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BCW Member SEEQC Unveils Breakthrough Digital Chip for Quantum Computers

BCW Member SEEQC, a digital quantum computing company based in Elmsford, made a major announcement this week that it has developed a digital chip that can operate at temperatures colder than outer space so it can be used with quantum processors that are often in cryogenic chambers.

Quantum computers, which are based on quantum physics, have the potential one day to complete some calculations millions of times faster than the most powerful supercomputer today. One challenge is that quantum processors with quantum bits, or qubits, often need to be stored at very cold temperatures. On the other hand, classical computers operate in more moderate temperatures.

Today wires connect the quantum processor in the freezing chamber to classical computers in room temperature, but the temperature change can slow the speed and cause other issues. SEEQC has also built its quantum computer this way and is now trying to modify it with its new chips.

The first chip it unveiled Wednesday sits directly under the quantum processor and controls the qubits and reads out the results. At least two other chips still under development will be in a slightly warmer part of the cryogenic chamber. These could further process information needed for quantum computing.

The technology could make it easier to build more powerful quantum computers as each cryogenic chamber would be able to support a larger number of qubits. Today’s superconducting quantum computers have hundreds of qubits, but some estimate thousands, or even a million could be needed to create a quantum computer to run useful algorithms.

The SEEQC digital chips are made at SEEQC’s fabrication facility in Elmsford using silicon wafers but do not use transistors.

In November 2022, SEEQC announced completion of its combined 12,000-square-foot, renovated, multilayer, superconductive chip foundry and quantum product development and testing center in Elmsford. The state-of-the-art facility expands its capacity to fabricate the world’s most complex superconductor electronics for quantum computing, AI, and sensor and detectors and to test and integrate superconductive chips into state-of-the-art quantum computing systems.

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) provided a $600,000 Empire State Development capital grant to support the expansion and renovation of SEEQC’s facility and associated costs of machinery and equipment. BCW President & CEO Marsha Gordon is Co-Chair of the MHREDC.

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