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Shaping Europe’s digital future
News article | Foilseachán

EU innovation moves one step closer to the world's first compact quantum computer

As part of the EU Flagship Quantum Technologies, researchers at the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, have built a prototype for a compact quantum computer.

quantum computer

@University of Innsbruck

This quantum computer aims to fit quantum-computing experiments into the smallest space possible. It is European born-and-bred. It is build with European parts and has demonstrated a world-class ability to entangle 24 qubits - a necessary condition for genuine quantum computations.

European industry and academia will enormously benefit, as quantum computers hold the promise to solve problems within minutes that are out of reach for today’s supercomputers because they would take millennia to solve.

This quantum computer is available online to interested users, from individual to corporate users, through the AQT Cloud Access, and as such, it offers a competitive European alternative to the traditional big tech giants such as Google, IBM, or Alibaba. It also represents a great step forward in ensuring Europe’s technological sovereignty and reducing our dependency on foreign technology computing.

One notable feature of this quantum computer is its low power consumption, which stands at 1.5 kilowatts – or the same amount of energy needed to power a kettle. Indeed, such is its low power consumption, that the researchers in the University of Innsbruck are exploring how to power the device using solar panels.

All in all, this first computer with quantum acceleration could address industrial and public needs such as predicting the stability of complex molecules in chemistry for intelligent materials or vaccine development, or yet optimizing and saving energy distribution in complex grids. By offering the next generation of quantum capabilities and services in a secure, energy-efficient and sustainable manner, this quantum computer contributes directly to the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Moreover, as part of the digital decade and the aim to have secure and sustainable digital infrastructures, quantum computers like this one have the opportunity to act as accelerator interconnected with the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking’s supercomputers, forming 'hybrid' machines that blend the best of quantum and classical computing technologies.

More information about the compact quantum computer for data centres is available on this press release.