Q-CTRL partners with Swiss quantum research institute


Brandon How
Reporter

Quantum computing firm Q-CTRL has formed a partnership with a Swiss research institute to upscale quantum computing and pursue joint funding opportunities.

The Sydney-based company on Wednesday announced a partnership with The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), which is primarily funded by the Swiss government. Q-CTRL will provide an automated error-suppressing software which helps to alleviate some of the instability in quantum computing hardware.

Michael Biercuk
Q-CTRL chief executive Michael Biercuk

This tool will allow system characterisation, AI-based automation and hardware optimisation, which are needed to develop large-scale quantum computing.

Q-CTRL chief executive and founder Professor Michael Biercuk said PSI’s focus on scaling its quantum hardware technology would complement his firm’s software innovations.

“Q-CTRL’s focus on solving the automation and performance challenges in large-scale quantum computing align perfectly with the PSI Quantum Computing Hub’s mission. We’re honored to partner with the exceptional engineers and researchers at PSI to combine their system engineering prowess with infrastructure software to truly move the research field forward,” said Professor Biercuk.

Q-CTRL and PSI will share their experience working with trapped ion-based quantum computing, which includes “specialised approaches in error correction leveraging the unique properties of trapped ion,” according to a Q-CTRL spokesperson.

The group head of ion trap quantum computing at PSI Dr Cornelius Hempel also remarked on the synergy in the partnership with Q-CTRL.

“Q-CTRL’s hardware agnostic, yet hardware-aware tools will be very valuable in finding optimal control solutions that ensure uniform performance across larger qubit arrays,” Dr Hempel said.

“As we go to larger and larger machines and continuous operation of testbeds, efficient and automated tune-up and calibration procedures become an essential aspect of day-to-day operations, it’s just not possible to continue using brute-force approaches at scale. Our team is very excited to leverage the tools the Q-CTRL team has developed in this space.”

In January 2022, Q-CTRL received $230,000 from the US government through its Small Business Innovation Research scheme. The funding was put to developing automation software for quantum computing, which will be built on through the PSI partnership.

Q-CTRL has also been an inaugural member of IBM’s quantum network since 2018. This gave the Australian firm access to IBM’s quantum hardware and an international network of businesses, academic institutions, startups, and national research labs.

The PSI enters this partnership having established a Quantum Computing Hub in May 2021 in collaboration with ETH Zurich. Work at the hub aims encompasses both ion and superconductor-based quantum computing. Overall, the aim is to increase the qubit scale of quantum computers and make use of software synergies.

The research institute is the largest for natural and engineering sciences in Switzerland, employing around 2100 people.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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