India Allocates $730 Million Towards Quantum Computing and Communications by 2031
The Indian government has set aside $730 million to establish the country as a center of quantum calculations and communications by the year 2031. The National Quantum Mission (NQM) aims to develop medium-scale quantum computers made up of 50 to 1,000 physical cubes within eight years.
While these developments would be significant, they are not expected to enable any quantum leaps. For comparison, IBM’s Quantum Computer OSPREY currently operates on 433 cubes, and the company plans to create a machine with over 4,000 cubes by 2025.
The primary objective of the NQM is not to make India the top country for quantum processing power but to establish it as one of the world’s leading nations in the development and application of quantum technologies (QTA). The program includes various quantum technology projects, including:
- Safe satellite quantum communication between ground stations within India over a distance of 2,000 km;
- Safe quantum communication with countries over long-distance transmissions;
- Distribution of quantum keys across cities more than 2,000 km apart;
- Creation of a multi-sized quantum network with quantum memory systems.
Theoretically, quantum networks are much more challenging to monitor than existing technologies, and the distribution of quantum keys enhances security by allowing encryption keys to be exchanged over unprofitable channels.
Indian technology initiatives are typically focused on exporting technology and providing services, with national security being a significant concern for the Indian government. This is particularly relevant in quantum calculations, as many countries view the technology as essential for evading classical encryption. The Indian government understands that developing sovereign potential is necessary to ensure that the country is not left on the defensive.
The NQM mission will also aid the industry, with plans for the development of atomic systems with high sensitivity magnetometers, atomic hours to synchronize communications and navigation, and the development and synthesis of quantum materials such as superconductors, new semiconductor structures, and topological materials for quantum device production.