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Italy's quantum computing road starts from Naples

SEEQC's italian R&D center introduced the first quantum computer in the country and it's working on a commercial launch


Italy's first quantum computer has officially debuted in Naples. Or, to be precise, the first "full-stack quantum computer": that's how SEEQC, the American company that developed and implemented it in the Campania main city (also thanks to the research work of its local subsidiary and collaboration with the Federico II University) defines it.

The quantum computer has been named SEEQC Red and it's based on the latest technological advances from the U.S. company. Its characteristic approach involves the development of what might be called an on-a-Chip quantum computer, echoing a term dear to the design of embedded systems in traditional computing.

SEEQC actually uses other terms. The name for quantum processors is Single Flux Quantum (SFQ or SFQuClass), indicating that there's a single computation-algorithm-control flow, integrated in a single processor. This physically houses both the qubits for computation and the more traditional electronics for both algorithm execution and qubit control (and to correct errors that qubits inevitably entail). These electronics operate at the same (lowest) temperatures at which the qubits are maintained.

SEEQC emphasizes that its line of development lies not so much in increasing the number of qubits per processor but in reducing the error rate of quantum computing. This approach has resulted in SEEQC Red, a two-qubit system that the American company says has an error rate four times lower than other quantum computers available through cloud services.

"The next step," explained John Levy, co-founder and CEO of SEEQC, "is to bring [SEEQC Red] to commercial use by building a quantum data/test center here in Naples. We plan to collaborate with the government, private investment funds and our industrial partners to realize this vision."

Italy and quantum computing

SEEQC highlights Italy's role in the development of its quantum computing technologies. Italian government, through the PNRR, has clearly indicated that quantum computing is one of the national technology priorities for the coming years. The perfect moment, SEEQC explains, to position the company "as a market leader and as a reference resource in the country."

The SEEQC R&D laboratory in Naples played a key part in the development of SFQ chips and is now working on complementary technologies that will lead to the next generation of quantum processors. The results achieved so far demonstrate Italy's strong commitment in the growing quantum computing market, according to Marco Arzeo, head of research at the SEEQC-EU laboratories in Naples. SEEQC Red "Is the first quantum computer in Italy," Arzeo stressed, "and one of the few in Europe. Ensuring Italy's position as a leading nation in the quantum computing race allows the country to participate in solving some of the greatest challenges facing humanity."

SEEQC wants to provide quantum computing cloud services through a generic platform able to run computational algorithms developed by any third party. Some European companies have already entered into technical partnership with SEEQC, such as Germany's Merck and BASF. Merck has also invested in SEEQC through its company Merck Ventures.

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