French National Quantum Report — June 2024

French National Quantum Update
French National Quantum Update
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Executive Summary

Traditionally, business activity slows down, however, not in quantum and certainly not in France. French policymakers, business leaders and scientists joined the broader quantum community in a burst of activity in June. In one significant milestone, neutral quantum computing pioneer Pasqal announced it has crossed the critical 1,000-qubit threshold. In fact, the company trapped more than 1,110 atoms within approximately 2,000 traps. On the capital markets side of the ecosystem, C12, a French spin-off of the Physics Laboratory of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, closed an 18 million Euro funding round. Alliances, collaborations and partnerships are the ties that bind the French quantum community with the global quantum ecosystem. This month French policymakers continue to make progress – including a deal inked with the United States to promote cooperation on emerging technologies such as quantum. Meanwhile, the whole ecosystem is busy with building networks within the nation, as well as fostering connections worldwide. Overall, the month has been a productive beginning to the summer months in quantum for France. What follows is a non-exhaustive summary of some of the French quantum ecosystems achievements and milestones.

Policy

France-American Roadmap Includes Collaborations on Quantum, Other Deep Techs

France and the United States recognize the importance of promoting transatlantic academic research collaboration in critical and emerging technologies, to include, quantum, AI, and biotechnology.

Business

French Consortium Unites Quantum Computer Manufacturers, End-Users And Interconnect Maker to Scale Quantum Computing through Algorithm Parallelization

Pack Quantique Île-de-France: a new project supported by the Ile-de-France region and its partners to federate the French quantum ecosystem and support the scaling-up of quantum computing around algorithm parallelization. As part of the Pack Quantique (PAQ), initiated at the end of 2020, the Île-de-France Region (Paris Region) has decided to provide €2 million in support for the AQADOC project, led by Welinq, EDF, Pasqal and Quandela. This is the world’s first consortium to bring together quantum computer manufacturers, end-users and a quantum machine interconnect manufacturer to explore the benefits of parallelizing algorithms to enable the scaling-up of quantum computing.

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France 2030 Wants to Make Tangible The Applications of Quantum’Informatics

L’Etat is launching a communication campaign, with several French companies, to make quantum computing more concrete. A way to promote and justify its stated ambitions in this area.

IBM And Pasqal Initiate Collaboration To Define Classical-Quantum Integration For Quantum-Centric Supercomputers

IBM and Pasqal, as leaders in superconducting circuit and neutral atom-based quantum computers respectively, announced their intent to partner to develop a common approach to quantum-centric supercomputing and promoting application research in chemistry and materials science. IBM and Pasqal will work with leading institutions in high-performance computing to establish the foundations for quantum-centric supercomputing — the integration of quantum computing with advanced classical computing to create the next generation of supercomputers.

C12 Raises 18 Million Euros To Accelerate Its Unique Approach To Quantum Computing Development

C12, a French spin-off of the Physics Laboratory of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and a pioneer in the development of a carbon nanotube-based universal quantum computer, announces the closing of its second financing round of €18 million. This marks a new step in C12’s development to accelerate the design of quantum processors. It brings together leading investors, Varsity Capital, EIC Fund, and Verve Ventures, as well as historical investors including 360 Capital, Bpifrance through its Digital Venture fund, and BNP Paribas Développement.

The First Advanced Quantum Processing Unit Delivered By Pasqal To GENCI And CEA

A pioneering 100+ qubit quantum processing unit (QPU), acquired by GENCI (Grand Équipement National de Calcul Intensif), was delivered at TGCC, the CEA computing centre, announce the three partners. As the first QPU to be delivered to a third party by Pasqal, a global leader in neutral atom quantum computing, this significant milestone is part of the broader High-Performance Computer and Quantum Simulator hybrid (HPCQS) project, co-funded by the European HPC Joint Undertaking, along with GENCI, in the field of HQI (France Hybrid HPC Quantum Initiative), supported by the France2030 investment programme.

Quandela’s Pilot Line Launch: A New Semiconductor Manufacturing Site

Quandela, the European-based quantum computing provider, inaugurates its first manufacturing pilot line for high-performance photonic qubit devices, aiming to accelerate the deployment of error-corrected quantum computers. Following the successful opening of its first quantum computer factory in June 2023, which already enabled the delivery of two quantum computers to industrial customers, this new production site underscores Quandela’s commitment to industrial scaling and innovation in the quantum computing sector.

Achieving Quantum Communications Via Existing Fiber Infrastructures

As part of the ParisRegionQCI project, a consortium of market players, university researchers and startups set out to prove the feasibility of quantum key distribution using existing terrestrial fiber networks — and succeeded. Thomas Rivera, a Research Project Manager at Orange with a PhD in optics and photonics, coordinated the project. He reflects on this major step forward for French quantum communications.

Research

Pasqal Reports Loading More Than 1,000 Atoms In Quantum Processor

Pasqal, a global leader in neutral-atom quantum computing, today announced a significant technological milestone: the successful loading of over 1000 atoms in a single shot within their quantum computing setup. This breakthrough marks a crucial step in Pasqal’s progress towards quantum advantage and scalable quantum processors.

France, Netherlands and Austria lead EU Quantum Innovators Pack

Artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing at breakneck pace, with the EU struggling to keep up with the regulatory, competitive and economic implications. But quantum computing is one technology which has the potential to speed up the development of AI where the EU might have the upper hand. According to data analysed by Science|Business, France, the Netherlands, and Austria are hotspots in the field. Quantum computing is promising to transform a range of other technologies, including AI, and leading organisations in these three countries are preparing for the new wave. The French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) tops the pack, winning around €40 million from Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, followed by the Technical University of Delft and the The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.

Armed With Quantum Sensors, France Eyes Leaps in Electronic Warfare

The French Navy took delivery of its first serial-produced, quantum-technology sensor this year, a quantum gravimeter used for mapping the seabed, the head of the country’s defense innovation agency AID said. Future uses of such sensors could be for navigation or detecting enemy submarines.

Education and Events

French Academy of Sciences Elects 18 New Members, Including Quantum Experts

Following the open elections in 2023, the Academy of Sciences has elected 18 new members. A session will be held in their honor under the Dome of the Institut de France, on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.

Quantum Pioneers Converge At France Quantum 2024

France Quantum 2024, the premier French quantum computing conference, brought together top experts and thought leaders for a live roundtable discussion on the current state and future potential of this revolutionary technology. One expert panel featured Fanny Bouton (OVHcloud) Quantum Lead & Startup Program Leader, Jean Senellart (Quandela) Chief Product Officer, and Dr. Laurent Guiraud (ColibriTD) Co-Founder & Head of Quantum Computing R&D.

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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