Pasqal, a Paris-based quantum computing startup, at this time introduced that it has raised a $100 million Collection B funding spherical let by Singapore’s Temasek. Along with Temasek, current buyers Quantonation, the Protection Innovation Fund, Daphni and Eni Subsequent, in addition to new buyers European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, Wa’ed Ventures and Bpifrance (by way of 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 area of quantum computing startups is that the corporate is betting on impartial atoms quantum computing. It is 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 may think about, constructing the know-how to carry a single atom — and solely a single atom — on this lure created its personal challenges, however that’s largely a solved downside now. The benefit right here is that when you are able to do this with a whole lot of atoms on the identical 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. You’ll find a Pasqal’s paper about this course of with extra particulars right here and it’s additionally value noting that Alain Facet, who gained a Nobel Prize for his work on quantum entanglement in 2022, is one in all Pasqal’s co-founders.
Picture Credit: Pasqal
As Pasqal co-founder and CEO Georges-Olivier Reymond instructed me, the corporate has already demonstrated that it could actually management greater than 300 atoms at a time. “It’s very arduous to have just one atom in a laser beam and to observe it and to manage 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 much like ion-based qubits by way of 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 know-how a bonus.
Reymond famous that with a few of these primary capabilities now in place, the crew 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 crew is kind of optimistic about its system and Reymond believes that the crew will be capable to present its potential prospects “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 gained’t see the business pattern towards a single know-how for fixing each algorithm. As a substitute, completely different quantum applied sciences will discover their candy spots for fixing completely different issues. For Pasqal, the crew believes that its system will work particularly properly for graph-centric issues. “There are loads of computational challenges which you could reframe within the form of a graph,” he defined. “What we are able to do with atoms, is we are able to signify the form of this graph and embed the complexity of the algorithm on this geometry. In the long run, as an alternative 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 know-how 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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