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Quantum Computing

Quantum computers are one of the most revolutionary future technologies. They enable calculations and simulations for which conventional computers would take years or even millennia. Considerable progress could be achieved with the help of quantum computers, for example, in areas such as data and information processing with novel quantum algorithms and encryption techniques, artificial intelligence, materials research, medicine, basic research in physics, chemistry and biology as well as in the transport and energy sectors and in operation of satellites. However, there is still a long way to go towards a marketable quantum computer.

So far there are no commercial quantum computers in the world that can solve economically relevant tasks faster than conventional computers. There are various approaches for realizing quantum computers. Their advantages and disadvantages, however, have to be further researched. It is therefore essential to continue and intensify the necessary research and development work.

The basis of a quantum computer is quantum physics which deals with the physical processes on the atomic level. Numerous key technologies are already based on the principles of quantum physics – be it computers, smartphones, televisions, laser, light-emitting diodes, navigation devices or magnetic resonance tomographs. Modern communication, data transmission and electronics in general would not be possible without the help of quantum physical effects. Further research of the use of quantum effects can enable new types of technologies that can be specifically implemented in everyday use and can possibly create entire new branches of industries.

Quantum computing represents such an important new type of technology. Certain extensive calculations, in which numerous conditions have to be calculated in a complex mutual interaction, overwhelm conventional computers. A quantum computer, in comparison, works differently: its quantum bits and qubits for short follow the laws of quantum physics. In contrast to the bits of classic digital computers, which only know two states: 0 and 1, they can assume an infinite number of intermediate values. Quantum physical objects serve as qubits, such as electrons in semiconductor structures or superconducting loops, atoms, ions or light quanta. The new algorithms are going to open up new dimensions.

IKON is pushing quantum computing

Scientists around the world are working on quantum technologies. The basic knowledge for building a quantum computer is mainly available in universities and other scientific working groups. Effective use of this potential requires close links between research and science and industry and business. The latter are very interested in the development of quantum computers, as the usage and patent rights remain with the corresponding industrial and research partners.

The current advances in quantum engineering give great cause for hope that quantum computers will become marketable. The existing application-oriented competencies in quantum technology must, however, be brought together in order to build an industrial basis with partners from the economy. IKON pursues the goal of realizing quantum computers and building the associated economic environment. To this end, industry, research institutions and start-ups are involved under the leadership of IKON. In addition, a continuous exchange with other consortia should take place at both national and international level.

Hardware, software, applications and the necessary supply chain are developed. In addition to the technologies that already pursued for building a quantum computer (atom or ion traps, superconducting circuits or other suitable quantum systems as qubits), other similar approaches are also to be pursued.

Quantum technology in the IKON

Two new institutes for the field of quantum technologies are currently being established at IKON: The Institute for Quantum Technologies in Zurich and the Institute for Satellite Sensors in Istanbul. Together with the industry, they will transfer the research results of quantum technology into the commercial market for GNSS services (Global Satellite Navigation Systems).

In addition, IKON works in the field of software development and application analysis for quantum computers. Research is carried out on post-quantum cryptography, quantum machine learning, planning optimization for satellite operation and simulation of chemical redox reactions for the development of battery systems. Our research work should serve as a basis for industrial applications. In its own research, IKON has a clear need for the future use of quantum computers in all of its key areas in relation to aviation, space travel, energy, traffic, security and digitization / AI (artificial intelligence).

Institute for Quantum computing

The IKON Institute for Quantum Computing aims to develop quantum technologies for precision instruments in aerospace and to bring them to prototype maturity in close cooperation with industry. It is therefore interdisciplinary: Theoretical basic research and experimental tests lead to engineering implementation.

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Institute of Quantum Computing
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