PsiQuantum is a US-based quantum computing company that is developing a photonic quantum computer with the aim of revolutionizing computing and solving complex problems that are not feasible for classical computers. The company was founded in 2016 by Dr. Jeremy O’Brien and Dr. Pete Shadbolt, who have extensive experience in quantum optics and quantum computing research.
The primary focus of PsiQuantum is to develop a practical, error-corrected, large-scale quantum computer that can solve difficult problems with high accuracy and speed. The quantum architecture that the company is developing is based on a photonic chip that uses photons to perform quantum operations, which is different from the current leading quantum computing technologies that use superconducting qubits or ion traps.
One of the key advantages of PsiQuantum’s approach is that their devices can be scaled up to thousands of qubits, and the error-correction and fault-tolerance can be achieved with significantly fewer physical qubits than other approaches. This could pave the way for a practical quantum computer that can tackle problems that classical computers cannot solve.
Another advantage of the photonic approach is that it is inherently more stable and robust than other quantum computing technologies. In superconducting qubits or ion traps, environmental noise and magnetic fields can degrade the performance of the qubits, leading to errors and instability. However, photonic qubits are not affected by these factors, which makes them more stable and reliable.
The photonic approach requires significant expertise in quantum optics, and PsiQuantum has assembled a team of world-class scientists and engineers in this field. The company has partnerships with leading academic research institutions, including the University of Bristol and the University of California, Berkeley. PsiQuantum has also collaborated with several companies, including GlobalFoundries, Applied Materials, and Mitsubishi Electric, to develop the necessary hardware and infrastructure for their quantum computers.
One of the most significant challenges in quantum computing is the problem of decoherence, which refers to the loss of coherency in the quantum states of qubits due to any interaction with the environment. Decoherence limits the time that quantum states can be maintained, leading to errors and inaccuracy in computations. To address this challenge, PsiQuantum is building an error-corrected, fault-tolerant quantum computer that can overcome the effects of decoherence and maintain the coherence of the qubits for long periods.
The potential applications of a practical quantum computer are enormous, ranging from optimizing financial portfolios and drug discovery to improving traffic.