ColdQuanta’s 100-quantum processor, named Hilbert, is set to launch later this year. (Image Credit: ColdQuanta)


Quantum computing is fascinating. Some have said they will bring us into a tech revolution of some sort. I’d like to see more practical use of them. Especially this one…


ColdQuanta, a US-based company that specializes in manipulating cold atoms, recently revealed a new 100-qubit quantum processor called Hilbert, forming the company’s 100-qubit gate-based quantum computer. Hilbert could compete with other systems developed by leading quantum players like IBM’s Hummingbird, which supports 65 qubits. The 100-qubit quantum processor is expected to launch later this year after final tuning and optimization. ColdQuanta also hopes to develop a system with over 1,000 qubits, aligning with IBM’s goal to launch a 1,121 qubit quantum computer in 2023.


ColdQuanta’s technique relies on treating atoms similarly to qubits and cooling them down to the microkelvin level, a point where their quantum properties can be precisely manipulated. Putting them in such a setting protects against environmental noise while preserving their quantum properties for longer durations.


Instead of cooling down the atoms with large dilution refrigerators, CoolQuanta uses lasers to capture them, causing the cool-down. This is performed before taking advantage of both lasers and microwave pulses that provide them with an arrangement of gates forming a quantum circuit. Cold atoms can also be tightly packed together in a very small space. This means that a superconducting processor that requires square meters of space can be placed on a nail-sized cold atom system. 


Cold atoms also have a key feature: rapid scalability. However, some existing challenges limit Hilbert’s size. For example, the lasers change when the qubit count increases by orders of magnitude. Scientists are performing laboratory tests to determine how this happens, which could also provide them with the best way forward.


This technique’s principles have already been tested and proven. Cold atoms can perform similarly to state-of-the-art quantum processors. Additionally, the system’s connectivity and coherence are equivalent to Google and IBM’s quantum computers. However, the processor isn’t as accurate as the systems developed by competitors. Ongoing optimizations are underway, which aim to improve Hilbert’s fidelity performance.


These results could put ColdQuanta on another level in the ever-growing quantum computing ecosystem. Large and small quantum companies are rapidly announcing new milestones with more quantum computing approaches significantly increasing. Each one presents unique advantages and obstacles, making it difficult to establish hype from reality.


ColdQuanta is currently working on optimization improvements, allowing the system to have applications in material science, logistics, and telecommunications. Hilbert is scheduled to launch sometime this year, with plans on making it available over the company’s private cloud. ColdQuanta is also talking with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to explore ways to make the quantum computer accessible over AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.


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