All over the world, scientists and companies are working frantically to build quantum computers. These new computers will solve many problems more quickly and efficiently than previous technologies. Particularly in the search for solutions to complex problems, quantum technology promises to have practical applications in the near future. Quantum annealing systems or adiabatic quantum computers, which do not work with gate operations like classical computers, provide the basis for this. Rather, they use the quantum property to search for an optimal state in a physical system. Indeed, these systems can be used to find optimal solutions to many problems, packaged in appropriate algorithms.
Japanese quantum chip with Austrian expertise
Now, the IT group NEC has built an 8-bit quantum annealer based on the architecture of the Innsbruck spin-off ParityQC. The first Parity quantum chip consists of superconducting Parametron qubits and is now being made available to the scientific community by NEC via the cloud. “This is a remarkable validation of the intrinsic advantages afforded by the ParityQC approach: a resistance to noise, and the scalability to a fully connected quantum computer while maintaining a prolonged quantum superposition state,” said Hermann Hauser, co-founder of Amadeus Capital and Acorn Computers. “The adoption of the ParityQC architecture by NEC, one of the world’s top supercomputer companies, is an extraordinary achievement for the 4-year-old Innsbruck University spin out. It establishes ParityQC as the world’s first QC architecture company with a proven working implementation demonstrating compelling advantages which will lead to the adoption of ParityQC design by many other hardware manufacturers. A number of recent announcements of QC consortia in Europe already attest to that”, Hauser continued. “NEC was the first company to introduce a superconducting qubit in the 90s. We are extremely proud that their quantum device, which will now be available for external use for the first time, is based on our architecture,” said Wolfgang Lechner and Magdalena Hauser, Co-CEOs of ParityQC.
Austrian success story
ParityQC was founded in Innsbruck in 2020 and markets a technology based on a now patented idea that quantum physicist Wolfgang Lechner developed in the 2010s together with Peter Zoller and Philipp Hauke at the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The spin-off was conducted through the University of Innsbruck's Transfer Office Science - Economy - Society. ”It is now becoming increasingly evident that our initial assessment of this technology in the course of the 2015 patent application was correct and that the basic invention has the potential to become the standard in quantum computing technology. The exploitation of these research results via the establishment of a spin-off makes it possible to further develop the technology in Europe and thus to have maximum influence on the development of this industry while keeping the value creation in Europe. A big compliment to the two managing directors for the foresight and prudence with which they select their partners,” said Sara Matt, head of the transfer office.