How to Overcome Quantum’s Scaling Challenge

Q&A with Aegiq CEO and co-founder Max Sich
Berenice Baker

August 24, 2022

A creative image of a printed circuit
Infrastructure is key to quantum being able to scale up.Getty

Government funding for scaling and commercializing quantum computing has peaked this year.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Government announced its

Quantum Network Infrastructure

project, part of the Chips Act, which is expected to receive $100 million every year for five years. And the U.K. Government announced its $7 million Commercializing Quantum Technologies Challenge, National Quantum Technologies Program at the Quantum Summit in June.

However, to be commercially viable at scale, the quantum computing industry needs the right logistics, infrastructure and legal framework in place, says CEO and co-founder of quantum networking startup Aegiq Max Sich.

Enter Quantum: What are the scaling problems facing the quantum industry?

Max Sich: The important things that need to be incorporated for anybody in quantum are the availability of infrastructure and manufacturing. Quantum leverages materials that require new manufacturing methods. The semiconductor industry may have not always developed to that

super high standard quantum requires.

These things are enablers to bringing Quantum 2.0 [applying quantum physics to practical quantum computers, networking and sensors] to life, and at scale. Part of the reason Aegiq uses photonics and semiconductors is exactly that. It’s s a technology already developed. The system is there. We need to do marginally less to adapt it to quantum and our time to market in terms of product development is much shorter.

At the same time, it's a universal solution. Some things need still need to be done in other sectors like manufacturing, maybe taking some inspiration from the U.S. Chips act. That's been interesting because it is direct investment and direct drivers to ensure that all the critical infrastructure is within reach.

And it’s local, which is important. Logistics and the availability of the infrastructure and safety around it in terms of the same legal system, tax framework and IP framework are all important to stimulate anything that's high risk from a technology perspective.

But you also need to reduce the risks on that other side. The European Union usually struggles and the fact that they tried to oversteer it a little bit too much. The approach that the U.S. and the U.K takes is very sensible. The U.K. was the first country to start working in quantum tech and that has been an inspiration for everybody else.

Aegiq works in quantum communications. Are there differences in the current stage of development between quantum computing and communication?

There are many subtle differences if you look at the different end-user sectors. Once you break them down into separate niche applications, they’re at different readiness levels. The things that need to happen are also at different levels.

From that perspective, communication has a slightly better advantage in terms of like how far it's gone. But at the same time, if you look at the global deployment of quantum networks there's still some work that needs to be done.

Most of it comes from the fact that end users, corporations, governments and even societies need to educate themselves. There's a lot of effort being put into the quantum readiness program because ultimately, there are scientific ideas, but they need to be driven by a business case that needs to be defined before they can be deployed.

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