French Ministry of Defense Enlists 5 Startups for Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computer Development

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### Journey Beyond the Mythical Quantum Realm

Have you ever felt like quantum computers are more of a myth than reality? I mean, they promise us the world – uncrackable codes, solutions to climate change at the drop of a hat, and then some. But hang on, it’s not just an unreachable dream. Startups are incredibly psyched about breaking out of the current noisy, somewhat chaotic phase of quantum computing into an era where errors are just a thing of the past. Sure, it might sound a bit like science fiction, but the truth is, it’s happening. Quantum tech isn’t just cool; it’s quickly becoming a major player on the global stage. Countries are laying down quantum-enhanced red carpets, dreaming big with quantum strategies to ensure they’re not left behind. And, would you believe it, quantum tech has even sparked geopolitical tensions. Yep, the U.S. is seriously regulating who can get their hands on quantum development gear, especially eyeing China with cautious optics.

France isn’t just watching from the sidelines; it’s diving headfirst into the quantum race. Under its grandiose €1bn National Strategy for Quantum, it’s launched the PROQCIMA initiative. Picture this: a whopping €500mn thrown into the mix to develop a universal, fault-tolerant quantum computer boasting 128 logical qubits by 2032. And it’s not a free-for-all; five hand-picked quantum startups are duking it out for the funding.

### “Cat Qubits”? Sounds Purrfect for Error Reduction

Ever heard of Alice & Bob? No, not the cryptology couple – the startup. They’re one of the contenders, claiming to have conjured up “cat qubits”. These aren’t your regular qubits; they are something else. They offer a promising shield against pesky bit-flip errors – those moments when a qubit flips from 1 to 0, or the reverse, because of environmental noise or glitchy quantum gate operations. This usually messes up computations big time. But with “cat qubits”, Alice & Bob suggest we could be looking at a future where executing complex quantum algorithms, including the kind that could crack codes, becomes 200 times more resource-efficient. Intriguing, right?

### The French Quantum Leap: A Race Among Startups

The PROQCIMA initiative isn’t just about throwing money at the problem. It’s shaping up to be an epic five-year battle royale among startups – sort of like “Quantum Survivor”. After four years, only three contenders will remain, and after eight, just two will continue to receive funding. It’s like the ultimate tech showdown, and Théau Peronnin, the brains behind Alice & Bob, is ready to throw their cat qubit into the ring. He’s all about driving innovation and making quantum computing’s full potential a reality.

Alice & Bob, with its cool cryptic lore, isn’t flying solo in this adventure. They’re joined by PASQAL, playing around with neural-atom quantum computing and dreaming of a 10,000 qubit system come 2026; C12, which is up to its neck in custom quantum hardware to marry with classical supercomputers using materials that dodge nuclear spin noise; Quandela, beckoning the future with Prometheus, a top-notch single-photon optical qubit generator; and Quably, aiming to craft scalable quantum computers using Europe’s semiconductor fabs.

So, there you have it. Quantum computing isn’t some distant dream or a figment of the tech world’s overactive imagination. It’s real, it’s happening, and it might just change the world as we know it. Who’s leading the charge? A bunch of startups who believe they can. And you know what? Maybe they can.

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