Quantum computers: New Infineon quantum test lab boosts research
Villach, Innsbruck, Graz, 31 May 2022 – Experts at the Infineon research lab in Villach test industrially manufactured quantum chips in short cycles. The test lab acts as a catalyst for boosting the joint research work of Infineon, the University of Innsbruck and JOANNEUM RESEARCH in the field of quantum computers. The cooperation is Austria’s and Europe’s active contribution in the global race for this technology of the future.
The quantum test lab was officially opened today before Sabine Herlitschka (CEO of Infineon Austria), Heinz Mayer (Managing Director, JOANNEUM RESEARCH), Philipp Schindler (Senior Researcher, University of Innsbruck) and Henrietta Egerth (Managing Director, Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG).
With its revolutionary potential, the research field of quantum computers is considered to be the key technology of the 21 st century. However, there are still some technical challenges to overcome to develop computers that can be used more productively. Therefore, the global research race to find the best technology is in full swing, and a team from Tyrol, Carinthia and Styria are competing with innovation leaders worldwide. They have joined forces in the “OptoQuant” research project, where together they are researching ion-based quantum processors with integrated optics to make marketable quantum computers a reality.
Research alliance strengthens Europe
Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria: “With joint quantum activities, we are making the most of the great opportunity for Austria and Europe to play a pioneering role in a field that is groundbreaking for the future of the world. The new quantum test lab at Infineon in Villach combines scientific findings with industrial technologies. Our contribution is cutting-edge expertise. Thus, we form an excellent research alliance to be at the forefront of development and among the leading players, and in doing so we can use quantum technology as an opportunity for Europe in the global competition. We at Infineon are proactively committed to this.”
Shorter testing and learning cycles
The new quantum test laboratory offers unique infrastructure that has been designed for fast test cycles and reliable operation. Quantum particles are trapped in the systems that use special cooling and are manipulated by laser waves. The measurement time of an industrially manufactured ion trap module can be reduced from several weeks to one day. Additionally, the time taken for the inspection and verification of individual quantum chips produced using different manufacturing methods and surface materials can be reduced, and chip design can be improved faster. This accelerates learning and knowledge transfer within the team. The team have also developed a joint standard to improve the quality and reliability of the development process as a whole.
Excellent quantum triangle
The new test lab in Villach and Infineon’s semiconductor know-how complement the quantum expertise of the project partners. The focus of the University of Innsbruck is on fundamental research, control, and software programming, while JOANNEUM RESEARCH in Weiz specializes in 3D lithography with integrated optics.
Thomas Monz, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Experimental Physics at Innsbruck University: “Fundamental research has paved the way for the quantum processor. Now we need scalable processes and interfaces such as the new test laboratory to develop quantum processors further, using industrial standards. The lab provides the link between fundamental physics and engineering.”
Heinz Mayer, Managing Director of JOANNEUM RESEARCH: “The experts at the MATERIALS Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics work on optical structures to make quantum processors smaller. Together we are able to make that decisive step to further develop the core of future quantum computers.”
The alliance is also an important hub for the next generation of quantum researchers. At Infineon Villach alone, ten students benefit from ideal conditions for their scientific research work. They are supervised by four quantum experts. Infineon currently has two vacancies for quantum specialists. Quantum research started at Infineon Austria back in 2016 and has been anchored in the Power & Sensor Systems DCDC business line since 2020.
A place for research and innovation
Cutting-edge quantum lighthouse projects require the right framework conditions. Henrietta Egerth, Managing Director of Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG: “When businesses invest in groundbreaking technologies early on and score with innovative products made in Austria, this is of enormous importance for Austria as a business location. That is why we are particularly pleased to support the new quantum test lab at Infineon through the OptoQuant R&D project. FFG, with its European network partners, also makes it possible to strengthen transnational cooperation schemes for this important key technology of the future.”
Quantum computers have the potential to solve complex and data-intensive tasks many times faster than conventional computers. While today's computers work with bits and perform combinations of calculations one after the other, a quantum computer using qubits is able to account for all calculation questions simultaneously. It is game-changing technology for the resolution of previously unsolved tasks.
Highly complex processes of logistics or energy supply could be optimized more efficiently, for example, and thus contribute to robust supply chains. There is also great potential in the development of new drugs, vaccines or personalized medication where the effects and side effects could be simulated faster. The development of entirely new, more environmentally friendly and lighter materials also offers scope for pioneering applications.
The future of quantum computers is highly promising and will unfold disruptive potential, particularly in the case of successful industrialization and when the technology can be used for the benefit of society.
The OptoQuant research project
The quantum test lab is part of the 3-year OptoQuant research project that kicked off in June 2021 and will end in 2024. The total research volume is 2.7 million euros and is co-financed by the “Quantum Research and Technology” initiative of the National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG.
- OptoQuant project: Austrian research is paving the way for super-fast quantum computers
- Infineon Quantum computing – game changer of tomorrow
- University Innsbruck Institute for experimental physics
- JOANNEUM RESEARCH Materials institute
- FFG quantum research and -technology
About Infineon Austria
Infineon Technologies Austria AG is a group subsidiary of Infineon Technologies AG, a world-leading provider of semiconductor solutions that make life easier, safer and greener. Microelectronics from Infineon reduce the energy consumption of consumer electronics, domestic appliances and industrial facilities. They make a major contribution to the convenience, security and sustainability of vehicles, and enable secure transactions in the Internet of Things.
Infineon Austria pools competencies for research and development, production as well as global business responsibility. The head office is in Villach, with further branches in Graz, Klagenfurt, Linz and Vienna. With 4,820 employees from 73 countries (including 2,100 in research and development), in the financial year 2021 (ending in September) the company achieved a turnover of € 3.9 billion. With a research expenditure of 516 million euros, Infineon Austria is one of the strongest research companies in Austria.
In the Infineon Quantum Lab from left to right: Philipp Schindler (quantum researcher University of Innsbruck), Sabine Herlitschka (CEO Infineon Austria), Heinz Mayer (Managing Director Joanneum Research), Henrietta Egerth (Managing Director FFG) ©InfineonStart-Infineon-Quanten-Labor-copyright-Infineon-Austria
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The Infineon quantum test laboratory offers unique infrastructure that has been designed for fast test cycles ©InfineonQuantenlabor-Infineon-Austria
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Quantum-Lab Infineon Austria Press ConferenceQuantenPK-Infineon-Lab
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Module of an ion trap quantum chip in a socket with compression frame for mechanical fixation. ©InfineonQuantenprozessor-Infineon-Austria1
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Infineon quantum wafer ©InfineonBild Ionenfallenchip-Wafer
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Ion trap chip for quantum computers developed and manufactured at Infineon's Villach/Austria site. ©InfineonInfineon-Austria-Quantenchip-5X2A6939
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In the Infineon Quantum Lab from left to right: Philipp Schindler (quantum researcher University of Innsbruck), Clemens Rössler (Quantum Teamlead Infineon Austria), Sabine Herlitschka (CEO Infineon Austria), Heinz Mayer (Managing Director Joanneum Research), Klemens Schüppert (Quantum-Lab Expert Infineon Austria),Henrietta Egerth (Managing Director FFG) ©InfineonQuantenlabor-Infineon-Austria-Team-PK
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