Research Teams

The NQCC’s hardware and software teams are working collaboratively to establish quantum computing testbeds that will allow us to test and validate component technologies, understand system level performance, and demonstrate how we can overcome key engineering challenges involved in scaling quantum computing. We work alongside industry and the research community on these endeavours.

The work of our technical teams spans the full quantum computing stack, right from the native hardware through to applications development. Our technology roadmap has a near-term focus on hardware architectures based on ion trap and superconducting qubits, and we are actively collaborating to extend the range of platform technologies that we work on over time.

Ion Trapping

The trapped ions quantum computing team (TIQCT) aims to further the UK’s ecosystem through technology development and collaboration with academic and industry partners.

Internal projects are focused on technological progress including building modular systems, high-fidelity gate control, and scaling. Having fitted out the organisation’s first optics lab, current work is concentrated on the design, development, and assembly of a first ion trap system, using a surface trap geometry. This will enable us to explore high-fidelity, high-speed microwave gates and test the modularised sections of the full system.

We have a number of external projects focussed on enabling technologies and supply chain development such as testing and validating trap types, miniaturisation of ion trap packaging, and remote entanglement.

Superconducting Circuits

The superconducting qubit hardware team aims to work with and contribute to the UK’s superconducting qubit community. This will happen through a combination of internal and collaborative research, while also characterising and benchmarking a range of superconducting quantum processors from the emerging commercial landscape.

Initial work will focus on simulation and design to develop an in-house architecture targeting stability and scalability. As the team grows, dilution fridges and qubit control equipment will be set up in new purpose-built labs and interfaced with the work of the NQCC’s software and applications teams. The first experiments will involve building small-scale processors and testing the scaling to larger devices.

In parallel, collaborative research projects with academic and industry partners will address fundamental challenges to scaling and improving performance such as two-qubit gate errors and inter-chip connectivity.

Software and Control Systems

The software and control systems (SaCS) group maintains software ranging from the control of quantum computing hardware through to providing quantum programming platforms for application engineers.

Our current focus is on building real-time quantum computer control for the onsite hardware teams, from data collection and monitoring to qubit control, and on establishing quantum emulation on the in-house high-performance (HPC) cluster.

Our core software provides a flexible architecture allowing components to be selected at runtime to form application specific toolchains. We bring together a wide range of technologies including cross platform user interfaces and extension points to integrate with 3rd party tools and web-based quantum systems.

Our agile process encourages hands-on experience across the full quantum stack, including hybrid quantum/classical algorithms and the transpilation and optimisation of quantum programming languages.