A Swedish quantum computer has been under construction at Chalmers in Gothenburg for a few years.

Now the researchers are on the move with one more, a copy that can be used by Swedish companies and researchers.

"We see it as a great opportunity", says Professor Per Delsing.

Chalmers will build a new quantum computer, a copy of the current quantum computer.
Chalmers will build a new quantum computer, a copy of the current quantum computer.

It attracted a lot of attention when Google 2019 announced that a computer completed the first really advanced quantum calculation.

The calculation took 200 seconds to perform, while the world's fastest classic computer had needed several days – at least – for the same thing.

The problem, says Per Delsing, is that no one had much use of the calculation.

"It was a milestone, that they did something that a classic computer cannot do, or at least much faster than a classic computer can do", he says.

"But it was not an algorithm that someone was happy with. The next step is to do something that is both useful and faster and a classic computer."

Per Delsing in the quantum computer lab. In the white cylinder behind him, the cryostat, there are extremely cooled quantum pieces.
Per Delsing in the quantum computer lab. In the white cylinder behind him, the cryostat, there are extremely cooled quantum pieces.

"Building skills".

Chalmers now wants to take a step in this direction. The quantum computer that has been built in Gothenburg a few years ago will be copied and made available to companies and researchers.

"The idea is that Swedish industry and Swedish researchers should be able to test ideas on quantum algorithms to solve problems or to research this", says Per Delsing, professor of physics at Chalmers University of Technology.

In an international comparison, Chalmers quantum computer is still relatively small. It is currently at 25 so-called quantum pieces, with the goal of raising to 100.

At the same time, IBM has one that currently has 433 quantum pieces.

"We find it difficult to compete with IBM, but the purpose of this is to build competence in Sweden, so that we in Sweden know how to use these, and how to build these", says Per Delsing.

Behind the Swedish quantum venture at Chalmers University of Technology, which has a total budget of just over SEK 1 billion, is largely money from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The foundation is now shooting at another SEK 102 million to build the second quantum computer.

Chalmers' current quantum computer currently has 25 quantum pieces, but within a few years it will have been expanded to 100.
Chalmers' current quantum computer currently has 25 quantum pieces, but within a few years it will have been expanded to 100.

Starting Help Desk

In addition to the new computer, Chalmers also starts a help desk, which will support those who want to use the quantum computer.

"I usually say that there is more similarity between a abacus and a classic computer than between a classic computer and a quantum computer", says Per Delsing.

"So you have to know how to solve a problem with a quantum computer, you can't run on like with a classic computer."

Chalmers hopes that the new quantum computer will be ready to run algorithms in 2025. It will initially have 25 quantum pieces and after a few years be expanded to 40.

Facts: Quantum computers

The basic building blocks of a quantum computer are called quantum pieces and are based on completely different principles from today's computers.

Simply put, a classic computer uses information in ones and zeros. Either or 1 or 0.

However, the quantum pieces can also be one and zero at the same time.

In addition, for each quantum piece added, the number of possible values is doubled, making quantum computers quickly superior to classical computers.

A classic computer processes one number at a time. A quantum computer can do the same calculation on many numbers at the same time.

The number of quantum pieces does not say everything about how powerful a quantum computer is, but a common example is that at 300 quantum pieces there are already more possible values than the number of particles in the entire observable universe.

Various discoveries in quantum mechanics were awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012 and 2022.

Source: Nationalency Cyclopedia, Chalmers University of Technology and others.