a single atom — and solely a single atom — on this lure created its personal challenges, however that is principally a solved downside now. The benefit right here is that after you are able to do this with tons of of atoms on the identical time, you’ll be able to create each a really dense matrix of qubits and one which, utilizing holographic strategies, you’ll be able to reshuffle in 3D area as wanted for a given algorithm. And all of this occurs at room temperature. That nearly makes these machines extra akin to Subject-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) than extra conventional quantum processors. You’ll find a Pasqal’s paper about this course of with extra particulars here and it is also value noting that Alain Facet, who received a Nobel Prize for his work on quantum entanglement in 2022, is certainly one of Pasqal’s co-founders.

Picture Credit: Pasqal

As Pasqal co-founder and CEO Georges-Olivier Reymond informed me, the corporate has already demonstrated that it could actually management greater than 300 atoms at a time. “It is very laborious to have just one atom in a laser beam and to observe it and to regulate it,” he defined. “However when you obtain that, you’ll be able to virtually simply scale that and you may create arrays in any form you need.” He famous that the qubits are much like ion-based qubits by way of their coherence time and constancy, but this flexibility and skill to pack these atoms in a really dense array, with solely a few microns between the qubits, may give this expertise a bonus.

Reymond famous that with a few of these fundamental capabilities now in place, the staff is engaged on constructing the quantum management system so it could actually begin implementing quantum algorithms. And whereas there are startups that concentrate on constructing quantum management {hardware}, none of them are optimized for impartial atoms, he famous, so the corporate determined to construct its personal system.

Clearly, the Pasqal staff is kind of optimistic about its system and Reymond believes that the staff will be capable of present its potential clients “quantum enterprise benefit” in 2024. He believes that this may take a system with 200 to 300 qubits.

At this level, most researchers consider that we cannot see the business pattern towards a single expertise for fixing each algorithm. As a substitute, totally different quantum applied sciences will discover their candy spots for fixing totally different issues. For Pasqal, the staff believes that its system will work particularly properly for graph-centric issues. “There are lots of computational challenges you can reframe within the form of a graph,” he defined. “What we are able to do with atoms, is we are able to symbolize the form of this graph and embed the complexity of the algorithm on this geometry. Ultimately, as an alternative of utilizing hundreds of quantum gates, simply by implementing a few them, you’ll be able to run your algorithm after which you’re resilient to errors.”

The corporate is at the moment working with the likes of Crédit Agricole CIB, BASF, BMW, Siemens, Airbus, Johnson & Johnson and Thales to assist them perceive the place its expertise can resolve their enterprise wants.

“We’re very happy with this new milestone in PASQAL’s improvement that may make the corporate a world chief,” mentioned Christophe Jurczak, managing accomplice at Quantonation. “Quantonation has supported the corporate since its spin-off from Institut d’Optique. It’s the first scale-up inside Quantonation’s portfolio, and it actually illustrates the excellence of French analysis and the competitiveness of the French quantum ecosystem.”

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