PsiQuantum Opens UK-Based Research Facility

Company will use STFC’s liquid helium cryogenic systems
John Potter

March 8, 2023

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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