Delft-based quantum tech startup QphoX raises €2 million, uses Quantum Modem to turn theory into reality

dan@tech.eu

Delft, Netherlands-based quantum tech company QphoX has raised €2 million in a round led by Quantonation, Speedinvest and High-Tech Gründerfonds, with TU Delft also participating. The company’s breakthrough device, the quantum modem, will allow quantum computers to talk to one another, a first step in unlocking the “quantum internet”.

QphoX has earmarked the funding for further enhancements to the product and begin the commercialisation of the quantum modem.

“Over the next couple of years, there will be rapid progress in quantum computers. Quantum Modem enables the development of quantum computers that demonstrate quantum advantage by combining separate quantum processors,” comments Speedinvest’s Rick Hao.

Widely hailed as the next leap forward in computing, quantum computing allows for insanely complex problems to be solved in an insanely fast manner. Much faster than your “standard” computer today. The impact that this blazingly fast type of computing will have on cybersecurity, AI, and big-data based research, for example, is mind-boggling.

The magic here lies in the qubit. What’s a qubit you ask? Well, it is and it isn’t. But the minute you measure it, it is. But it isn’t. Got that? Great. quantum mechanics explained in a matter of seconds.

Let me explain in another way. Digital communications as we know them today rely on one of two states; on or off, 0 or 1, etc. Combining these switches in a certain order then gives us an output.

Qubits, which rely on the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics can be on and off, 0 or 1, at the same time, in a state known as superposition. However, the minute a qubit is observed, i.e. measured, it collapses into one or the other state.

Upon further explanation, Yale University lab associate Peter Warwick Morgan offers, “The nanosecond a qubit causes an event, its state is effectively transformed into a different state.” For even further explanation, one that your humble author could wrap his head around, Morgan offers “The Talk“.

Now with QphoX’s Quantum Modem, they’re promising the ability to network multiple processors together and allow quantum computers to scale beyond 10’s of 100’s of qubits.

To put this another way: QphoX’s offering will make possible the currently impossible.

In their own words:

Our quantum transducer is based on coupling microwave and optical photons through a mechanical intermediary resonator. This process is based on the piezo-electric and optomechanical effects and is fully coherent and works bi-directionally.

By converting quantum information between the microwave domain and optical telecom frequencies, our transducers allow for low-loss and high-fidelity transmission of quantum states.

Low thermal conductivity optical fibers carry the quantum states in and out of the cryostat, where they can be measured or routed through an optical network.”

Founded by Simon Groeblacher, Frederick Hijazi, and Robert Stockill, QphoX is the first company to take quantum transduction outside of a university lab and combine the fields of quantum computing and quantum communication. In doing so, they are effectively changing the game, allowing new applications in networked quantum information processing possible, including remote access of quantum resources and certified quantum computing.

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