Playing with quantum technology: our quantum demonstrators
One of the dreams of QuTech is to make quantum technology accessible to a wider audience and future users, as soon as possible, for them to experiment with. To this end, we are developing quantum computer and quantum internet demonstrators. Giving potential users the ability to ‘play’ with the technology will help to educate users, test the interoperability of the components, develop new applications, products and services, and to generate the required market pull for commercialization. Current demonstrator projects include Quantum Inspire and Quantum Link.
Quantum Inspire will be Europe’s first quantum computing system that is accessible for public use. A world’s first is that Quantum Inspire will connect to two different kinds of quantum processors: spin qubits and superconducting transmon qubits, allowing users to compare both types of quantum processors. It will also integrate different programming languages, allowing users to compare how languages affect simulations.
Quantum Link (working title) will be the first step towards a world-wide quantum internet, based on quantum processors connected by optical fiber, and stretching between locations in the Netherlands. A future quantum internet will allow inherent secure communication between parties and ultimately connect multiple quantum computers, significantly increasing their computing power.
Long-term goals: To develop a full-stack quantum computer demonstrator for training and education as well as co-development and collaborative R&D of quantum technologies for quantum computing.
- In 2019, a pre-release of this prototype system is already offering cloud-based access to QuTech technologies such as a programmable quantum computer simulator (with up to 31 qubits), and tutorials and user background knowledge on quantum information science. At time of writing (Q1-2020), there are 589 basic users and 11 advanced users of this platform.
- Access to a programmable CMOS-compatible silicon spin qubit-based quantum processor will be provided in the next deployment phase. The first generation of Quantum Inspire’s quantum processors consists of a double quantum dot hosted in an in-house grown SiGe/28Si/SiGe heterostructure, and defined with a single layer of aluminum gates. Next to the Spin-2 quantum processor, a transmon qubit processor will be made available. The transmon qubit processor is a Starmon-5 chip with lateral wire-bonded interconnects. Release to general public of this multi-technology platform is planned for Q2 2020.
- For the coming years, it’s envisioned that this platform will be the showroom of quantum computing technology developed in the Netherlands and Europe by giving access to improved quantum processor technologies spin qubits (Spin 10) and transmon qubits (Surface-17, Surface-49, Surface-100), and to new quantum processor technologies, such as NV centers, SiGe, etc.
Long-term goals: To connect several cities in the Randstad with a quantum network that will showcase operational capabilities of quantum internet technology by 2023.
- We made significant progress towards this goal with the realization of two quantum processors (nodes) based on NV centers in diamond. Optical elements were integrated and the two diamond samples characterized, each in its own setup. The first of two quantum frequency converters was realized and integrated in the node.
- To enable a transparent control of all the hardware of the nodes at remote locations, we built a completely new software framework: The Quantum Measurement Infrastructure (QMI). The QMI software was successfully tested against the QNodeOS, paving the way for the realization of a complete quantum network stack.
- The KPN locations in Rijswijk and The Hague were prepared for installation of the QuTech equipment that will be used for establishing the first quantum link between Delft and The Hague.