Quantum leap

May 07, 2024

Instead of the binary logic we are used to in computing - zeros and ones - in quantum, we have qubits (short for quantum bits). A quantum network extends the entanglement that exists inside each individual quantum computing unit, and creates entanglement so that all the modules can work together to carry out a larger computation. This is what we are doing, building these quantum computing networks so that we can scale quantum computers. How do you think quantum computing is going to change our lives? Without this technology the world won’t be able to build quantum computers.

Can you explain - in simple terms - what Nu Quantum does? We believe quantum computing is going to be transformational, the defining technology of this century, much like classical computers were in the last one.

Instead of the binary logic we are used to in computing - zeros and ones - in quantum, we have qubits (short for quantum bits). These qubits can be entangled together creating multi-qubit superposition states. Essentially, in very simplified terms, this could mean that you are able to explore an exponentially large number of solutions to a problem at the same time.

The problem is that it’s really hard to build these computers. A qubit is embodied in an object such as a single atom: assembling and controlling them is difficult as quantum states are very fragile. Qubits need to be completely isolated from everything and their interactions controlled super-precisely which is why we need advanced infrastructure such as an array of fridges, lasers and ultra-high vacuum systems.

And because qubits are not perfect we need many of them - around a million - to make the kind of calculations we think will be life-changing.

At the moment, we are managing around 100 qubits in one machine. We think we can get to thousands per machine in the next five years. But that’s still orders of magnitude from where we need to be.

So we need to think about a modular approach, with many computers connected together. The analogy is with high-performance compute clusters which are also modular, with many, many computing cores all connected together.

A quantum network extends the entanglement that exists inside each individual quantum computing unit, and creates entanglement so that all the modules can work together to carry out a larger computation.

This is what we are doing, building these quantum computing networks so that we can scale quantum computers. Unsurprisingly, it’s very hard to do.

How do you think quantum computing is going to change our lives? In lots of ways but some of the most exciting applications are likely to be in designing new materials and optimising drugs in ways, and at speeds, which are out of reach today.

What are you most excited about? Everything. We are one of the only quantum networking companies in the world. Without this technology the world won’t be able to build quantum computers. We are designing how to inter-connect quantum computers, what the different parts of a modular architecture are, what they are called and how the protocols work. It’s a privilege to be in this moment in time, developing this technology.

The source of this news is from University of Cambridge

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