Standards for quantum technology

Several Dutch organizations have been working on standardization around quantum technology since last year. Recently, the quantum-tech start-ups Delft Circuits, Orange Quantum Systems, Qblox and QuantWare, together with research institute TNO (QuTech) submitted three proposals for standardization of quantum computing to the European standardization organization CEN-CENELEC.

The Dutch proposals focus on topics like a software programming interface for a quantum computer in the cloud, and a modular division of quantum computer hardware. This division has been chosen in such a way that it maps to the product portfolio of the startups mentioned. The proposals were accepted and now experts are working on the follow-up: new proposals with further elaboration of functional specifications, interworking and interfacing.

CEN-CENELEC has established the Focus Group on Quantum Technologies (FGQT). This group is developing a roadmap for standards on quantum technology, describing what aspects should be standardized and when and where. The Netherlands (NEN) chairs the European focus group and Germany (DIN) the secretariat. The Dutch contributions are coordinated in the NEN Quantum Working Group. This NEN group also intends to contribute to the international ISO-IEC Quantum Working Group.

Quantum technology is in full development. An ecosystem of companies that focuses on quantum technology has already emerged in the Netherlands. Although we are still at the beginning of a revolutionary development, it is already important that Dutch quantum engineers think about its standardization. Contributing to standardization helps, for example, to demonstrate impact in grant applications and to investors, but also to realize a standard quality measure that can demonstrate the quality of a solution.

The current experts of the NEN Quantum Working Group work in the field of quantum computing. Because there are also other areas of quantum technology (such as quantum communication, quantum simulation and quantum metrology/-sensors), it is good to expand the working group with quantum engineers from those fields. By first coordinating ideas and submitting detailed proposals on behalf of multiple stakeholders, we have a high success rate and impact on European and global standards, of which we are now at the beginning.

Read press realise on the NEN webpage