Record-breaking UQ Connect technology
Can we build a million qubit quantum computer?
Yes, we can and we will. For us, it’s not about fundamental breakthroughs.
We will achieve the seemingly impossible through our six technology pillars:
With a single wafer holding just a few thousand qubits at most, modularity is critical to scale to millions of qubits. One proposed method uses photonic interconnects, with optical fibres connecting different quantum computing modules. The connection speeds of this extremely complicated technology after years of intense research are low and no simple engineering solution is yet available. This, therefore, provides a potentially unsurmountable bottleneck when scaling up.
We take a completely different approach to modularity, using electric field links between adjacent quantum computing modules. As well as using much simpler engineering, our UQ Connect links between modules are orders of magnitude better than alternative techniques.
UQ Connect has achieved a world record connection rate (2424/s) and connection fidelity (>99.999993%) between two trapped ion quantum computer modules.
With a single wafer holding just a few thousand qubits at most, modularity is critical to scale quantum computers to the million-qubit range.
Our modules feature a fully connected trapped ion qubit system and integrated qubit control technology. This capitalizes on the wealth of expertise that has come out of the development of the silicon microchips used in conventional computers. So, our modules can be manufactured using established silicon fabrication techniques.
The result is fully integrated self-contained electronic quantum computing modules.
Trapped ion quantum computers generally use pairs of laser beams aligned to the position of individual ions to execute quantum gates. This requires alignment accuracy to a fraction of the width of a human hair. But imagine trying to align millions of laser beams with such incredible accuracy, while stabilising each one’s power, position and phase – where the slightest deviation stops the quantum computer from working.
We use a much simpler electronic gate technology where a combination of voltages is applied to our microchip.
The best part of this gate scheme is that it doesn’t matter if we have ten or ten million qubits, the number of microwave sources is fixed allowing for dramatically simplified scaling.
Many other quantum computing platforms require cooling close to milli-Kelvin temperatures (i.e. absolute zero or -273C). But with such limited cooling power available at that temperature, scaling to millions of qubits is incredibly hard to achieve.
We take a different approach. Our technology only requires cooling to 70K, providing ample cooling power which scales to millions of qubits.
We use individual charged atoms – ions – as our qubits.
Because the qubits are naturally identical, well isolated from the environment and easily controllable, ‘trapped ion’ quantum computing is the most mature quantum computing technology.
Each ion levitates above the surface of a silicon microchip. Using our design, ions can effectively move around the quantum computer and ‘talk’ to one another. Such all-to-all connectivity is important to unlock the true potential of quantum computing at the million-qubit scale.
This high connectivity may allow more efficient quantum error correction methods to be used. Practically this means fewer qubits can provide the same computational power.
Currently, trapped ion quantum computing also holds world records in almost all the important specifications, such as errors for single / two-qubit quantum gates, connectivity and decoherence time.
There are many theories about how to build a million-qubit quantum computer, but none of them has a ‘nuts and bolts’ delivery plan – except ours. In 2017 we drafted the first practical blueprint to build a quantum computer with millions of qubits, supported by realistic engineering considerations. It underwent years of scrutiny before publication, and its authors include some of the leading experts from around the world. You can read more about it here.
At Universal Quantum, we don’t just deliver the physics – we also develop truly innovative engineering solutions. Humanity needs a quantum computer with millions of qubits and we’re bringing together a world-leading, truly interdisciplinary team to build exactly that.
Of course you do. True scalability to millions of qubits is achievable by connecting our unique quantum computing modules.
That’s the principle behind UQ Connect, our superior quantum matter link technology based on transporting ion qubits between modules.
UQ Connect has achieved a world record connection rate (2424/s) and connection fidelity (>99.999993%) between two trapped ion quantum computer modules. With far superior specifications, UQ Connect is the way to scale to millions of qubits.
We’re building quantum computers to tackle real-world problems that would take today’s fastest supercomputers billions of years to solve.
That’s our ambition. From medicine to finance and much more, our work will transform the world.
To help us achieve our bold ambitions, we’re guided by these values:
Be passionate about the big stuff.
To change the world for the better, we have to think big. We won’t allow anything to distract us from our goals. We’re not afraid of opening cans of worms. We love worm cans.
We tackle the biggest challenges to enable diverse industries to solve problems until now considered unsolvable.
Challenge and be challenged, correct and be corrected.
We apply rigour to everything we do, details matter, so does fit and finish. We challenge ourselves and each other every day — “could we do this better?”. Making mistakes is an important part of innovating.
A fault-tolerant team requires trust, diversity of ideas, respectful curiosity and a lot of active listening. We share our strengths and weaknesses. We actively avoid group think as we search for errors as a team in a safe space where everyone can communicate honestly and without judgement.
Your wellbeing is entangled with my wellbeing.
We share our successes and failures, challenges and concerns, fears and ambitions to support and elevate one another.
We always make time for each other, work empathetically and help every individual to be successful. Trust, respect and care are integral to our culture. As a team, we are entangled.
Be the leader of your domain.
We help each other thrive personally and professionally, giving everyone the autonomy to meet their own ambitions. Every individual is empowered to lead their area and drive their own development.
We encourage each other to find the right balance (or superposition) between work and home, so that we can all flourish.
These are our major investors:
Things are moving fast. Read our latest news to find out what’s going on:
Explore these resources to find out about quantum computing, understand the science behind our work, and discover what we do at Universal Quantum:
CEO Dr Sebastian Weidt introduces quantum computing and what is required to unlock its many applicationsWatch talk
Talk by chief scientist Prof Winfried Hensinger at the US Department of Energy, giving an introduction to quantum computingWatch talk
Talk by chief scientist Prof Winfried Hensinger at Skills Matter, LondonWatch talk
Talk by CEO Dr Sebastian Weidt at the 2bahead Future congress, Wolfsburg, Germany, 6 June 2019Watch talk
Chief scientist Prof Winfried Hensinger writes for the IndependentRead article
Chief scientist Professor Hensinger tells the BBC’s The Inquiry why corporations are spending billions to turn quantum computers into workable technology.Listen to programme
Documentary about quantum computing and our work on CGTN EuropeWatch documentary
A selection of relevant journal articles from the Sussex Ion Quantum Technology GroupView articles
We work on one of the most incredible challenges, but it is endlessly fascinating, and we’re constantly on the lookout for exceptional candidates in a wide range of areas.
If you think you have what it takes to be part of our world-class team, please get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via the contact form or use the contact details below for specific enquiries.
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