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Australia, France sign MoU on quantum computing Featured

Australia and France have signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration between Australia’s first quantum computing company, Silicon Quantum Computing, and French research and development organisation, the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (the CEA).

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and French President Emmanuel Macron signed the MoU which outlines plans for a joint venture in silicon CMOS quantum computing technology to accelerate and focus technology development. There are also plans for joint French and Australian efforts to develop a quantum computer. Macron is on a three-day visit to Australia.

“The work at Silicon Quantum Computing in Sydney is world leading and vital to Australia’s innovation and science agenda,” said Turnbull.

“Quantum computing promises to revolutionise the IT industry,” said 2018 Australian of the Year Professor Michelle Simmons, who is an SQC director and founder.

“We have phenomenal leadership in silicon quantum computing across a range of platforms, and SQC is now moving rapidly to commercialise all these technologies. It is very exciting that Professor Andrew Dzurak and his team have found a design, development and fabrication partner of the quality of the CEA.”

SQC's technology development programme is led by Prof Simmons, Prof Dzurak, Professor Andrea Morello and Professor Sven Rogge. The company uses intellectual property developed at the Australian Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology and is pursuing parallel approaches using single atom qubits and qubits fabricated using silicon-CMOS technology.

Under Prof Dzurak, SQC has world leading expertise in designing and demonstrating components of the quantum chip based on silicon-CMOS technology. This MoU concerns this silicon-CMOS approach.

“SQC’s scientific capability in Australia and the CEA’s research and development capability in France provide an excellent basis for a collaboration to develop and commercialise a quantum silicon integrated circuit based on Silicon-CMOS,” said Christophe Gégout, chairman of CEA Investissement.

“This alliance will develop world leading quantum hardware, and could be the cornerstone for the continuing growth and development of a prominent scientific and industrial quantum computing dynamic in both countries.”

The CEA is involved in the international innovative ecosystem and maintains an advanced Silicon-CMOS research and development facility with globally recognised expertise in developing new integrated circuits in partnership with industrial companies.

Its teams based in Grenoble recently announced breakthroughs towards large-scale fabrication of qubits, the elementary bricks of future quantum processors.

They demonstrated on a 300 mm industrial-scale research and development facility that silicon CMOS technology can be leveraged to create qubits and they fabricated isotopically 28Si substrates to further benefit from intrinsic coherence properties of silicon.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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