PsiQuantum, a US-based quantum company and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, New York, have formally signed a $22.5 million contract to establish their quantum computing partnership formally. Together, they will design sophisticated quantum photonic devices, which are used to control and process qubits based on single photons – light particles.
This contract promotes the photonic approach to quantum computing, a strategy based on accelerating the route to scale by exploiting current, established semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. The quantum photonic devices will be fabricated at the GlobalFoundries semiconductor fab in Malta, New York.
PsiQuantum is developing an error-corrected, utility-scale quantum computer to enable advances in climate, healthcare, banking, energy, agriculture, transportation, communications, and other fields.
This collaboration was made possible by the $25 million in government funds announced in April by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget bill for AFRL, PsiQuantum, and GlobalFoundries. PsiQuantum and strategic partner GlobalFoundries announced a quantum computing manufacturing breakthrough in May 2021: the first manufacturable single photon detector in a silicon chip.
The detector is the component to determine if the qubit is in a “zero” or “one” state. PsiQuantum can mass-produce these detectors using GlobalFoundries’ sophisticated semiconductor foundry, which is a big step toward the large-scale quantum systems required for meaningful applications.