Why the tricolor quantum reel mechanic
Ten years after Serge Haroche’s Nobel Prize, the French quantum industry was once again celebrated on October 4 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which honored Alain Aspect (see p. 69). In recent years, the Tricolor ecosystem has slowly but surely built itself around a few notables, most notably that of the new Nobel laureate, who, through start-up Pasqal, which he co-founded in 2019, has committed to deploying a quantum 1,000-qubit processor by 2023 .
Enough to achieve the famed quantum supremacy, which offers the ability to perform calculations that a conventional computer could only perform several decades from now. “We already sell 200-qubit quantum processors,” explains Georges-Olivier Reymond, General Manager of Pasqal, and we already have applications to perform computations in fundamental physics and finance.” The competitors? First of all, they are French. Alice & Bob and Quandela, founded in 2020 and 2017, each use different technologies but show very promising results.
“Alone Against the Gafa”
Like Pasqal, Quandela launched two quantum computers in the cloud last summer and plans to launch a third later this year. Its industrial customers, EDF, the French space agency or the German BMW, pay 2,000 euros per hour to use the machine’s computing power to speed up their R&D projects. The start-up already has a turnover of 1 million euros and more than 1,500 users, companies and private individuals.
For its part, Alice & Bob promises “the first logical qubit” – without errors – for the first quarter of 2023. “We are the only ones who face the Gafa on the quantum computer”, assures their co-founder Théau Peronnin. We’re even six months ahead of Google and two to three years ahead of Amazon.”
“Used by Industry”
Same assurance on Pasqal’s side.
“We have a fundamental asset,” explains Georges-Olivier Reymond. We have quantum algorithms that are used by industrialists and we sell computing time accessible via the cloud.” An example? Crédit Agricole is experimenting with quantum computing on Pasqal’s machines. For the bank it is not yet a matter of looking for a post-quantum cipher , which can withstand a quantum computer, but to model the financial risks in an uncertain environment.
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