We are building a highly scalable digital quantum computer with 100 qubits based on neutral atoms.
In the DiNAQC demonstrator, individual ultracold strontium atoms in optical traps are used for the qubits. Each atom realises a qubit, which is controlled by further laser beams. Entanglement between two qubits is generated by fast laser pulses that couple the qubits to highly excited Rydberg states. Neutral atom quantum computers are particularly scalable because the atoms can be arranged in any two-dimensional configuration and because each atom – and therefore each qubit – is identical to every other atom. Atoms do not require cryogenic cooling, as they can be cooled to microkelvin temperatures using lasers alone.
Neutral atoms are a young quantum computing platform that has made massive progress in recent years. Due to their intrinsic scalability, neutral atoms are considered one of the most promising approaches for advancing into the realm of an industrially relevant quantum advantage, even with quantum processors that are not fully error-corrected. To this end, we are building a prototype quantum computer in DiNAQC on which a quantum algorithm relevant to DLR research will be identified, customised to the neutral atom platform and executed on the 100-qubit demonstrator at the end of the project. At the same time, initial demonstration experiments are to be carried out in the direction of error correction, so that at the end of DiNAQC a concrete plan for further scaling to thousands of physical qubits in a single quantum processor (without classical interconnects) should be available.
Digital quantum computing with neutral atoms has only become conceivable in recent years with the development of correspondingly powerful and high-quality laser technologies. The unique selling point of DiNAQC is that planqc, as the first spin-off from Munich Quantum Valley, has chosen the bosonic isotope of the alkaline earth atom strontium as its quantum information carrier. This leads us to expect outstanding gate fidelities and coherence properties. The approach we have chosen enables rapid scaling to hundreds and, in perspective, thousands of qubits. With DiNAQC, we go beyond these developments and clearly focus on a major challenge in quantum computing: the demonstration of first error mitigation and error correction protocols for neutral atoms.