Singapore launches three new quantum computing platforms

To boost the country’s capabilities in quantum computing, quantum-safe communication, and the manufacture of quantum devices, Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) has launched three national platforms, hosted across five research institutions.

The platforms are as follows:

  • National Quantum Computing Hub – which will develop quantum computing capabilities and explore applications through industry collaborations;
  • National Quantum Fabless Foundry – which will support microfabrication techniques for quantum devices and enabling technologies;
  • National Quantum-Safe Network – which will conduct nationwide trials of quantum-safe communication technologies that aim to enhance network security for critical infrastructure.

These three platforms will be hosted across the National University of Singapore (NUS); Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore); the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, (A*STAR); and the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore.

The QEP, which is backed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and A*STAR has allocated SG$23.5 million for the three platforms for up to three and a half years, under Singapore’s Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020) plan.

“The launch of the three national platforms signals the intent and ambition of Singapore to build upon our past investments in quantum technologies, and take it further through close industry development with our partner agencies. The platforms will leverage strengths from each participating institution to develop critical capabilities across the pillars of quantum computing, communication, and devices, enhancing our vibrant quantum research ecosystem,” said Professor Low Teck Seng, CEO of NRF.

“Quantum technologies are attracting global interest thanks to their potential impacts across industries. The creation of three national quantum platforms in Singapore allows us to act as a bigger player in the key areas of computing, communication and manufacturing. The Quantum Engineering Programme supports these initiatives and other efforts to reap the benefits of Singapore’s strong heritage in quantum research,” said Dr Alexander Ling, Director of the QEP.

Meanwhile, Jim Alfred, Vice President, BlackBerry Technology Solutions Certicom, welcomed the announcement, yet expressed caution about potential threats to the quantum ecosystem.

“As quantum computing continues to advance, it’s also increasingly important to prepare and secure today’s systems against future threats. We are seeing growing concerns globally about a ‘Y2Q’ scenario, where quantum computers become weaponised by threat actors, as traditional cryptography used to protect the supply chain and product updates are vulnerable in such attacks,” noted Alfred.

“The implications of Y2Q are many, but chiefly among them is the increased vulnerability this brings to smart cities and critical infrastructures such as industrial controls, aerospace, and military electronics, telecommunications, transportation infrastructure, and connected cars. To mitigate the risk of quantum cyberattacks, companies, governments, developers, and manufacturers must collaborate and take precautionary measures to strengthen their security postures with quantum-resistant solutions,” he added.