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Quantum Computer Developers Collaborating

New ATIQ project funded by the Federal Ministry of Research has a total volume of 44.5 million Euros


Quantum computers promise unprecedented computing power for applications where data processors based on “zeros and ones” can only fail. 25 partners from research institutes and industrial partners are now developing quantum computer demonstrators in the “Trapped-Ion Quantum Computer for Applications” (ATIQ) project which are implemented together with users of quantum computers. The partners are tackling major technical challenges in order to implement German quantum computer demonstrators and to make them available to users for a 24/7 operation. The Federal Ministry of Research is funding the project with 37.4 million Euros.

Alignment of laser beams for the demonstrator setup of an ion trap quantum computer (Image: T. Dubielzig/LUH)

It is ATIQ's goal to develop a first generation of reliable, user-friendly quantum computer demonstrators based on ion trap technology that are available around the clock within 30 months. To this end, the leading groups in ion trap research at the universities of Hanover/ Braunschweig, Siegen and Mainz have joined forces with research institutions and industrial partners.

 “We want to take the next big step together. ATIQ is supposed to be the focal point for a German ecosystem of ion trap quantum technology bringing together technology partners, science and users resulting in relevant commercial utilization,” summarizes project coordinator Prof. Dr. Christian Ospelkaus from Leibniz University Hannover and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig the motivation for this project.

“Instead of classical bits, a quantum computer uses qubits which ions are the ideal storage medium for. We develop the best control of these qubits, even in large quantum registers,” says Prof. Dr. Christof Wunderlich from the University of Siegen. "Especially, when you combine a classical high-performance computer with such a quantum co-processor, this combination is unbeatable for new computing tasks," adds Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).

Robust and scalable quantum hardware

Indeed, ATIQ has enormous potential for economic and scientific success. Quantum computers promise unprecedented computing power for applications where classic high-performance computers by themselves fail completely. The combination of classic high-performance computers and quantum computers, on the other hand, opens up completely new applications. There is therefore an urgent need for Germany to provide robust and scalable quantum hardware. The ATIQ consortium aims to optimize hardware for chemical applications. Novel chemical substances and the reactions for their synthesis could be simulated on quantum computers. Another possible application might be in finance where completely new avenues are being explored in credit risk assessment.

The core of the quantum processor in ATIQ is based on ion trap technology which is recognized worldwide as one of the most promising avenues to the quantum computer. However, the current systems are complex laboratory machines with considerable maintenance and calibration efforts performed by highly qualified personnel. ATIQ addresses the technical challenges in order to achieve continuous operation with reliable, high-quality computing operations. In cooperation with technology and industry partners, the ATIQ partners optimize the control of the processors with electronic and optical signals thus aiming to achieve a high level of reliability and availability so that external users can execute calculation algorithms independently. In addition, such an optimization also promises to upscale the quantum demonstrators from initially 10 to more than 100 qubits.

The strength of the consortium is based on its expertise as a developer of ion trap technology as well as the physical and technical foundation at the universities and research institutions of the Leibniz University Hannover/PTB Braunschweig, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and University of Siegen together with other research institutions, strong industrial and technology partners and users and alliances such as the Quantum Valley Lower Saxony.

About the project

The joint project “ATIQ - Trapped-Ion Quantum Computer for Applications”  is part of the BMBF funding measure “Quantum Computer Demonstration Setups”. Project duration is December 1, 2021 until November 30, 2026. In total, the competencies of 25 partners are bundled in ATIQ and will be coordinated by the Leibniz University in Hannover.

Further partners in addition to JGU (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) and the University of Siegen are TU Braunschweig, RWTH Aachen, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, AMO GmbH, AKKA Industry Consulting GmbH, Black Semiconductor GmbH, eleQtron GmbH, FiberBridge Photonics GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG , JoS QUANTUM GmbH, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, Parity Quantum Computing Germany GmbH, QUARTIQ GmbH, Qubig GmbH and TOPTICA Photonics AG. Associated partners are AQT Germany GmbH, Boehringer Ingelheim, Covestro AG, DLR-SI, Volkswagen AG and QUDORA Technologies GmbH.


Image material:


Modern Ion trap for a scalable quantum computer by the JGU group QUANTUM




  • Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler, Quantum-, Atom- and Neutron Physics (QUANTUM), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Phone +49 (6131) 3926234, E-Mail: Opens local program for sending emailfsk(at)uni-mainz.de
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Ospelkaus, Institute of Quantum Optics, Leibniz University Hannover, Phone +49 (511) 762-17644, E-Mail: Opens local program for sending emailchristian.ospelkaus(at)iqo.uni-hannover.de
  • Prof. Dr. Christof Wunderlich, School of Science and Technology, University of Siegen, Phone +49 271 740 3757, E-Mail: Opens local program for sending emailChristof.Wunderlich@uni-siegen.de