In a groundbreaking move, EuroHPC JU has signed hosting agreements with six sites across Europe to usher in a new era of quantum computing. These agreements pave the way for the integration of quantum computers into six existing supercomputers, enabling European users to explore a wide range of quantum technologies. This ambitious initiative aims to position Europe at the forefront of quantum computing and provide users with access to cutting-edge resources.
EuroHPC’s six quantum computers will be distributed among the Czech Republic,France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. This selection ensures a variety of quantum technologies and architectures, promoting innovation and giving Europe a competitive edge in this emerging field. Hosting Entities, working on behalf of EuroHPC, will lead the development and deployment of these systems, creating a collaborative ecosystem for quantum computing research.
Representatives of the Hosting Entities, the European Commission and EuroHPC JU gathered in Luxembourg to celebrate the signing of these important hosting agreements. This deployment of forward-looking technology is the result of the joint efforts of 17 European countries, determined to pool their resources to be at the forefront of quantum computing. By promoting integrations and generating synergies between systems, Europe aims to maximize the potential of these quantum computers.
The main purpose of these quantum computers will be to support research and development (R&D) activities. Researchers, scientists, and practitioners throughout Europe will have access to these systems, regardless of their geographical location. This inclusiveness will enable the scientific community, industries and the public sector to harness the power of quantum computing to tackle complex problems that traditional supercomputers struggle to solve.
Standardization is another key focus of this initiative, with efforts directed towards establishing common standards for key components such as the Application Programming Interface, monitoring software, and job and user management tools. This standardization will facilitate interoperability and seamless collaboration across the European quantum computing landscape.
Quantum computing holds immense promise for a wide range of applications with industrial, scientific, and societal relevance. Tasks such as optimizing traffic flows, developing smart grids, and advancing drug discovery and materials science can benefit from the unprecedented computational capabilities offered by quantum computers. By integrating quantum computing into high-performance computing (HPC) applications, Europe aims to achieve scientific breakthroughs and spur innovation in various industries.
The hosting agreements, which define the roles, rights, and obligations of each party, mark an important milestone in the EuroHPC quantum computing initiative. The procurement process for the quantum computers will be overseen by EuroHPC JU and is set to start soon. These systems will be co-funded by the EuroHPC JU budget, sourced from the Digital Europe Programme (DEP), and contributions from participating states. With a planned total investment exceeding EUR 100 million, the EuroHPC JU will co-fund up to 50% of the total cost, reflecting the funding arrangements outlined in the hosting agreements.
Let’s take a closer look at the six EuroHPC quantum computers and their respective hosting entities:
- LUMI-Q: Hosted at the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre in Czechia, LUMI-Q will be integrated into the EuroHPC supercomputer KAROLINA. The consortium comprises nine European countries and aims to develop a quantum computer based on superconducting qubits in a star-shaped topology.
- EuroQCS-France: Driven by GENCI, EuroQCS-France will be installed at the TGCC computing center in France, operated by CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) , where it will be coupled with the Joliot-Curie supercomputer. The consortium aims to develop a photonic quantum computer using quantum-dot-based sources of single photons and an integrated programmable quantum interferometer.
- Euro-Q-Exa: Hosted and operated by the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Germany, Euro-Q-Exa will be integrated into the LRZ leadership-class supercomputer, currently SuperMUC-NG. This system aims to deliver a quantum computer based on superconducting qubits arranged in a square-lattice topology, with plans for future upgrades to enhance its capabilities.
- EuroQCS-Italy: Hosted at CINECA in Italy, EuroQCS-Italy will be integrated into the EuroHPC pre-exascale supercomputer Leonardo. The consortium aims to develop a quantum computer based on neutral atom qubits, contributing to the advancement of quantum technologies in Europe.
- EuroQCS-Poland: Hosted by the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center in Poland, EuroQCS-Poland will be integrated into an HPC infrastructure available remotely via PIONIER NREN. The consortium aims to develop a quantum computer based on trapped ions technology.
- EuroQCS-Spain: Hosted by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center in Spain, EuroQCS-Spain will be integrated into the pre-exascale EuroHPC supercomputer MareNostrum5. The consortium aims to develop an analog quantum computer, namely a coherent quantum annealer, complementing the existing digital quantum computer under the Quantum Spain initiative.
With these ambitious hosting agreements and strategic partnerships, Europe is taking a giant leap towards harnessing the full potential of quantum computing. The integration of quantum computers with supercomputing infrastructure promises to revolutionize industries and scientific research, propelling Europe to the forefront of this transformative technology. As the procurement process begins, the EuroHPC quantum computing initiative is poised to drive innovation, scientific breakthroughs, and industrial advancements throughout Europe and beyond.
Further info can be found in the EuroHPC JU press release.