Transporting quantum information over long distances with glass fibers and paving the way for the quantum Internet: With this goal in mind, the Dutch research center QuTech and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT launched the ICON project QFC-4-1QID on September 1, 2019. In this long-term strategic partnership between the research institutions, the scientists will be developing quantum frequency converters that will connect quantum processors to fiber optic networks. The new technology will be used in the world’s first quantum Internet demonstrator in 2022.
“ICON – International Cooperation and Networking” is an internal funding program launched by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to bring top international researchers together and to facilitate cooperation with excellent foreign research institutions on a project basis.
Fraunhofer ILT and QuTech, the quantum institute of the Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO, are now starting to collaborate within the ICON project “Low-Noise Frequency Converters for the First Quantum Internet Demonstrator – QFC-4-1QID”. QuTech is one of the world’s leading research centers in the fields of quantum computing and quantum internet. The first project phase will last three years and comprises joint research activities with a total volume of approx. 2.5 million euros.
Tailor-made photons connect qubits
Quantum computers will soon make it possible to perform highly complex calculations and algorithms in the shortest possible time and, thus, will revolutionize information technology. In the future, several quantum computers will be connected to a quantum internet in an absolutely secure manner creating many new possibilities such as for instance distributed quantum computing. To accomplish this, photonics is a key technology: Individual photons and quantum states can be specifically generated, manipulated and controlled using laser technology.
In the QFC-4-1QID project, the partners are developing technologies with which the wavelength or frequency of individual photons can be specifically converted without impairing quantum information. They aim to then transmit the photons through glass fibers with low loss and to couple qubits – the smallest computing units of a quantum computer – over long distances.
Source: “Putting quantum bits into fiber optic network: Launching the QFC-4-1 QID project”, Fraunhofer Institute of Laser Technology ILT