ColdQuanta Atom Tech for Million Qubit Quantum Computers and Beyond

ColdQuanta cools atoms to a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero and uses lasers to arrange the atoms, hold them in place, run computations on them, and read out the results. Quantum calculations, communications, and sensing are the result. Satyendra Bose and Albert Einstein discovered the fifth form of matter—the Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC). Dr. Eric Cornell and Dr. Carl Wieman won a Nobel Prize for creating the first BEC in a collaboration between CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Their colleague, Dr. Dana Z. Anderson, co-founded ColdQuanta, which uses the fifth form of matter as the foundation for its Cold Atom Quantum Technology.

Nextbigfuture interviewed Paul Lipman, President of Quantum Information Platforms at ColdQuanta.

ColdQuanta’s cold atom method is a foundational platform for multiple gigantic application areas that leverage atom control technology.

* They plan to scale to 1000 qubit systems by 2024 and then to millions of qubits.
* They can use the cooled atoms to make far more sensitive RF receivers and sensors.
* ColdQuanta can create atomic clocks that are far more precise. ColdQuanta atomic clocks will be thousands of times more precise which enables better global positioning. The global positioning system is based on atomic clocks placed in orbit. The High-BIAS2 (High Bandwidth Inertial Atom Source) project enables vehicle navigation without a GPS (Global Positioning System) or GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) signal. Reducing the reliance on GPS and GNSS technologies is critical for scenarios where signals from these systems are not available, such as underwater or in space, or when they suffer disruptions due to technical issues, cyberattacks, and atmospheric or reflection effects. High-BIAS2 demonstrates the rapid commercialization of quantum technologies for real-world applications.

Google also uses atomic clocks in data centers for faster and more scalable databases. In 2017, Google brought the global NewSQL database system ‘Spanner,’ responsible for keeping more than 2,000 of its services running, to Google Cloud Platform. Google’s distributed SQL database called Spanner, relies on something called True Time for very strong consistency of transactions across nodes. Google knows that time is uncertain, so True Time defines a bounded and small uncertainty of time window where transactions can not be ordered definitely. True Time works as a Global Time across Google datacenters. True Time uses atomic clocks to for its timing and coordination.

The ColdQuanta system can scale to more qubits and higher connections between qubits than other competitors. The ColdQuanta systems are better able to incorporate the new theoretical error correction methods.

Quantum Computers will need to be error corrected to release their full power to scale beyond a few hundred or a thousand qubits.

ColdQuanta has a platform for atom technologies beyond the powerful potential of large-scale error-corrected quantum computers.

They already use the laser cooling to enable labs to easily generate and work with Bose Einstein condensates. Previously, Bose Einstein condensates were very difficult to create and few had been made. The glass cells and the system ColdQuanta have make Bose Einstein Condensate work far easier.

ColdQuanta creates ultra-high vacuum cells that are injected with atoms. [The glass cell is shown above]. ColdQuanta’s high-quality glass cells offer a new level of optical access to in-vacuum experiments. Assembled with an optical contacting process, the cells provide high-quality AR coatings while maintaining very high optical flatness in the cell walls, enabling minimal optical distortion through the cell. The cells are connected to the flange through an anodic bond to a silicon transfer, and have no epoxy or frits, giving them excellent UHV compatibility.

Using laser cooling, ColdQuanta cools the atoms to near absolute zero. The system is kept at room temperature while only the atoms remain ultracold, allowing devices to be deployed in rugged environments.

Lasers are also used to hold atoms in place and control their quantum states. There is a grid of lasers where atoms are held in place.

The image is the actual grid of held atoms. The atoms are 3 microns apart. They have held over 1200 atoms in place.

They hold atoms for calculations and extra atoms are held. They use laser tweezers to move the spare atoms to replace lost atoms.

The key difference among the various end applications of ColdQuanta’s technology is primarily the arrangement of the atoms.

ColdQuanta 2021 Achievements

Over 140% bookings growth from both new and recurring customers and use cases.
Over 70% growth in headcount, bolstering the leadership team with key executives from Luminar, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Webroot and related industries.

Won contract with DARPA for Quantum Apertures Program
Secured $3.6 million DARPA contract for the Science of Atomic Vapors for New Technologies (SAVaNT) project.
Announced new milestones for more precise inflight navigation systems as part of the High-BIAS2 (High Bandwidth Inertial Atom Source) project.
Announced key partnerships with IBM, Strangeworks and Classiq.

Achieved technical milestones and honors:
Achieved quantum computer milestone by trapping and addressing 100 qubits in a large, dense 2-D cold atom array.
World’s first demonstration of multi-qubit quantum algorithms on a neutral atom quantum computer.

ColdQuanta Founder and CTO Dana Anderson awarded 2021 Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics
Albert quantum signal processing system, which enables the design and prototyping of quantum products, awarded 2022 SPIE and Photonics Media Prism Award

SOURCE- ColdQuanta, Interview with Paul Lipman, President of Quantum Information Platforms at ColdQuanta.
Written by Brian Wang,