Technology Analysis

World's first 'useful' quantum computer to be built in Brisbane

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IBM's Q Quantum Computer (Image by Pierre Metivier, via Flickr)

Government investment in U.S. tech firm 'PsiQuantum' is a significant move towards the world's first quantum computer being built here in Australia, Paul Budde reports.

IN A GROUNDBREAKING move set to reshape the global technological landscape, the Australian and Queensland Governments have committed a $940 million investment into PsiQuantum, a U.S.-based tech firm founded by two Australians, which also has a base in Brisbane.

This investment marks a pivotal step towards constructing the world's first utility-scale quantum computer, which will be located near Brisbane Airport in Australia.

PsiQuantum's aims to revolutionise various industries, including renewable energy, minerals and metals, healthcare, and transportation, by leveraging the power of quantum computing.

With the capacity to solve commercially useful problems across disciplines such as chemistry, mathematics, and physics, this fault-tolerant quantum computer holds the promise of propelling the global economy forward for decades to come.

Overcoming the formidable scaling challenges that have plagued the quantum computing industry, PsiQuantum employs a fusion-based architecture, utilising a photonics approach to encode qubits into particles of light.

This innovative methodology – coupled with advanced infrastructure in semiconductor manufacturing – enables PsiQuantum to fabricate and test millions of photonic devices, paving the way for the realisation of a utility-scale quantum computing system.

With an anticipated one million physical qubits and a hyperscale footprint, the company’s modular architecture will leverage existing cryogenic cooling technologies, further enhancing its scalability and efficiency.

The partnership between PsiQuantum and the Australian and Queensland Governments represents a significant milestone in the journey towards practical quantum computing.

An important part of the project will be collaborative efforts with industry leaders across various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, semiconductor manufacturing, aerospace and financial services, to ensure the readiness of fault-tolerant quantum applications upon the system's operationalisation.

As the world eagerly anticipates the deployment of the first utility-scale quantum computer, PsiQuantum's pioneering work underscores the transformative potential of quantum computing in shaping the future of technology and innovation.

With steadfast commitment and strategic partnerships, this groundbreaking endeavour heralds a new era of computational infrastructure, poised to ignite the next industrial revolution and drive unprecedented progress on a global scale.

Paul Budde is an IA columnist and managing director of independent telecommunications research and consultancy Paul Budde Consulting. You can follow Paul on Twitter @PaulBudde.

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