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Swiss technology enables cloud-based photonic quantum computer

Date Announced: 09 Mar 2021

Ecublens, Switzerland -- Quantum computers promise to solve problems that are impossible to compute by today’s supercomputers. The race for the best quantum computing technology is underway, many technologies are complex and require cryogenic cooling. Photonics approaches have so far been considered impractical because of difficulties in generating the required quantum states, or the transformations of such states, on demand.

Canada-based Xanadu now reported in the Nature magazine a programmable, cloud accessible and scalable photonic circuit able to operate different types of quantum algorithms. Future applications are for example in the development of new drugs.

A photonic circuit is similar to an electrical IC, but uses photons instead of electrons. These photons are guided by optical waveguides, tiny structures carefully etched on the chip. The special feature of this photonic chip is its extremely low propagation loss and special material properties, finally enabling the desired quantum states.

The photonic quantum chip was manufactured by Switzerland-based Ligentec SA with its unique and scalable Silicon Nitride Photonics technology.

“We are extremely excited to see this groundbreaking milestone in photonic quantum computing to be achieved by our customer” states Michael Geiselmann, co-founder of Ligentec. “We are also proud to have contributed to this achievement. This is the result of years of hard work and will be only the beginning of a great future for photonic integrated circuits.”

Ligentec’s unique photonic chip technology has unique advantages not only in quantum computing but also in LiDAR for autonomous driving, pocked sized atomic clocks and highly secure space communication.

Link to Nature paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03202-1

Link to Nature news and views: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00488-z

Link to Xanadu: https://xanadu.ai/

About Ligentec SA

Ligentec SA, a spin-off from the EPFL Lausanne, offers application specific Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) to customers in disruptive high-tech areas such as Quantum Computing and Communication, LiDAR, New Space, Biosensors and more.

Ligentec’s proprietary and fully CMOS compatible semiconductor fabrication technology provides PICs at lower cost and better performance than today’s state of the art. It combines essentially the benefits of known low loss material such as glass with the benefits of Silicon Photonics and addresses with its low loss, low cost and short production cycle the main challenges of Integrated Photonics today.


Ligentec SA
EPFL Innovation Park
Bâtiment L 
Chemin de la Dent d’Oche 1B
1024 Ecublens VD

E-mail: info@ligentec.com

Web Site: www.ligentec.com

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