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Infleqtion Wins Funding to Develop and Manufacture the UK’s First Optical Atomic Clock

Hands holding clocks

Insider Brief

  • Innovate UK has awarded funding to Infleqtion to expand its manufacturing capabilities for quantum-enabled systems.
  • The funding will support the development of a new type of optical atomic clock that is highly accurate and reliable.
  • Company executives say these clocks are essential for autonomous navigation, resilient power distribution and national security.

PRESS RELEASE — Infleqtion, the world’s quantum information company, today announced that it has been awarded funding from Innovate UK to expand its manufacturing capabilities for quantum-enabled systems. The funding will support the development of a new type of optical atomic clock that far exceeds the accuracy and reliability of current Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)-based systems.

The new clock will achieve a frequency stability that is more than fifty times better than the best commercially available atomic clocks of comparable size. This level of accuracy will be essential for applications such as autonomous navigation, resilient power distribution, and national security.

“Infleqtion offers unrivaled expertise, with products and R&D efforts spanning the whole quantum ecosystem, including quantum computing, quantum sensing, and positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT),” said Scott Faris, CEO of Infleqtion. “With a strong foundation, a highly skilled team, and the support of Innovate UK, Infleqtion UK is well-positioned to drive innovation and deliver groundbreaking solutions that will transform the field of PNT and quantum-enabled systems.”

The quantum-enabled PNT systems market is poised for significant growth, fueled by the increasing need for highly accurate, reliable, and resilient PNT systems across various applications, including the deployment of 5G networks. Quantum-enabled PNT systems offer significant advantages over traditional GNSS-based systems, including improved accuracy, enhanced resilience, and reduced size and weight. They are also not reliant on external signals, making them less vulnerable to weather conditions, interference, and jamming. This makes them suitable for deployed applications.

The funding from Innovate UK will enable Infleqtion to bring its new optical atomic clock to market and make the UK a global leader in the development and manufacture of quantum-enabled PNT systems. The company has a team of world-leading experts in quantum physics and optical engineering, and has a proven track record of developing innovative quantum technologies. The winning Infleqtion project will also establish a sovereign UK capability to manufacture critical subsystems, such as microfabricated atomic vapor cells and photonic frequency combs.

“This project will deliver the UK’s first commercially available optical atomic clock which will provide a crucial layer of resilience across many national security applications,” said Dr. Timothy Ballance, General Manager of Infleqtion UK. “The funding will allow Infleqtion to advance its manufacturing capability in the UK for systems required to build a wide range of quantum-enabled products. Coupled with our engineering expertise, we are in an excellent position to lead the market in delivering next generation commercial atomic clocks at scale.”

Minister of State at the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology George Freeman MP said, “We are on the cusp of a quantum technology revolution, set to deliver transformational increases in computer processing speed and power in a whole new field of capabilities in sensing, communications, encryption, cyber security and navigation. We are making sure the UK is ready to harness it for the benefit of all.”

Will Drury, Executive Director, Digital and Technologies at Innovate UK said, “Our exceptional researchers, businesses and innovators are continuously pushing the boundaries of Quantum Technology development, placing the UK at the leading edge of this field. Together, through this support and investment, we will work in partnership to realize the potential of this technology for our UK economy and society.”

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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