SLX and SQC are pleased to announce the launch of a four year project (the Project) to develop a process for the commercial production of high-purity ‘Zero-Spin Silicon’ using a variant of SILEX laser enrichment technology.
The Project is supported by advance purchase arrangements for SQC to acquire high-purity ‘Zero-Spin Silicon’, a key input for making silicon quantum computers, and SQC acquiring an equity stake in SLX
Zero-Spin Silicon (ZS-Si) is a unique form of isotopically purified silicon required for the fabrication of the next-generation of processor chips that will sit at the heart of silicon quantum computers.
Silex’s laser isotope separation technology has the potential to efficiently produce ZS-Si to provide a secure supply of this essential material for SQC in support of its efforts to commercialise silicon-quantum computing.
The Project aims to develop technology to cost-effectively produce enriched silicon in the form of ZS-Si with sufficiently high purity, and to establish the manufacturing technology and capability to scale-up production as silicon-based quantum computing gains traction globally over the next decade.
Quantum computers are expected to be thousands of times more powerful than the best of today’s conventional computers, opening new frontiers and opportunities in many industries, including medicine, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and global financial systems.
The launch of the Project was marked by the signing of a product offtake agreement between SQC and Silex, and SQC subscribing for up to 2,300,000 fully paid ordinary shares in the capital of Silex through a private placement. The Project will also involve and be supported by UNSW Sydney.
“We are delighted to be able to contribute to this Project and look forward to working with Silex” said Professor Michelle Simmons, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Quantum Computing and Communication Technology (CQC2T) and a founder and Director of SQC.
“Australia is at the very forefront of silicon-based quantum computing internationally, and to maintain that lead we need a secure supply of isotopically purified silicon, which is an essential ingredient for manufacturing commercial silicon-based quantum computers.
We have been aware of Silex, and its unique expertise in isotope separation technology, for some time and are excited to be working together with the aim of delivering significant economic benefit for Australia in an industry which is rapidly gaining international attention” she added.
“This is a great step forward for Silex, providing a new commercialisation path for a variant of our core SILEX laser isotope enrichment technology” Dr Michael Goldsworthy, Silex CEO said today.
“Quantum computing is the next frontier in computing, ‘big data’ and communications technologies. We are extremely pleased to be able to launch this leading-edge project with support from SQC, a company formed to support commercialisation of silicon-based quantum computing technology through investment from UNSW Sydney, the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments, Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank. We are excited to be part of the global silicon-based quantum computing opportunity and to work with Professors Simmons (2018 Australian of the Year) and Sven Rogge from UNSW” he added.