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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R041636/1
Title: ESCHER - Establishing Supply Chains for Emergent Quantum Computers
Principal Investigator: Gawith, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr S Berry Dr LG Carpenter
Project Partners:
Department: Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 October 2017 Ends: 31 March 2019 Value (£): 150,621
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
A key pillar of the UK National Quantum Technology Programme is the drive towards practical quantum computing devices. This grand challenge, being pursued by commercial and academic institutions globally, has potentially far reaching economic and social implications. The NQIT hub aims to develop networks of trapped ion microprocessors with optical interconnects as a route to fault tolerant quantum computing. The scale of the task for researchers and companies in the field is formidable yet a clear pathway exists for the necessary incremental engineering steps towards this goal. Demonstrations to date have validated the underlying concepts, yet the level of scalability required to deliver, for instance, a universal quantum computer will require groundbreaking developments in quantum hardware engineering. This will inevitably require supply chains to emerge and mature along with the leading developers and researchers in the field.

Currently, the groups pushing the limits of a variety of quantum computing and networking disciplines are reliant on bespoke hardware, not widely available and with a high manufacturing overhead. The market opportunity that the partners seek to address, is to position themselves at the core of the emerging supply chain network for a variety of quantumcomputing and quantum information processing devices. For M Squared Lasers Limited, this market opportunity will begin with key subsystem supply to their existing worldwide customer base, with whom they are already working closely. The long-term opportunity comes from moving towards vertical integration building upon a wide collaborative network and system integration capabilities. Similarly, Covesion Ltd will play a key role in the supply of critical optical components, starting here with nonlinear frequency conversion crystals and waveguide devices for the proposed single photon sources and quantum frequency converters. NQIT is the main research and development effort in the UK pushing quantum computing technologies from the lab to the marketplace. NQIT is therefore ideally placed to work with M Squared Lasers and Covesion on developing a supply chain for quantum computing which meets the advanced engineering demands of this emerging sector.

The current state-of-the-art for the targeted technologies are complex lab-built devices created ad hoc for specific experiments. The partners have relevant experience in the targeted areas and through the proposed formal collaboration can create two new product lines that will find applicability in a variety of quantum computing applications.

This development builds on: existing product lines at M Squared Lasers, namely the Sprite XT ultrafast laser and Ice Bloc modular electronics platform; the PPLN product line at Covesion; existing experience and demonstrations of single photon and quantum frequency converters in the quantum information group at the University of Oxford; lithium niobate waveguide design knowhow from our own group at the University of Southampton, and extensive experience and knowhow relating to stable, low-noise DC drive electronics for addressing scalable ion trap arrays at the Ion QT group at the University of Sussex.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk