Pasqal raises $100M to build a neutral atom-based quantum computer • TechCrunch

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Pasqal, a Paris-based quantum computing startup, as we speak introduced that it has raised a $100 million Collection B funding spherical let by Singapore’s Temasek. Along with Temasek, present traders Quantonation, the Protection Innovation Fund, Daphni and Eni Subsequent, in addition to new traders European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, Wa’ed Ventures and Bpifrance (by means 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 subject of quantum computing startups is that the corporate is betting on impartial atoms quantum computing. This can be 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 basically 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 drawback now. The benefit right here is that when you are able to do this with a whole bunch of atoms on the similar 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 just about makes these machines extra akin to Area-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) than extra conventional quantum processors. You’ll find a Pasqal’s paper about this course of with extra particulars here and it’s additionally value noting that Alain Facet, who received a Nobel Prize for his work on quantum entanglement in 2022, is considered one of Pasqal’s co-founders.

Picture Credit: Pasqal

As Pasqal co-founder and CEO Georges-Olivier Reymond advised me, the corporate has already demonstrated that it may well 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 nearly simply scale that and you may 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, may give this know-how a bonus.

Reymond famous that with a few of these fundamental capabilities now in place, the crew is engaged on constructing the quantum management system so it may well 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 sort of optimistic about its system and Reymond believes that the crew will be capable to present its potential clients “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 received’t see the business development towards a single know-how for fixing each algorithm. As a substitute, totally different quantum applied sciences will discover their candy spots for fixing totally different issues. For Pasqal, the crew believes that its system will work particularly properly for graph-centric issues. “There are quite a lot of computational challenges that you may reframe within the form of a graph,” he defined. “What we will do with atoms, is we will symbolize the form of this graph and embed the complexity of the algorithm on this geometry. Ultimately, as an alternative of utilizing hundreds of quantum gates, simply by implementing a few them, you may run your algorithm after which you might be 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 clear up their enterprise wants.

“We’re very pleased with this new milestone in PASQAL’s growth that may make the corporate a world chief,” stated Christophe Jurczak, managing associate 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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