Q.ANT develops first quantum chip demonstrator for Bundesdruckerei

Quantum sensing company Q.ANT has developed a first prototype that successfully simulates random numbers based on quantum effects. The achievement, announced last week, is part of a research development contract withGerman government IT security company Bundesdruckerei.

Multiple application areas can be considered for quantum computing, contends Q.ANT: “In the future, processors that are extremely powerful thanks to quantum effects could also solve complex problems in federal and public administration institutions.”

Bundesdruckerei and Q.ANT have been cooperating since 2022 within the scope of a research development contract. As part of this contract, the first generation of Q.ANT chips was built into a processor. And in a functional test, a system was developed to simulate random numbers.

Such random number sequences are difficult to generate and can be used, for example, to encrypt data. The system meets the test criteria of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and could provide a further secure source of random numbers, says Q.ANT, in addition to conventional physical generators.

Dr. Oliver Muth, Project Manager and Senior Principal Secure Materials & Quantum Systems at Bundesdruckerei, said, “As part of the Qu-Gov project funded by the [German] Federal Ministry of Finance BMF, we are evaluating applications in the federal administration in order to enable the state to deal with quantum technologies in a sovereign manner.

Q.ANT relies on its own technology platform for the quantum chips. The central components of the chips are the so-called optical waveguides: they enable the control of light and quantum effects in a highly integrated form. This in turn is a prerequisite for bringing quantum technologies out of the laboratories and into everyday products.

To build the chips, Q.ANT uses a material system that connects the electronic world, based on silicon, with the photonic world. In this system, thin layers of lithium niobate are applied onto silicon and then structured into optical waveguides. Lithium niobate is seen as a possible key to future photonic quantum computing.

Q.ANT founder and CEO Michael Förtsch said he is pleased about the cooperation with Bundesdruckerei. He said, “Public authorities and state-owned companies have a special significance as early adopters of innovative technologies. They promote forward-looking technologies and support young companies in this way. In addition, this helps to build up and establish high technology in Germany.”