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

Pasqal, a Paris-based quantum computing startup, at the moment introduced that it has raised a $100 million Collection B funding spherical let by Singapore’s Temasek. Along with Temasek, current 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 (by its Giant Enterprise Fund) additionally participated on this spherical.

What makes Pasqal, which was based in early 2019, stand out in an more and more crowded subject of quantum computing startups is that the corporate is betting on impartial atoms quantum computing. This can be a comparatively new and probably game-changing strategy 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 may think about, constructing the expertise to carry a single atom — and solely a single atom — on this entice created its personal challenges, however that is principally a solved drawback now. The benefit right here is that after you are able to do this with lots of of atoms on the similar time, you may create each a really dense matrix of qubits and one which, utilizing holographic strategies, you may reshuffle in 3D house as wanted for a given algorithm. And all of this occurs at room temperature. That nearly makes these machines extra akin to Discipline-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) than extra conventional quantum processors. Yow will discover a Pasqal’s paper about this course of with extra particulars here and it is also price 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 advised me, the corporate has already demonstrated that it could actually management greater than 300 atoms at a time. “It’s extremely onerous 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 may virtually simply scale that and you’ll create arrays in any form you need.” He famous that the qubits are just like ion-based qubits when it comes to their coherence time and constancy, but this flexibility and talent to pack these atoms in a really dense array, with solely a few microns between the qubits, might give this expertise a bonus.

Reymond famous that with a few of these fundamental capabilities now in place, the group is engaged on constructing the quantum management system so it could actually begin implementing quantum algorithms. And whereas there are startups that target 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 group is kind of optimistic about its system and Reymond believes that the group will be capable to 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 imagine that we can’t see the trade 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 group believes that its system will work particularly properly for graph-centric issues. “There are plenty of computational challenges that you could reframe within the form of a graph,” he defined. “What we are able to do with atoms, is we are able to characterize the form of this graph and embed the complexity of the algorithm on this geometry. In the long run, as a substitute of utilizing 1000’s of quantum gates, simply by implementing a few them, you may run your algorithm after which you’re resilient to errors.”

The corporate is at present 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 remedy their enterprise wants.

“We’re very pleased with this new milestone in PASQAL’s growth that can make the corporate a world chief,” mentioned Christophe Jurczak, managing associate 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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