Computing firm photonic collaborates with Microsoft, adds financing

Quantum computing firm Photonic formed a collaboration with Microsoft to develop quantum networking capabilities using photonically linked silicon spin qubits. Photonic detailed the collaboration and unveiled its quantum architecture amid news that the company recently secured $100 million in investments.

Per the agreement, the collaborators will provide an integrated roadmap of technologies and products that can enable reliable quantum communications over long distances, as well as access to Photonic’s quantum computing offering via Microsoft Azure Quantum Elements.

Specifically, Microsoft and Photonics will collaborate on what Microsoft called the “three stages of quantum networking.” In stage one, Microsoft said, the partners aim to deliver entanglement between two separate quantum devices using photons through telecom fiber. Next, the companies aim to deliver a quantum repeater that can capture, entangle, and hold quantum information reliably for a short time. Photonic and Microsoft will then focus on delivering a reliable, fault-tolerant quantum repeater that is operational with the Azure cloud.

Photonic, using silicon, which it called the “dominant enabling design in quantum computing,” has advanced an architecture that uses color centers and telecom band photons to enable computing, networking, and memory. According to the company, photonic links in silicon deliver quantum entanglement between qubits on the same chip and among multiple quantum chips. Photonic’s qubit architecture enables use of efficient quantum error correction codes, such as quantum low-density parity check codes, which the company said are known for extremely low physical to logical qubit overheads and fast and efficient hardware implementation.

“By using a qubit with a photon interface, [Photonic’s] novel approach communicates using ultralow-loss standard telecom fibers and wavelengths,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “When paired with the Microsoft global infrastructure, platforms, and scale of the Azure cloud, this technology will integrate new quantum networking capabilities into everyday operating environments.”