Editorial Feature

ColdQuanta Leads the Commercialization of Quantum Technology from the Lab to the Real World

ColdQuanta is a quantum technology firm that creates quantum sensors, computers, and other related devices. With its long history in quantum sensing as well as its recent advancements in quantum computing capabilities, ColdQuanta is a strong leader in the broad commercialization of quantum technology.

ColdQuanta, commercial quantum technology

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ColdQuanta, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, uses the quantum mechanics of cold atoms as its core quantum platform.

When atoms are chilled to a temperature near absolute zero, a new phase of matter known as BEC is produced. Dr. Eric Cornell and Dr. Carl Weiman, who achieved the first-ever BEC at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1995 are the founders of ColdQuanta. Cornell and Weiman, along with Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT were later awarded the Nobel prize in Physics for the experimental observation of BEC in 2001.

Some alkali and alkaline earth atoms can be arranged and held in place in an optical lattice using radiation pressure forces enabled by lasers. At ColdQuanta, cesium or rubidium atoms are the atomic species of choice. Cesium atoms are cooled to near micro kelvin temperatures for qubits, while rubidium atoms are cooled to nanoKelvin for BEC, where the atoms act as one coherent entity and are primarily used in sensing.

Trapped cold atoms are used by ColdQuanta in a number of quantum applications. For example, gate-based quantum computers and a range of quantum sensing and simulation devices, including high precision clocks, quantum navigation systems, and quantum networking and communications.

Although quantum computing currently dominates the "quantum" news, all the other quantum-enabled devices have a significant impact on the quantum technology landscape.

Cold Neutral Atom-Based Quantum Platform

In and of themselves, atoms are quantum objects. By controlling the internal states of electrons within the atom, their quantum nature can be manipulated for a multitude of purposes.

ColdQuanta uses the cold atom quantum platform as the fundamental technology to make many different devices with different functionalities. The core technology starts out with a simple glass cell composed with atoms of a single species set in ultra-high vacuum.

The individual atoms are trapped by radiation pressure offered by carefully controlled lasers. Momentum transfer enacted by absorption and spontaneous emission by the atom consequently makes them cold and precisely controllable.

Depending on the application, lasers with specific frequencies can then arrange the atoms in particular configurations. For instance, counter-rotating atoms produce gyroscopes, a checkerboard-like arrangement produces qubits, and linear layouts can provide accelerometers, among other functionalities.

The core cold atom setup is employed by ColdQuanta for two distinct applications. One, known as "Hilbert," is used for quantum computing. The second product class is utilized for quantum sensing and associated applications and is called the "Albert" quantum matter design platform.

Hilbert - Quantum Computer

ColdQuanta’s “Hilbert” is a cloud-based neutral atom quantum computer with 100 qubits. In addition to other advantages, Hilbert promises superior error correction, high qubit connectivity with potential scaling capability of 100:1, lengthy coherence times, and efficient gate fidelity. Additionally, neutral atoms can be packed closely together because they do not carry an electrical charge, making this approach of qubit creation highly scalable and small. The quantum computer is also designed to run at room temperature despite constituent atomic arrays being held at near-zero Kelvin temperatures.

Hilbert is compatible with the Qiskit API software. Qiskit API, which connects the physical cold atom qubit platform to quantum algorithms, converts popular programming languages like Python into the language of the quantum machine. Quantum computing services will be accessible to users through the extensive multi-tenant cloud platform from ColdQuanta.

Hilbert shows the strength and scalability of atomic qubits and their potential to completely change the quantum computing landscape.

Albert - Quantum Sensor

The "Albert" quantum matter design platform displays ColdQuanta’s capabilities in the area of quantum sensing. Two key characteristics, among others, are the foundation for ColdQuanta's capacity to use its atomic system for quantum sensing.

The first is the capacity to achieve efficient superposition of individual atoms followed by precise control and measurement of the atoms to track very sensitive changes.

A tunable dipole is produced when the atoms are excited into a Rydberg atomic state. Rydberg states are energy levels that are from the atomic nucleus. When electrons occupy Rydberg states, the dipole strength of the atoms is increased and they become highly polarized. As a result, this arrangement is quite sensitive to RF changes.

This capability allows for the system to "sense" multiple factors like electric fields with great precision.

Ruggedized, portable, and compact systems have been manufactured by ColdQuanta's cold atom methodology. Two different ColdQuanta systems have been successfully deployed on the International Space Station (ISS).

Future Outlook

With strong technical ability, proprietary technology, and an innovative quantum-driven product range, ColdQuanta is positioned to be the leader in ushering in the quantum age. With a wide range of clients and established application portfolios, ColdQuanta should benefit from synergies between its two major "quantum" products, sensing and computing.

More from AZoQuantum: First Commercially-Available Quantum-Enhanced Key Generation Platform

References and Further Reading

Maximillian A. Perez "Transitioning quantum atomic technologies from the lab to the real world", Proc. SPIE 11579, Quantum Photonics: Enabling Technologies, 1157906 (4 October 2020); 

ColdQuanta. DRIVING THE QUANTUM REVOLUTION. [Online] coldquanta.com. Available at: https://coldquanta.com.

Fein, R. (01 June 2022) A Review of ColdQuanta. [Online] medium.com. Available at: https://medium.com/codex/a-review-of-coldquanta-a92773834fb

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Written by

Ilamaran Sivarajah

Ilamaran Sivarajah is an experimental atomic/molecular/optical physicist by training who works at the interface of quantum technology and business development.

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