GRENOBLE & PARIS, France – March 24, 2022 – CEA, a key French player in research, development and innovation, and C12 Quantum Electronics, a startup specializing in the development of the next generation of quantum computers using nanotubes today announce a partnership to produce the first wafer-scale multi-qubit chips.
Building on the breakthrough of fabricating quantum chips on 200mm silicon wafers using CMOS processes, C12 pursues the next material leap in quantum computing: using carbon nanotubes to build bits quantum computers, or qubits, the building blocks of quantum computers. By combining an ultra-pure material with an easy-to-fabricate semiconductor device, the company is building a scalable, ultra-coherent platform for quantum computing.
In addition, C12 and the CEA have demonstrated a world-first capability to manufacture, with precision and in volume, basic components to calibrate, control and read qubits, using standard manufacturing processes. Combined with C12’s unique nano-assembly process, this will enable large-scale integration of reliable qubits. In this process, nanotubes are mechanically assembled by C12 on the semiconductor chip manufactured by the CEA. This allows C12 to design electronic circuits of almost arbitrary complexity, while protecting the qubit from contamination until the final manufacturing stage.
The two partners have also launched the manufacture of electronic chips for C12’s quantum accelerators, the startup’s first product milestone. The C12 roadmap includes the development of a range of quantum accelerators for integration into conventional supercomputers.
C12, a leader in finding breakthroughs in materials for quantum computing, closed a $10 million funding round in June 2021.
“This partnership is a key step for our company in moving from an academic manufacturing process to an industrial-grade semiconductor manufacturing process, which was a major challenge,” said Pierre Desjardins, CEO and co-founder of C12. “Thanks to CEA-Leti, we will benefit from better quality and greater volume and we will prepare the industrialization of our devices.”
“Quantum technology holds great promise for next-generation computing, but still faces significant development challenges for fabricating qubit chips. Combining well-established CMOS technologies with C12’s original approach using carbon nanotubes could accelerate progress towards commercializing quantum computing and manufacturing these chips at scale,” said Sébastien Dauvé, CEO of CEA. -Leti. “CEA-Leti’s team and expertise will enable the C12 to reach this higher level of technological maturity more quickly.
In addition, the collaboration will further investigate the integration of innovative materials to optimize the properties of qubits hosted in carbon nanotubes, and will include continued work on the design and fabrication of multi-qubit chips. A final full prototype is expected in 2024.
About the CEA (France)
The CEA is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas: energy transition, digital transition, technologies for the medicine of the future and defense and security.
The CEA plays a key role in the transfer of scientific knowledge and innovation from research to industry. This high-level technological research is carried out in particular in electronic and integrated systems, from the microscopic scale to the nanometric scale. It has a wide range of industrial applications in the fields of transport, health, safety and telecommunications, contributing to the creation of high quality and competitive products.
Leti, the CEA’s technological research institute, is a world leader in miniaturization technologies enabling intelligent, energy-efficient and secure solutions for industry. Founded in 1967, CEA-Leti is a pioneer in micro- and nanotechnology, designing differentiating application solutions for global enterprises, SMEs and startups. CEA-Leti addresses the critical challenges of healthcare, energy and digital migration. From sensors to data processing and calculation solutions, CEA-Leti’s multidisciplinary teams provide solid expertise, drawing on world-class pre-industrialization resources. With a staff of over 1,900 people, a portfolio of 3,100 patents, 11,000 square meters of clean room space and a clear intellectual property policy, the institute is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. CEA-Leti has launched 65 startups and is a member of the Carnot Institutes network. Follow us at www.leti-cea.com and @CEA_Leti.
For more information: www.cea.fr/francais
Startup C12 is leading the next materials leap forward in quantum computing. C12’s mission is to build reliable quantum processors to accelerate very complex computing tasks, thanks to unique know-how developed at the CNRS and the Physics Laboratory of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. C12 believes that only a breakthrough in the field of materials science will allow the establishment of large-scale quantum computers. With quantum chips now manufactured in a semi-industrial factory, C12 is uniquely positioned to provide quantum capabilities to improve our lives. To learn more about C12 quantum electronics, visit: www.c12qe.com