Phix Photonics Assembly and quantum startup Quix have received funding from the regional government’s MIT program to package the latter’s quantum photonic processors with over 50 input/output modes. These are very large photonic integrated chips, by comparison, requiring more than 100 optical fiber connections, up to 5,000 electrical connections and posing new challenges in heat dissipation. As a result, new techniques are required that push the limits of the current state-of-the-art in integrated photonics packaging and assembly.
Photonic quantum computing is attracting increasing attention as an alternative platform to quantum computers using other types of qubits such as superconducting qubits. Large-scale (50+ modes) and fully reconfigurable quantum photonic processors are needed to demonstrate a real advantage of photonic quantum computers over classical supercomputers. Eventually, they’ll scale to hundreds of optical modes, making it even more challenging to package the chips and connect them to the outside world.