Universal Quantum awarded $66M contract by German Aerospace Center

British startup, Universal Quantum, has reportedly been awarded a €67 million ($66 million) quantum computing contract by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the biggest government contract in the sector to date.

As part of the two-pronged deal, funded by the Research and Economics Ministries, the quantum computing firm’s German subsidiary will work on building a single-chip and a multi-chip scalable quantum computer for DLR.

Under the first part of the deal, the startup will work on developing a single-chip quantum computer, which can be accessed via a private cloud platform set up at the DLR facilities, while under the second, it will develop a 100-qubit scalable computer.

This will involve technology built by Universal Quantum, called UQ Connect, with which quantum processors are stitched together in a modular manner, facilitating the rapid increase of qubit numbers.

Sebastian Weidt, CEO of Universal Quantum, stated that the company has four years to reach 100 qubits, and that the development of the multi-chip machine will begin at the same time as the single-chip computer.

Weidt added that machines with millions of qubits are needed for quantum computing to improve and change society, reaching the point with almost negligible error rates and the ability to solve the most complex problems of today as well as those not considered yet.

One of the deliverables in the contract with DLR is to deliver a device that can carry out error correction.

With error corrections, researchers can gradually enhance quantum computing while adding more qubits and making adjustments as per the effectiveness.

It should be noted that while IBM’s quantum computers need cooling up to -248° C or lower, Universal Quantum’s machines only need moderate cooling up to -203° C.

The investment makes Germany the second European nation to invest in the startup, after the UK, where it is working on a government-backed project with luxury carmaker Rolls Royce.

The working prototype will be developed and built in Germany which DLR researchers and partners can use for developing real-world applications, as well as trying new software development concepts and building new in-house capabilities.

Source credit: https://techmonitor.ai/technology/emerging-technology/quantum-computing-germany-universal-quantum