The European quantum computing project, Q-Exa was launched earlier this week in a three-way partnership with the funding of 40.1 million euros being provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of Germany until 2024.
“With the Q-Exa project, we are opening a new, promising chapter on our way to the quantum computer ‘made in Germany’,” declared the Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek at the launch.
Led by the German-Finnish quantum hardware start-up, IQM, the Q-Exa project will also involve the Karlsruhe-based supercomputer manufacturer, Atos and the quantum software developer, HQS Quantum Simulations.
Q-Exa will, thus, bring together academicians and quantum industry experts to integrate a 20-qubit “quantum demonstrator” at the end of 2023 into the exascale system of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Garching.
In a release, LRZ Director Prof. Dr. Dieter Kranzlmüller indicated that Q-Exa serves as an important milestone on the path to exascale computing. The next major milestone is traditional high performance computing (HPC), representing a 40-fold increase in supercomputing power from LRZ’s current flagship computer, SuperMUC-NG.
Short for the Quantum Computer Extension by Exascale-HPC, the Q-Exa research association is part of an existing broader plan towards improving European (and specifically German) quantum capabilities. Germany intends to build a competitive quantum computer within the country in five years, and to create a network of companies developing cutting-edge applications in the field.
Earlier this year, Germany showed its resolve towards creating a quantum computing ecosystem in the country by allocating two billion euros (USD 2.4 billion) for the purpose. The German science ministry will use 1.1 billion euros to support research and development. The economy ministry will also spend 878 million euros towards practical quantum applications.