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Infineon and Oxford Ionics have announced a collaboration to develop a fully integrated quantum processing unit (QPU). The quantum computer is based on trapped-ion technology. The companies aim to offer hundreds of qubits within the next few years, in order to to transition the technology from research to industrial applications.

Building industrial applications requires qubits with low error levels that can be built at massive scale. To address these requirements, the companies tout that with the partnership they will be able to combine Oxford Ionics’ “unique” electronic qubit control (EQC) with Infineon’s expertise in engineering, manufacturing and quantum technology. The companies claim that the EQC technology offers a path to integrate trapped ion qubits into Infineon’s semiconductor processes.

Since trapped ions are the leading technology, as measured by low quantum error levels, and semiconductor processes solve the scaling problem, this could offer the best of both worlds, explained Chris Ballance, cofounder of Oxford Ionics. 

“The great challenge in quantum computing is scaling whilst improving performance. There are technologies that can be fabricated at scale but don’t perform, and there are technologies that perform but don’t scale. Our electronic control is uniquely placed to do both. Working with Infineon and its mature and flexible semiconductor process allows us to speed up the accessibility of a commercial QPU. Due to our market-leading low error rates, these processors need dramatically fewer qubits to solve useful problems than other technologies.”

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The first Oxford Ionics devices will be available in the cloud by the end of 2022. A fully integrated system with “hundreds” of qubits is planned within two years. Within five years, the companies aim to create a fully integrated QPU that can then be networked together into a quantum supercomputer using Oxford Ionics’s quantum networking technology.

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