PsiQuantum, air force to build utility-scale quantum computer

PsiQuantum has inked a $22.5 million contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Rome, N.Y., to formalize their partnership in quantum computing. The project enables a collaboration between PsiQuantum and AFRL on quantum photonic chips. The chips will be co-designed by PsiQuantum and AFRL and manufactured at GlobalFoundries semiconductor fab in Malta, N.Y.

The contract further advances the photonic approach to quantum computing — a strategy based on the idea of leveraging existing mature semiconductor manufacturing capabilities to accelerate the path to scale. PsiQuantum is working to build an error-corrected, utility-scale quantum computer, with the intention of unlocking breakthroughs in climate, health care, finance, energy, agriculture, transportation, communications, and beyond.

Michael Hayduk, deputy director at AFRL said, “The deep silicon photonics expertise of PsiQuantum is critical in our mission to not only accelerate the advancement and deployment of quantum information science, but in developing capabilities to meet the needs of the emerging national security landscape. The partnership with PsiQuantum supports both the U.S. Department of Defense’s and AFRL’s missions of pursuing long-term, broad-based research programs that ultimately lead to world-changing applications across multiple industries.”

In May 2021, PsiQuantum and GlobalFoundries fabricated what the collaborators claimed to be the first manufacturable single-photon detector in a silicon chip. The detector is the component used to read out the value of the qubit. PsiQuantum said it is now able to manufacture large numbers of these detectors using GlobalFoundries’ foundry, a significant step on the path to the large-scale quantum systems necessary for useful applications.