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Photonic demonstrates distributed quantum entanglement between modules

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The company says its architecture optically entangles and performs distributed computing between remote T centre spins using telecom photons, marking a milestone towards scalable, commercially relevant quantum systems

The Canada-based company Photonic, which focuses on distributed quantum computing in silicon, has announced the demonstration of entanglement between modules – as opposed to entanglement within modules, which has been achieved in many existing quantum architectures. The company says this shows that its architecture provides a unique solution to one of the primary challenges on the road to large-scale quantum adoption – scalable entanglement distribution – and literally goes “outside the box” to open avenues for transformative applications in fields such as materials science and drug discovery.

“The crucial role that entanglement distribution will play in unlocking the commercial promise of quantum computing cannot be overstated,” said Stephanie Simmons, founder and chief quantum officer at Photonic. “Large-scale quantum algorithms running across multiple quantum computers require enormous amounts of distributed entanglement to work well. These demonstrations highlight the promise of our distinctive architectural approach to solve the challenge of scaling beyond single nodes. While there is still much work ahead, it’s important to acknowledge the pivotal role that entanglement distribution must play in shaping quantum system designs.”

Krysta Svore, distinguished engineer and vice president of Advanced Quantum Development at Microsoft, added: “Last November, we announced a strategic collaboration with Photonic to co-innovate on quantum technologies to accelerate scientific discovery. These recent developments showcase a fundamental capability: entanglement distribution over long distances. With these advancements, we’re progressing toward the next stages of networked quantum computing.”

According to Photonic, its approach is based on optically-linked silicon spin qubits with a native telecom networking interface, meaning that it can integrate with the infrastructure, platforms, and scale of today’s global telecommunications networks, including the Microsoft Azure cloud. The company says that three demonstrations, culminating in the teleported CNOT gate sequence, established and consumed distributed quantum entanglement – entanglement between qubits not adjacent to one another or even in the same cryostat.

Global Quantum Intelligence’s March 2024 Scalable Quantum Hardware report confirmed “the necessity for a modular approach to scaling in nearly all proposed quantum computing architectures. This modular approach, which emphasises distributed rather than monolithic quantum computing stacks, offers not only scalability but also flexibility, maintainability, and redundancy.”

David Shaw, chief analyst at Global Quantum Intelligence, said: “Photonic has a highly disruptive technology approach. Photonic’s silicon spin qubits with optical photonic interconnects also hold out the enticing prospect of synergies in quantum communications and networking. These recent demonstrations are evidence on the way forward. The future path to 200 kHz for distributed entanglement with 99.8 percent fidelity is very striking. This would enable a wide variety of applications. This sets a new bar for quantum roadmaps that others will be under pressure to follow. This stands to accelerate the industry.”

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