The Instituto Galego de Física de Altas Enerxías (IGFAE), a joint centre of the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Xunta de Galicia, will be present in the coming years in the Strategic Project of Microelectronics and Semiconductors (PERTE Chip). This initiative, promoted by the Government of Spain, has granted 1.6 million euros for the implementation of the USC-Televés Chair in microelectronic design.

The USC – Televés Chair is part of the Cátedras Chip line of grants, which aim to train professionals in the field of microelectronics and semiconductors through public-private collaboration in universities in Spain. The collaboration between universities and companies will open new ways of tackling key challenges in the microelectronics sector, highlighting the lines of research on display in the areas of Edge Computing, Memory Computing, Quantum Computing and the advance in cutting-edge chips for AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) systems.

Quantum computing and cosmic rays

Within this collaboration, the chair will bring together the most outstanding USC scientific staff in this field. This team includes IGFAE researcher Héctor Álvarez Pol, who will coordinate the participation in the simulation of quantum computing circuits and the study of the influence of cosmic rays on these infrastructures.

On the one hand, IGFAE staff will contribute their scientific background in quantum physics to simulate quantum processors and study their behaviour in depth. With this starting point, the aim is to improve the development of algorithms and processes that allow quantum computing to be applied to the analysis of experimental data and theoretical calculations in the areas of High Energy Physics, Astrophysics and Nuclear Physics.

In another line of work, and with the collaboration of the Galician Supercomputing Centre (CESGA), an experiment will be developed to study the influence of cosmic rays on quantum computing infrastructure. These computers are extremely sensitive to disturbances that limit their ability to operate or collect the results of their processes. These include ionising radiation from cosmic rays. To this end, the experiment will make it possible to study the correlations between the passage of radiation and the operation of quantum computers.