EU innovation moves one step closer to the world's first compact quantum computer

In an article published recently by the Digital EU,  the European Commission has announced an advancement in the field of quantum computing. They report on researchers of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and partners of the European Quantum Flagship project AQTION, having built the first prototype for a compact quantum computer, which is the smallest quantum computer yet based on industry standards. The success of the new devices illustrates that quantum computers will soon be ready for installation in data centers alongside classical computers.

This quantum computer aims to fit quantum-computing experiments into the smallest space possible. It is European born-and-bred. It is built with European parts and has demonstrated a world-class ability to entangle 24 qubits – a necessary condition for genuine quantum computations.

One notable feature of this quantum computer is its low power consumption, which stands at 1.5 kilowatts – or the same amount of energy needed to power a kettle. Indeed, such is its low power consumption, that the researchers in the University of Innsbruck are exploring how to power the device using solar panels.

This quantum computer is available online to interested users, from individual to corporate users, through the AQT Cloud Access, and as such, it offers a competitive European alternative to the traditional big tech giants such as Google, IBM, or Alibaba. It also represents a great step forward in ensuring Europe’s technological sovereignty and reducing our dependency on foreign technology computing.

As part of the digital decade and the aim to have secure and sustainable digital infrastructures, quantum computers like this one have the opportunity to act as accelerator interconnected with the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking’s supercomputers, forming ‘hybrid’ machines that blend the best of quantum and classical computing technologies.