Shenzhen’s quantum research institute sets up special unit to seek breakthroughs in China’s semiconductor ‘choke points’
- Advances in key components will be a top priority for the centre, according to the institute’s announcement
- New unit will focus on IC design, radio frequency and microwave device development and other quantum computing technologies
Shenzhen’s quantum research institute has set up a new unit aimed at achieving breakthroughs in the “choke points” of integrated circuit (IC) technology, a field that China wants to achieve greater self-sufficiency in as the US ramps up trade restrictions.
Shenzhen International Quantum Academy, one of China’s top labs, said it has set up an Integrated Circuits and Electronics Centre, which will focus on IC design, radio frequency and microwave device development and other issues crucial in boosting the advancement of quantum computing technologies, according to a statement by the institute this week.
Advances in key components will be a top priority for the centre, according to the announcement. The centre has already formed an initial team of cross-disciplinary researchers and plans to build a lab dedicated to IC design and cryoelectronics.
“Quantum computing is a disruptive computing model based on quantum mechanics that carries and processes information at a capacity unparalleled by classical computing technology … countries around the world have unveiled strategies to grab leadership status,” the Shenzhen International Quantum Academy said in the statement.
The step-up in US restrictions is aimed at slowing China’s long-time goal of achieving greater independence in key technologies. President Xi Jinping stressed at a key meeting last month that China must bolster development of technology critical to national security and adopt a top-down “new whole country system” to seek breakthroughs.
The Shenzhen International Quantum Academy, formally known as the Shenzhen Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (SIQAE), was established in 2018 under the Southern University of Science and Technology as part of the local government’s initiative to boost fundamental research.
The university’s quantum researchers are also exploring how to apply the technology commercially. Planck Innovations, a quantum technology start-up founded by SIQAE adjunct professor Sun Xiaowei, has closed a pre-A series of funding of over 10 million yuan (US$1.38 million), according to the company. Established in 2021, Planck Innovations develops and manufactures nano materials that can be used in optoelectronics and semiconductors, among other applications.