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Twente leads ‘QU-PIC’ project to drive growth of quantum computing

13 Feb 2024

Aim is to establish European sovereignty with a toolbox of PIC quantum building blocks.

The University of Twente, in the Netherlands, is coordinating a new project intended to accelerate the development of quantum computing systems.

The project, entitled QU-PIC, aims to establish “European sovereignty” in the emerging quantum field with a toolbox of photonic integrated circuit (PIC) quantum building blocks.

Photonics is one of the main enabling technologies for quantum computing systems, but – based on bulk optics, as they usually are – they are not yet scalable.

Typically, huge tables filled with lasers are needed to manipulate and read out ions. Therefore QU-PIC is aiming to make quantum computing systems smaller, more stable and scalable.

QU-PIC researchers and associated companies state that they “see a need for a universal photonic integrated platform that can operate with light coloured from UV to mid-infrared, therefore covering a broader range of light than is currently possible.”

Project lead Sonia Garcia Blanco commented, “The integrated photonics platforms studied so far do not cover the UV, leading to complicated integration schemes where several passive PIC platforms need to be combined.”

Quantum building blocks

QU-PIC’s overarching goal is to create a toolkit of PIC quantum building blocks that facilitates the swift progression from conceptualisation to a fully packaged quantum computing system. By developing essential technologies within the European supply chain, QU-PIC seeks to contribute significantly to establishing European Sovereignty in the emerging quantum field.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Blanco, full professor at Twente’s Integrated Optical Systems group (IOS; Faculty of Science and Technology). Other principal investigators of UT working on this project include: Prof. Klaus Boller, Dr. Jelmer Renema and Prof. epijn Pinkse, Prof. Bram Nauta and Dr. Anne-Johan Annema.

QU-PIC is a project that spans an international consortium of 11 research institutes and companies. The participating organisations are the University of Twente, Ghent University, Quix Quantum, Tematys, Toptica Photonics, Aluvia Photonics, WWU Münster, Technische Universität Berlin, Chalmers University of Technology, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), and Eagleyard Photonics.

The total budget comprises around €6 million ($6.4 million). QU-PIC officially kicks off on the 15th of February, 2024.

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