The DLR is the research center of the Federal Republic of Germany for aerospace. With funding from Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), DLR has created its Quantum Computing Initiative to help develop hardware, software, applications in the Quantum space. 

One of the Largest Spending on Quantum

This week DLR has awarded €208.5 million (one of the largest to date) to a consortium of partners for further development in the Quantum Computing space as part of its Initiative.

Here are some of the highlights of the contract and deliverables –

  • “DLR is awarding contracts with the aim of creating qubits based on ion traps. This technology is considered highly promising and brings us one step closer to a programmable, fault-tolerant quantum computer,” says Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, Chair of the DLR Executive Board.
  • By 2026, “quantum computers based on ion trap technology with at least 50 qubits” will be available as part of this contract. At the same time, modular systems will be built that can be expanded to thousands of qubits, says Dr. Robert Axmann, Head of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative.
  • eleQtron, NXP Semiconductors Germany, Parity Quantum Computing Germany, QUDORA Technologies and Universal Quantum Germany are the participating organizations who have been awarded this contract.
  • Five sub-projects are within this awarded contract. Two of the projects involve building the prototype quantum computers with at least 50 fully functional qubits on a chip with error-correctability being a key objective.
  • Additional projects will focus on building modular, scalable quantum computers based on ion traps where each module essentially will be its own small 10 qubit quantum processor. In this scenario, several chips are networked to form a universal quantum computer architecture and can scale.  
  • Advantages of ion traps – “Systems with ion traps allow universal arithmetic operations. Quantum computers based on ion traps have several advantages: the qubits are comparatively stable and the gate qualities are high – an important prerequisite for the construction of high-quality quantum computers. With integration on microchips and innovative chip designs, scalability is now also tangible.” explains Dr. Karla Loida, project manager in the quantum computing initiative.

More About the 5 Contract Winners –

  • eleQtron is a spin-off from the University of Siegen. Founded in 2020 by Prof. Dr. Christopher Wunderlich, Dr. Michael Johanning and Jan Leisse, the company focuses on the development and operation of quantum computers based on stored ions.
  • NXP is a 60 year-old semiconductor company with over 31,000 employees and a posted revenue of $11.06 billion in 2021. Their Hamburg, Germany centre will be a key focal location for the DLR project.
  • ParityQC is a spin-off from University of Innsbruck, Austria. Founded in 2020 by Magdalena Hauser and Wolfgang Lechner, ParityQC is an architecture company that works with hardware partners to jointly build quantum computers for applications ranging from general-purpose, error-corrected quantum computing to solving optimization problems on NISQ devices. ParityQC will develop architecture, algorithms and operating system for DLR.
  • QUDORA is a tech spin-off from Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and Leibniz Universität Hannover in Lower Saxony, Germany. Besides developing their own quantum processors based on ion trap technology, Qudora also offers foundry services in microfabrication to external customers. Qudora is founded by Dr. Amado Bautista, Dr. Henning Hahn, Prof. Dr. Christian Ospelkaus, Prof. Dr. Piet O. Schmidt and Prof. Dr. Andreas Waag.
  • Universal Quantum has developed a modular architecture for quantum computers. The ion trap based electronic quantum computer modules are manufactured with available silicon technology. The individual modules are then connected using technology developed by Universal Quantum into an architecture that can be scaled. Founded in 2018 by Sebastian Weidt and Winfried Hensinger.

November 2022