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Collaborative project of quantum computer developers

Collaborative project of quantum computer developers

Press release from
© LUH / T. Dubielzig
Adjustment of laser beams for the demonstrator set up of an ion trap quantum computer.

ATIQ – New project in receipt of funding amounting to 44.5 million euros partially provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Quantum computers promise unprecedented computing power for applications where conventional computers based on "zeros and ones" fail. Within the scope of ATIQ, a project focusing on quantum computers with stored ions for applications, 25 partners from research facilities and the industry develop quantum computing demonstrators realised in cooperation with users. The partners will tackle major technical challenges in order to realise quantum computing demonstrators made in Germany, as well as to facilitate 24/7 access for users. The project is in receipt of funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy amounting to 37.4 million euros.

Within 30 months, ATIQ aims to develop an initial generation of reliable, user-friendly and 24/7 available quantum computing demonstrators based on ion trap technology. For this purpose, the leading groups in ion trap research at universities in Hannover/Braunschweig, Siegen and Mainz have joined research facilities and industry partners. "We want to take the next big step together. ATIQ is intended to act as a focal point for a German ecosystem of ion trap quantum technology, bringing together technology partners, research and users and producing relevant commercial exploitations", summarises project coordinator Professor Christian Ospelkaus from Leibniz University Hannover and Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt Braunschweig.

Instead of conventional bits, quantum computers use qubits. "Ions are ideal qubits. They are provided naturally, are always identical and their properties are known very accurately. Within the framework of ATIQ, we will investigate new methods for controlling these perfect qubits, even in large quantum registers", says Professor Christof Wunderlich from Siegen University. "Combining a conventional high-performance computer with such a quantum co-processor is an unbeatable pairing for new computational tasks", adds Professor Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Robust and scalable quantum hardware

ATIQ has enormous economic and scientific potential for success. Quantum computers promise unprecedented computing power for applications where entirely digital and conventional high-performance computers alone fail. In contrast, combining conventional high-performance computers and quantum computers opens up new possibilities. Therefore, providing robust and scalable quantum hardware is absolutely essential for Germany. The ATIQ consortium focuses on optimised hardware to be applied in chemistry. Novel chemical substances and the reactions necessary to produce them could be simulated via quantum computers. Moreover, they could be applied in the field of finance, paving the way for new strategies in credit risk evaluation.

The core of the ATIQ quantum processor is based on the ion trap technology, which researchers around the world consider as one of the most promising quantum computing approaches. However, current systems are still complex laboratory machines requiring constant maintenance and calibration by highly qualified personnel. ATIQ addresses these technical challenges in order to facilitate continuous operation with reliable and high-quality computing. In collaboration with technology and industry partners, the ATIQ team optimises processor accessibility via electronic and optical signals; therefore enabling external users to execute computing algorithms independently. Furthermore, such optimisation may be used for upscaling the quantum demonstrators from an initial 10 to more than 100 qubits.

The consortium''s strength is based on the expertise as developers of the ion trap technology as well as on physical and technical foundations at the universities and research facilities Leibniz University Hannover / PTB Braunschweig, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Siegen University - in cooperation with additional research facilities, strong industry and technology partners, as well as users and associates such as Quantum Valley Lower Saxony.

About the project

The collaborative project "ATIQ - Quantencomputer mit gespeicherten Ionen für Anwendungen" is part of the BMBF funding initiative "Quantencomputer-Demonstrationsaufbauten" (quantum computing demonstrator set ups). The project is scheduled to run between 1 December 2021 and 30 November 2026 with overall funding amounting to 44.5 million euros (37.4 million euros of BMBF funding plus funding provided by the involved businesses). ATIQ is coordinated by Leibniz University Hannover and brings together the expertise of 25 partners. Additional partners include Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Siegen University, TU Braunschweig, RWTH Aachen University, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, as well as the businesses AMO GmbH, AKKA Industry Consulting GmbH, Black Semiconductor GmbH, eleQtron GmbH, FiberBridge Photonics GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, JoS QUANTUM GmbH, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, Parity Quantum Computing Germany GmbH, QUARTIQ GmbH, Qubig GmbH and TOPTICA Photonics AG. Associate partners include AQT Germany GmbH, Boehringer Ingelheim, Covestro AG, DLR-SI, Volkswagen AG and QUDORA Technologies GmbH.


Note to editors

For further information, please contact

· Prof. Dr. Christian Ospelkaus, Institute of Quantum Optics, Leibniz University Hannover, Tel. +49 511 762-17644, Email christian.ospelkaus@iqo.uni-hannover.de,

· Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler, Institute of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Tel. +49 6131 39 26234, Email fsk@uni-mainz.de,

· Prof. Dr. Christof Wunderlich, Quantum Optics Department, Siegen University, Tel. +49 271 7403757, Email Christof.Wunderlich@uni-siegen.de.

The BMBF project profile is available at https://www.quantentechnologien.de/forschung/foerderung/quantencomputer-demonstrationsaufbauten/atiq.html