Pasqal raises $100M to construct a impartial atom-based quantum laptop • TechCrunch


Pasqal, a Paris-based quantum computing startup, right now introduced that it has raised a $100 million Sequence 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 its Massive Enterprise Fund) additionally participated on this spherical.

What makes Pasqal, which was based in early 2019, stand out in an more and more crowded area 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 actually an optical tweezer.

As you possibly can 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 after you are able to do this with lots of of atoms on the identical time, you possibly can create each a really dense matrix of qubits and one which, utilizing holographic strategies, you possibly can 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 Subject-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) than extra conventional quantum processors. You’ll find a Pasqal’s paper about this course of with extra particulars right here and it’s additionally value noting that Alain Facet, who gained a Nobel Prize for his work on quantum entanglement in 2022, is one in all Pasqal’s co-founders.

Picture Credit: Pasqal

As Pasqal co-founder and CEO Georges-Olivier Reymond instructed me, the corporate has already demonstrated that it could management greater than 300 atoms at a time. “It’s very onerous to have just one atom in a laser beam and to watch it and to regulate it,” he defined. “However when you obtain that, you possibly can virtually simply scale that and you may create arrays in any form you need.” He famous that the qubits are just like ion-based qubits when it comes to their coherence time and constancy, but this flexibility and skill to pack these atoms in a really dense array, with solely a few microns between the qubits, might give this know-how a bonus.

Reymond famous that with a few of these primary capabilities now in place, the crew is engaged on constructing the quantum management system so it could 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 it will take a system with 200 to 300 qubits.

At this level, most researchers consider that we gained’t see the trade pattern 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 a whole lot of computational challenges which you could reframe within the form of a graph,” he defined. “What we are able to do with atoms, is we are able to characterize the form of this graph and embed the complexity of the algorithm on this geometry. Ultimately, as an alternative of utilizing 1000’s of quantum gates, simply by implementing a few them, you possibly can run your algorithm after which you’re 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 resolve their enterprise wants.

“We’re very happy with this new milestone in PASQAL’s improvement that can make the corporate a world chief,” mentioned 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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