VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland announced that the country’s first operational 5-qubit quantum computer is up and running. Together with the quantum computing hardware startup IQM, VTT has taken its first steps to enable the building of quantum computers that will be both scalable and easier to manufacture, allowing more companies to begin their quantum computing journey.
The computing performance of quantum computers makes it possible to solve problems that are beyond the capabilities of modern high-performance computers. In the future, quantum computers will be used, for instance, to accurately model viruses and drugs or used to design materials that are challenging to design with today’s technology.
“The development of quantum computing will affect all industries. Our experience in building the quantum computer, and our know-how in developing quantum algorithms will help us develop quantum foresight to, for example, identify future trends and support companies in understanding how and when their business will be affected,” says Pekka Pursula, Research Manager at VTT. “The best way to do this will be for companies to work together with VTT, and actually use our new hardware.”
The 5-qubit quantum computer is located at Micronova, part of OtaNano, the national research infrastructure for micro and nanotechnology, jointly run by VTT and Aalto University.
The big challenge in quantum computing is scalability. Quantum physicists and engineers around the world are trying to figure out how to scale quantum computing hardware to include hundreds and thousands of qubits, scale up the production in an economically efficient way, and scale algorithms and use of quantum computing in real-life applications.
The 5-qubit quantum computer is said to be a part of a larger initiative. VTT and IQM aim to build together a much more powerful 50-qubit quantum computer by 2024 and further develop technology and expertise in quantum computing.