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On Nov 23rd 2021, session #3 of Jolt Capital Academy welcomed a duet of quantum experts : Daniel Esteve (Académie des Sciences and head of the Quantronics group at CEA) and Emmanuel Flurin (senior researcher at CEA and Scientific Advisor at startup Alice&Bob).

Daniel Estève (CEA and French Academy of Sciences) explaining Schrödinger’s cat using … a mouse.

They took us on a journey through the fascinating quantum computing landscape. A few highlights from our traveler’s notebook :

Ultimate strength is about fault tolerance

Our body knows that. Protecting from cancer is both about shielding from external agressions and continuous self-repairing when defects occur. Qubits are inherently fleeting and fragile: to protect them from decoherence, they need both protection and error correction strategies.

A cambrian explosion of “tech species”

Many routes have been proposed to reach the graal and we have no clue yet about prevailing one. Some go silicium, other supraconductors. Some bet on immense volumes of physical qubits and use brute force to perform error correction. Some bet on cat-qubits, a more frugal way to scale.

Contracting and expanding time

In quantum computing, we’ll have to play with time and duration. Lifespan of qubits : we need to continue extending it (even with zillions of qubits, if they are short-lived, their advantage will stay limited). Time-to-market : we aim at reducing it for patents portfolios to get ROI before they enter the public domain.

It’s the geopolitics, stupid !

Science is internationally entangled by design. Emerging quantum technologies will have a strong geopolitical side too. Just like in AI, major players (US, China, and the GAFAM) will pour lots of money at it to put the first stick in the ground. France is on the bleeding edge too, with top-notch researchers, promising startups and a national Quantum Plan.

Special thanks to Daniel Esteve, to Emmanuel Flurin and to Didier Roux, who made our head spin and our vision clearer.