The ‘Cat Factory’ aims to make quantum computers 10 times cheaper to build and ready for market three years earlier.

French quantum computer company Alice & Bob and academic partners have received €16.5m in government funding to speed up the road to quantum computers.

The funding is in the form of an innovation grant, by a France 2030 initiative operated by France’s public investment bank, Bpifrance. The deal will see Alice & Bob lead a 36-month project that aims to fast-track quantum computing by making its components more efficient.

Alice & Bob said it will use the funding to optimise quantum computation – including design, manufacturing and infrastructure – with the ambitious goal of making quantum computers 10 times cheaper to build and ready for market three years earlier.

Quantum computers hold endless potential for humanity, but certain hurdles remain in the technology’s development, such as the risk of errors in their calculations. Alice & Bob said it is working to create fault-resistant quantum computers to address this issue, with its own self-correcting quantum bit called the cat qubit.

“We are honoured to be entrusted with the task of making quantum computing useful earlier,” said Theau Peronnin, CEO of Alice & Bob. “Our plan, centred around cat qubits, addresses the real challenges of quantum computing headfirst, enabling massive savings in energy and end-user costs.”

The project is also being supported by academic partners ENS de Lyon and Mines Paris – PSL, who will support the French company with the ‘Cat Factory’ project.

“Quantum computing algorithms require hundreds of logical qubits, which translates to thousands to millions of physical qubits,” said Dr Florent Di Meglio, PSL project lead “Cat Factory aims to reach 100 logical qubits with only three cryostats, a dramatic reduction in the hardware needs for running a useful quantum computer.”

Last year, digital infrastructure company Equinix partnered with Alice & Bob to give Irish customers access to quantum computing technology.

Leigh Mc Gowran
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