Georges Reymond and Alain Aspect co-founded quantum computing startup PASQAL, raising €100m to scale technology with world-first results.
Georges Reymond, a schoolboy who was inspired by Alain Aspect’s research in quantum physics, has achieved the unimaginable by cofounding PASQAL, a quantum computing startup with Aspect. The company has just raised Europe’s largest investment round in the sector, with €100m. PASQAL’s quantum processing technology has achieved a world first, producing comparable results to a state-of-the-art classical computer.
Aspect’s Nobel-winning work focused on the use of lasers to cool down atoms to make them stable enough to be useful as containers of quantum information, or qubits. PASQAL is now using this research to build a quantum processor using single atoms as the qubits, rather than making them out of superconducting materials like silicon. This approach is solving one of the biggest challenges for quantum processors, which is scaling up the number of qubits that can actually be put to use to solve complex computing problems.
PASQAL has also cleared one of the biggest hurdles facing quantum computing — proving parity with classical computers. Last year French banking group Crédit Agricole used PASQAL’s technology to run a lending risk calculation where the quantum computer performed as well as a state-of-the-art classical computer. Other companies have signed up, including EDF Energy, Siemens, Airbus, LG Electronics and Johnson & Johnson.
PASQAL will now be using the €100m to double its headcount as it aims to increase the number of working qubits in its processor from 70 to 1,000. It’ll also expand its international footprint by opening up subsidiaries in the US and Canada as the company broadens its customer base. The company will offer two main product lines: a “quantum-as-a-service” cloud-based solution, as well as selling processors to companies.
The record-breaking round and PASQAL’s corporate client list indicate that the long-promised arrival of quantum computing in real-world applications could finally be upon us. PASQAL is not the only company using the “neutral atom” approach in the quantum computing race, but it is leading the way in proving the potential of quantum computing.