Bosch has set up a new business unit to commercialize quantum sensors. The “in-house startup” will pool research results and translate them into products. “Above all, the aim is to increase the broad practical benefit of quantum effects – for everything from the development of carbon-neutral powertrains to neurological diagnosis. Bosch has been doing extensive research in quantum sensing for many years now and we see ourselves as global leaders in this area,” says Jens Fabrowsky, executive vice-president at Bosch Automotive Electronics.
Quantum sensors use individual atoms of a gas or defects in solids as atomic measuring instruments. Because of the special way they’re initialized before measurement and their ability to detect individual quantum states after measurement, these sensors achieve unprecedented precision. It has been predicted that quantum technology will allow for measurements that are nearly a thousand times more precise than those done by today’s MEMS sensors.
Quantum sensors could, for example, be able to help diagnose neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s more accurately and easily. They might also be used to record nerve impulses, and thus to control artificial limbs one day.
Bosch has been researching quantum sensing for seven years now and has built fully functional and powerful demonstrators of a quantum magnetometer and a quantum gyrometer. Quantum magnetometers can, for example, be used to detect the tiny magnetic fields generated by physiological processes, while quantum gyrometers permit the high-precision detection of rotations for the navigation of autonomous systems. On the agenda now is achieving further miniaturization and integrating the technology on a chip.