Quantum computer: what are quantum computers?

Quantum computers, which have promised to redistribute the cards for a part of traditional data processing and powerful computer systems, are resolutely innovative. You still need a quantum computer, or dedicated hardware, to make the technology work. A goal developed by Alice & Bob, which has just raised 27 million euros.

Quantum technology, which is considered to represent part of the future of supercomputing and part of computing, continues to evolve. In this context, the quantum computer uses phenomena specific to quantum mechanics. The technology is therefore in contrast to devices that use electricity exclusively. In short, the quantum computer is intended to perform calculations that are too complex for a conventional computer.

With this in mind, Alice & Bob are developing a first processor as well as a “fault-tolerant” quantum computer. The biggest problem with this technology actually lies in the ability of these machines to correct errors that occur during the creation of a qubit. Current research shows that it remains very difficult for any machine to remain in quantum mode. Disturbances, even infinitesimal ones, will cause errors and thus distort the slightest calculation.

Quantum computer: what are quantum computers?  Alice & Bob Numeum TechTalks

That’s why the company created by Raphaël Lescanne and Théau Peronnin aims to create a “fully protected” qubit capable of correcting these errors. To achieve this, managers have recently demonstrated that their products were able to remain stable for several minutes by one of the two errors (compared to a few milliseconds for the rest of the competitors).

A “Bell Labs” in quantum mode

To conduct its own research, the company therefore raised 27 million euros from Elaia, Bpifrance (via its Digital Venture fund), Supernova Invest and Breega. A roundtable discussion to accelerate, double the size of the team (currently 40 employees) and maintain a roadmap that is resolutely oriented towards R&D. As for the first machines, they should be delivered by 2026.

Alice & Bob is still a research company. A kind of Bell Labs, which over the next 18 months will be able to fully present a stable quantum bit corrected for all errors“, Says Théau Peronnin, researcher and co-founder of the company. The company’s roadmap is now about being able to fix the second type of qubit error.

The strategy for this type of business is actually to produce qubits that are robust to errors. To achieve this, the company uses optimal control engineering designs to have stable quantum systems as standard. ” At present, there is no quantum computer replacing traditional equipment, our ambition is to produce superconductors with optimal control. In short, we sell computing power by getting our fingers across the entire hardware chain. We trade from end to end, from design to the operations performed by the machine“, Explains the leader.

The quantum computer: to which markets?

If the topic is currently particularly present in the research field, business applications already exist. According to estimates by McKinsey, the market is estimated at several hundred billion dollars over the next 5 or even 10 years. The markets that are mainly affected by the quantum computer relate to high-dimensional optimization. One thus naturally thinks of aeronautical chains, groundbreaking techniques via the solution of equation systems related to fluid mechanics or even neural learning networks for AI.

Another particularly important application, the quantum computer, has a unique ability to simulate the function of proteins. ” It represents a profound paradigm shift, like the discovery of penicillin, as well as a technological issue and sovereignty issues.”Adds Théau Peronnin.

Still, quantum technologies should replace classical computational methods within 5 to 7 years. It must make it possible, with the help of exercise machines, to develop relevant use cases. The latter aims to encode new problems. Or even to analyze the impact of the same machines to validate or non-economic models.

An already existing lack of skills

The development of quantum technologies goes hand in hand with the presence of humans to animate it. Provided you have the necessary skills. ” We lack skills. It is urgent to recruit people who can acquire the subject. Companies need to increase their teams’ skills on the subject. Otherwise, the “first come, first served” rule applies. Professionals who have taken a proactive approach will have certain competitive advantages that will greatly encourage innovation“, Says Théau Peronnin.

Quantum computer Alice & Bob raises 27 million euros from Numeum TechTalks

It is therefore to be expected that technology will primarily innervate certain niche markets. Which then will allow the emergence of new uses. Once the possibility of Quantum Computer has been demonstrated, further announcements in the direction of its development should occur. It is therefore up to the companies to train their employees in the subject. Otherwise, to recruit researchers who are proficient in this discipline.

Quantum: “land of all fantasies”

While the existence of technological inequalities constitutes a pitfall in the development of artificial intelligence, the quantum computer does not suffer from the same evils. However, the quantum can cause some nonsense.

Quantum is the land of all fantasies. Popular culture has used it to address entire sections of modern science fiction. Whereas it is actually a very mathematical and clear presentation of things. It can therefore be difficult, for an uninformed public, to sort out the fiction and the reality of the machines. We are now in a real hardware race. The fantasists no longer have any reason to exist“, nurtures the leader.

Olivier Robillard

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