Australia and France plot quantum computing venture

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Australia and France plot quantum computing venture
Credit: UNSW

Silicon-CMOS tech tie-up.

Australian and French researchers are set to combine efforts around commercialising silicon-based quantum computing technology under a new joint venture.

The venture brings together SQC, which is commercialising quantum technology developed out of UNSW, with France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, known as the CEA.

SQC is owned by the Australian government, CBA, Telstra, UNSW and the NSW state government.

The announcement was timed to coincide with French president Emmanuel Macron’s Australian visit.

SQC said in a statement that “the joint venture contemplated … would bring SQC’s silicon-CMOS work together with the CEA’s silicon-CMOS expertise”.

CMOS - complementary metal oxide semiconductor - is already used in most microprocessors and integrated circuits.

SQC said it was hoped that the proposed joint venture could become “a leading player in the global competition to manufacture and industrialise quantum computing hardware”.

It appeared that CEA would act as a “design, development and fabrication partner” to SQC.

CEA Investissement chairman Christophe Gégout said the alliance between the two sets of researchers “could be the cornerstone for the continuing growth and development of a prominent scientific and industrial quantum computing dynamic in both countries”.

SQC is pursuing parallel approaches using single atom qubits and qubits fabricated using silicon-CMOS technology.

It has a total of “three approaches for creating silicon-based quantum devices” currently on the table.

Qubit or quantum bits are the basic unit of information in a quantum computer.

SQC has set itself a goal to develop a 10-qubit quantum integrated circuit prototype in silicon by 2022.

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