Quantum computing is an active area of research in science and engineering. The technology holds much promise for advancement in life sciences, communications, and education, which explains why quantum startups are springing up, especially in Europe.
Globally, the USA and China are at the forefront of research and development and manufacture of quantum technology. But Europe is eyed as the next Silicon Valley, and Central Europe has quietly become a major player in the global tech scene.
We will look at five companies from central Europe making waves with their work on quantum technology.
HQS Quantum Simulation
HQS Quantum Simulation is a German-based quantum tech company that provides software for chemical industry material scientists. It was founded by four physicists, Iris Schwenk, Sebastian Zanker, Jan Reiner, and Michael Marthaler, with an in-depth background in theoretical quantum computing and decoherence.
As forerunners in applying quantum mechanics to materials research, HQS’ Quantum Simulations integrate perfectly with existing processes, enabling a smooth transition to quantum computing and early access to the tremendous benefits it will eventually give.
What They Do
HQS Quantum Simulations uses quantum computers to predict the properties of materials. They provide personalized simulation solutions for classical computers that incorporate high-end simulation methodologies and the ability to use future quantum computers.
In 2017, the company developed a port between ProjectQ, an open-source tool to compile source code for quantum computers, and Cirq, Google’s open-source framework developed for building and experimenting with noisy intermediate scale quantum (NISQ) algorithms on near-term quantum processors.
The port called CirqProjectQ was used to convert a ProjectQ algorithm to a cirq.Circuit. In 2020, they released the Quantum Assisted Design (QAD) Toolkit, a cloud-based toolbox for simulating molecules and materials. Currently, the SCCE software package is available through the QAD Toolbox. Using a self-consistent cluster-bath method, SCCE makes it possible to simulate fermionic lattice models in 1D and 2D.
In 2021, they released roqoqo, a new engine for the qoqo library that allows developers to efficiently design, analyze, and serialize quantum circuits while providing a thin runtime for quantum measurements.
The qoqo toolkit was created to help in the serialization of quantum programs with measurement inputs and the high-performance handling of quantum circuits with symbolic variables, including parameter substitution. The library is already used in several applications and is now available via GitHub.
In 2020, ParityQC was founded by Magdalena Hauser and Wolfgang Lechner as a spin-off from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. The company has grown into one of the major companies in the quantum computing field in less than two and a half years. They design quantum computer designs based on the ParityQC architecture.
The ParityQC architecture is an extended version of the LHZ architecture (named after its creators, Lechner, Hauke, and Zoller) for both digital and analogue quantum computers.
This technology makes use of a ground-breaking quantum architecture that has resonance in both academia and business. The design has piqued the interest of hardware developers due to its scalability and interoperability with existing methodologies and platforms.
The architecture presents a paradigm change in encoding optimization issues, resulting in scalable quantum computers by drastically decreasing control complexity.
ParityQC’s operating system, ParityOS, gives cloud access to all of the architecture’s benefits. They recently won a €208.5 Million contract alongside four partners from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to build ion trap quantum computers in Germany.
KEEQuant was founded in 2020 with Emanuel Eichhammer as the Tech Lead. They operate from the GS28 building in central Fürth, Germany. The company develops continuous-variable quantum key distribution (CV-QKD) technology that employs provably safe techniques against the most sophisticated attacks.
Their long-term goal is to make CV-QKD a common component of tomorrow’s telecom transceivers – a real commodity with no additional hardware costs. CV-QKD can be implemented utilizing commonly used telecom sector components and methods. It eliminates the need for unusual components such as single photon detectors.
KEEQuant’s Quantum Key Distribution system, “Andariel,” allows users to produce cryptographic key pairs within an optical fibre network. It is based on conventional coherent communication technology that operates at the quantum limit (CV-QKD).
The management system “KMS”1 offers keys that can be spread over various network topologies and securely managed in terms of lifetime and interfaces. This way, they meet real user requirements.
ID Quantique is a global quantum company focusing on Quantum Sensing & Quantum Cryptography solutions. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, ID Quantique has offices and engineering labs worldwide (Geneva, Switzerland – Boston, USA – Seoul, South Korea). Its products are used by governments, enterprises, and industrial customers and by academic research labs in more than 60 countries and on every continent.
It was founded in 2001 by four scientists from the University of Geneva (including Grégoire Ribordy, now CEO) who anticipated the important forthcoming impact of quantum physics on information technology. Together, they researched the feasibility of quantum key distribution.
What started as a university spin-off soon became a promising startup in 2003 when they constructed the first QKD products for data centres and completed the first test implementation in 2003. IDQ began deploying quantum-safe crypto solutions in commercial and government industries globally in 2010.
IDQ secured funding from strategic investors in 2016, including South Korean telecoms company SK Telecom, with which it collaborated to construct the world’s smallest Quantum Random Number Generator based on IDQ technology and know-how.
ID Quantique secured US$ 65 million from SK Telecom in April 2018 to further develop IDQ’s quantum solutions for the telecom and IoT sectors. Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications company, also invested in the same year.
ID Quantique focuses on Quantum Sensing, Random number generation, and Quantum-safe security. In 2001, ID Quantique was the first business to create a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG). Their unrivalled QRNGs use quantum mechanics’ random features to provide a true source of entropy, enhancing the quality of seed content for key generation.
What distinguishes their QRNGs is that the quantum random numbers are generated locally. Any device can benefit from its optimal entropy to improve its security. IDQ’s QRNG technology has been used in various applications, from automobiles to smartphones.
ID Quantique’s QKD framework integrates current Software-Defined Network (SDN) QKD ETSI standards and an IDQ Quantum Management System (QMS) to enable management and monitoring of all major QKD deployment. It guarantees seamless integration into existing infrastructure.
The XG Series is ID Quantique’s fourth generation of QKD, based on 15 years of commercial implementation and client input. It is intended for complex topologies and large-scale deployments and integrates completely with IDQ’s QKD management and monitoring system.
ID Quantique provides Photonic Sensing Solutions. Their ID281 Series is a Superconducting nanowire single-photon detector (SNSPDs) that offers the best in time-correlated single-photon detection, with unrivalled efficiency, timing precision, and noise performance.
Infineon Technologies, founded in 1999, is a German semiconductor company. As a top semiconductor manufacturer, Infineon Technologies uses its experience to push quantum computing from basic research to commercial success.
Infineon Technologies is researching industrial production technologies and scalable designs to produce highly scaled quantum computers in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck, the Innsbruck startup AQT, and ETH Zurich.
By offering a predictable, robust, and dependable platform, Infineon ion traps let scientists and startups focus on their main activities. Infineon is actively advancing post-quantum cryptography by developing crypto-controllers that can survive attacks from future, high-performance quantum computers directed at the encryption methods now in use.