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VTT Spins Out Silicon Semiconductor Qubit Tech Company SemiQon: Week in Brief: 03/17/23

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SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 17, 2023 — NTT Research Inc., a division of NTT, will double the size of its optical research facility in 2023. The expansion will accommodate the experimental needs of scientists in the company’s Physics and Informatics (PHI) Lab, NTT Research said. The experimental work to be performed in the new optics lab, which is expected to be completed in October 2023, will affect theoretical investigations of Coherent Ising machines and Boolean satisfiability problem-solving platforms. The PHI Lab’s mission is to use optical technologies to build simple, efficient, and practical solvers for real-world problems by radically redesigning analog computers within the fundamental principles of quantum physics and brain science.
Silotron's first generation OCT chip, Akepa, with a £1 coin for scale. The chip reportedly replaces 70% of the optics contained within a traditional OCT system setup. Silotron reported that it used the chip to that it acquired a sub-surface image of the retina in a synthetic eye. Courtesy of Silotron.
Silotron’s first-generation OCT chip, Akepa, with a £1 coin for scale. The chip reportedly replaces 70% of the optics contained within a traditional OCT system setup. Silotron reported that it used the chip to acquire a subsurface image of the retina in a synthetic eye. Courtesy of Silotron.
BRISTOL, England — Using its first-generation OCT photonic chip, startup company Siloton Ltd. reported that it acquired a subsurface image of the retina in a synthetic eye, which the company said is anatomically analogous to a real eye and is used to calibrate clinical devices. The company’s OCT chip, Akepa, compresses a tabletop-worth of heavy, expensive, and fragile optical components onto a single piece of material smaller than a £1 coin. The reported advancement targets the miniaturization and portability of OCT. Further refinement of the obtained image is ongoing, the results from which will feed into the design of the second-generation Blue Jay chip, as well as Siloton’s wider OCT system.

OULU, Finland — Detection Technology PLC, a provider of x-ray detector solutions and services for medical, security, and industrial applications, signed an agreement to acquire Shanghai Haobo Imaging Technology Co. Ltd., an x-ray flat-panel detector provider with an enterprise value of around €14 million ($14.9 million). The transaction will almost double Detection Technology’s total addressable market, the company said. The acquisition enables Detection Technology to enter the thin-film transistor flat-panel detector market segment, which is estimated to represent over 40% of the total digital x-ray detector market of €3.1 billion by 2025. Detection Technology also provides photon-counting detectors and line-scan detectors.
In partnership with NOAA, L3Harris has developed innovative weather sensor technology that is at the forefront of the GeoXO mission, providing highly detailed, real-time information on weather patterns, including high-resolution imagery, temperature and moisture data. Courtesy of L3Harris.
In partnership with NOAA, L3Harris has developed innovative weather sensor technology that is at the forefront of the GeoXO mission, providing highly detailed, real-time information on weather patterns, including high-resolution imagery, temperature, and moisture data. Courtesy of L3Harris.
MELBOURNE, Fla. — L3Harris Technologies earned a $765 million contract from NASA to design and build the next-generation, high-resolution imager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Geostationary Extended Observations satellite system. The GeoXO Imager will provide advanced visible and infrared imagery, more precise observations, and improved water vapor measurements to significantly improve the accuracy and timeliness of weather forecasting in the Western Hemisphere. The addition of two new spectral bands and enhanced spatial resolution will improve space-based severe weather monitoring as well as short-term weather predictions and wildfire tracking. The GeoXO mission is slated to begin launching in 2032, and it will provide the mainstay of NOAA’s geostationary observation through 2055.


FARMINGTON, Conn. — TRUMPF Inc., the North American subsidiary of TRUMPF, is expanding its local manufacture and sheet metal assembly of fabricating machine tools in Farmington, Conn. The company will add 55,800 sq ft to its production building for the manufacture of laser cutting, bending, and welding machinery. The project is part of ongoing recovery efforts related to damage sustained after a plane crashed into the production building in September 2021. TRUMPF will invest an estimated $40 million into the project, which will include a smart factory that demonstrates advanced automated and connected precision sheet metal production. Construction on the project is expected to be completed by May 2024.

ESPOO, Finland — VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland launched the quantum computing spinout SemiQon. The company, which started operations last month, builds quantum processor chips made from silicon semiconductors that are scalable and easier to manufacture than those based on other materials. They can also function at warmer temperatures, making them more operable and sustainable. Target applications include quantum processors capable of fault-tolerant operation.

SAN CARLOS, Calif. — The QUADRATURE consortium was awarded the Horizon Europe European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder Open funding grant to advance research into massively scalable quantum computers through coherent quantum links connecting quantum processors. The vision of QUADRATURE is a step toward million-qubit quantum computing architectures able to address real-world problems otherwise intractable with classical computers. Rather than individually wiring and connecting millions of individual qubits, QUADRATURE aims to pioneer a generation of scalable architectures by connecting distributed quantum cores that are connected via quantum-coherent qubit state transfer links and via wireless interconnect. The novel architecture supports reconfigurability and will support massive flows of heterogeneous quantum algorithmic requirements. The award was announced by consortium member Equal1. Additional consortium members include the Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Delft University of Technology, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Technical University of Catalunya, Technical University of Valencia, University College Dublin, University of Catania, and University of Siegen. The total grant to the consortium from the European Union is €4 million.

DERRIMUT, Australia — AIM Defence, a developer of ultracompact high-power laser systems with advanced AI tracking, acquired NearSat, a company that is creating a “taskable” constellation of near-space satellites. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. NearSat’s fleet of solar-powered high-altitude pseudo satellites are capable of flying at 60,000 ft — above commercial air traffic — for months at a time, performing the function of a satellite at a fraction of the cost, according to the company.

OREM, Utah — Techcyte, a developer of AI-based digital diagnostics for lab medicine, announced a strategic collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to create new AI algorithms and workflows on the Techcyte Clinical Pathology AI Platform. Techcyte’s Clinical Pathology AI Platform imports digital images of liquid-based samples acquired through whole slide scanners. These images are analyzed by deep learning algorithms that identify and classify target objects. The resulting images are verified by medical technologists, after which the results are exported to lab information systems. The collaborators will develop diagnostic testing with increased accuracy and efficiency.

NEWCASTLE, England — As an extension of a partnership announced last year between Lockheed Martin and Northumbria University, Lockheed Martin invested £150,000 in the university in a project to accelerate the delivery of space-based solar power. The project will use specialized photovoltaic cells that will collect and convert laser power into useable power for future space and lunar vehicles.

Published: March 2023
Glossary
quantum
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
directed energy
Directed energy refers to a type of energy that is emitted and transferred in a controlled direction. The term is often associated with military and technological applications where energy, typically in the form of electromagnetic radiation, is focused and directed toward a specific target. Directed energy systems can take various forms, including lasers and high-power microwaves. The key characteristic is the intentional concentration of energy to achieve a desired effect on a target. In...
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