Companies join forces to develop leading trapped ion quantum processors

12-07-2022 | Infineon | Quantum

Infineon Technologies AG and Oxford Ionics are collaborating to build high-performance and fully integrated quantum processing units (QPUs). The combination of Oxford Ionics’ unique electronic qubit control (EQC) technology with Infineon’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities, and expertise in quantum technology, lays the foundations for the industrial production of QPUs providing hundreds of qubits within the next five years. The goal is to move quantum computing technology out of the research lab into real industrial solutions.

Quantum computing opens the next frontier in computing power for many industries looking for radical improvement in their processes and capabilities. Getting there demands developing qubit technologies that can be constructed at a massive scale while controlling a growing amount of qubits and maintaining quantum error levels at and under the current state-of-the-art. The EQC technology provides a path to integrating trapped ion qubits – the leading qubit technology by quantum error levels – into Infineon’s mature semiconductor processes.

“The great challenge in quantum computing is scaling whilst improving performance”, said Chris Ballance, co-founder of Oxford Ionics. “There are technologies that can be fabricated at scale but don't perform, and there are technologies that perform but don't scale. Our electronic control is uniquely placed to do both. Working with Infineon and its mature and flexible semiconductor process, allows us to speed up the accessibility of a commercial QPU. Due to our market-leading error rates, these processors need dramatically fewer qubits to solve useful problems than other technologies.”

The first devices will be cloud accessible by the end of 2022, providing commercial players access to these cutting-edge Quantum Computers. Fully integrated devices with high enough performance to scale to hundreds of qubits are expended to be available in under two years. The ultimate goal of the companies is to provide, within five years, individual, fully integrated QPUs supplying hundreds of qubits networked together into a quantum supercomputing cluster using Oxford Ionics’s quantum networking technology.

“The role of Infineon is to take the ground-breaking work of Oxford Ionics to scale properly towards meaningful qubit counts and low error rates. Infineon’s ion traps can enable that in conjunction with our predictable, repeatable, and reliable manufacturing and assembly capabilities,” said Stephan Schaecher, director of New Application, Innovation, and Quantum Computing at Infineon Technologies Industrial Division.

By Natasha Shek