On Monday, the Federal Ministry of Research provided a consortium with more than 40 million euros in funding to expand quantum computer technology. A large part of the funds will flow into a quantum computer provided by the German-Finnish company IQM. The system will be integrated into the Leibniz Computing Center (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Garching over the next few months and years. “We are laying the foundation stone for the work in the next three years,” said the incumbent Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU).
The funding is the first step in a larger plan to keep pace in the international race for the technology of the future. The federal government released a total of two billion euros for this in May. The Federal Ministry of Research awards 1.1 billion euros, and 878 million euros come from the budget of the Federal Ministry of Economics. The computer in Garching should have 20 qubits. Within the five years, a competitive German quantum computer should be equipped with at least 100 individually controllable qubits – scalable to at least 500 qubits. For comparison: the Quantum Eagle system, which is due to go live this year, has 127 qubits.
Karliczek said that the project in Munich will make a “quantum computer made in Europe” available to users from research and industry in Germany over the next few years. “We have to develop our own know-how and technologies in Germany in this future field as well.” There should be no dependencies in this key area. “It is not enough just to rest on the infrastructures of third parties, whose access can ultimately be blocked again at any time.”
This is of particular interest to WiWo readers today
With the concept of quantum computers, research and industry are reacting to the fact that the development of high-performance computers that has been common up to now is reaching its physical limits. A quantum computer does not store information in the form of bits that can only have two possible states, namely one or zero. Instead, a qubit of a quantum computer can be both at the same time,. The quantum particle pauses in both states until you look at it or measure it. This means that quantum computers can theoretically be many times faster and more powerful than conventional computers.