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PsiQuantum Opens UK-Based Research Facility

Company will use STFC’s liquid helium cryogenic systems

John Potter

March 8, 2023

2 Min Read
PsiQuantum’s modularized quantum computing system.
PsiQuantum’s modularized quantum computing system.PsiQuantum via BusinessWire

PsiQuantum has established a UK-based advanced R&D center at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory in northwest England.

The company now has access to one of Europe's largest liquid-helium (approximately -270°C) cryogenic reactors, thanks to $10.6 million (£9 million) in financing from the UK government's new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).

PsiQuantum has partnered with STFC's Daresbury Laboratory to create the next generation of high-power cryogenic modules required to grow its photonic quantum computers to millions of qubits. PsiQuantum researchers will collaborate with Daresbury’s large-scale cryogenic infrastructure specialists to build improved cryogenic systems.

The partnership will produce quantum computing subsystems with the most cryogenic cooling power yet deployed, marking a significant step toward large-scale quantum computers capable of tackling commercially-applicable issues.

PsiQuantum is developing an error-corrected quantum computer that uses the quantum mechanical features of single light particles (photons). Like other leading quantum computing technologies, this project requires cryogenic cooling. However, the benefit of a photonic method is that the cooling requirements are significantly less stringent. This cryogenic cooling requires highly- sensitive single-photon detectors to read the state of the photonic qubit.

These devices operate a few degrees above absolute zero or deep space temperature. While the working temperature is frigid, it is hundreds of times higher than the milli-Kelvin temperatures needed by many other quantum computing methods, avoiding the enormous problem of establishing large-scale milli-Kelvin dilution refrigeration.

PsiQuantum aims to increase its cryogenic capabilities a hundredfold through the STFC collaboration, resulting in a single cryogenic module capable of supplying 100W of cooling power at liquid-helium temperatures. This added cooling power will enable PsiQuantum to include the many energy-intensive features needed to scale quantum computers, such as chip-to-chip networking and integrated control circuits. It will also support a more comprehensive array of quantum chips.

"We are very excited to be setting up a lab in the UK in collaboration with the STFC's Daresbury Laboratory. The UK has a long history in quantum technologies and a talent pool of exceptional quantum engineers," said PsiQuantum chief technologist and co-founder Mark Thompson.

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