Quantum computers

A great deal of hope is pinned on quantum computers. In future, it is planned that they will solve tasks that are too complex for today’s supercomputers. For example, quantum computers could search huge amounts of data extremely quickly, optimize traffic networks or production processes in factories, and predict chemical processes, which could enable the rapid development of new active ingredients for drugs or new batteries. However, there is still a lot of research to be done before that happens.

Jülich covers the entire spectrum of research – from the search for appropriate quantum materials and the design of circuits and suitable cryoelectronics right up to the development of prototypes and applications.

​Different approaches

Jülich researchers are pursuing different approaches to realizing qubits, the computing units of quantum computers. Together with partners, they are developing computers with both semiconductor qubits and superconducting qubits. They are also researching other alternatives such as hybrid qubits. Exploring different approaches is important, as it is currently impossible to say which technology will ultimately prevail.

Quantum computer from the OpenSuperQ project. Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Sascha Kreklau

Another challenge is that today’s qubits are susceptible to disturbances, which is why calculation errors often occur. For this reason, Jülich researchers are also working on error correction and researching qubits with a low error rate. They are also developing cryoelectronics to control qubits at temperatures close to absolute zero, i.e. -273 °C, the operating temperature of many qubit types.

​Ideal conditions

Jülich offers ideal conditions for research into quantum computers. Numerous experts in different approaches and tasks work closely together here. They coordinate or are involved in national and European projects in which project partners from science and industry are building different quantum systems.

The Helmholtz Quantum Center (HQC) provides Jülich with a unique central technology centre with various special laboratories where researchers can undertake all steps of development. Quantum chips can also be produced at the Helmholtz Nano Facility (HNF).

The Jülich supercomputers can also be used to simulate quantum computers and test programs that will run on quantum computers in the future. Yet another advantage of Jülich’s supercomputing infrastructure is that quantum computers can be connected with supercomputers to form hybrid systems. This combination should make it possible to harness the power of quantum computers for the first practical applications today.

Inside the quantum computer from the OpenSuperQ project. Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Sascha Kreklau

​Access for science and industry

Science and industry can access many of the systems installed at Jülich via the Jülich UNified Infrastructure for Quantum computing (JUNIQ): quantum annealers, quantum simulators, universal quantum computers, and emulators, which can be used to mimic quantum computers on supercomputers. JUNIQ also makes systems from partner institutions available via remote access.

Participating institutes & Projects

Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS)
Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA)
Selected projects
Last Modified: 28.02.2023