In a recent press release, VTT announced Finland’s first operational five-qubit quantum computer in partnership with quantum computing hardware startup IQM. VTT, one of Europe’s leading research institutions, is owned by the Finnish state whose goal is to utilize and commercialize research and technology in commerce and society.
“I would never have thought I could actually see and put in my hands on something that was on a quantum computer,” said Lo Gullo, who has been working at VTT since last year.
“In 2021, we got the first operational quantum computer called HELMI,” he went on. “It’s a five-qubit quantum computer. VTT built it in partnership with IQM. At the moment HELMI is perfectly functional and we are already building its middle brother, a twenty-qubit machine, which will become operational by the end of this year, but fully open probably to the public in 2023.”
Lo Gullo then said what quantum computers would be good at, mentioning that they are excellent at minimization.
“So, if you are able to recast your problem into a problem where the solution is the minimum of something, then a quantum computer can actually solve it,” he said.
Lo Gullo talked about their ability in drug discovery and for materials, photovoltaic cells, for instance, and touched on the fact it would be very nice to speed up the development of new photovoltaic cells by simulating them before constructing and testing them.
VTT’s Senior Scientist also talked about the direction the Finnish institute is taking.
“The question here is whether or not what we develop along the path that takes us to the deployment of useful quantum computers will give us something. The answer is ‘yes’. We are already producing a lot more than what was before just because we are thinking of building a quantum computer. There’s plenty of new technologies coming out that will be useful anyway,” said Lo Gullo.