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Case Study

Xanadu Tackles Quantum Scaling with Low-loss Photonics

Business Needs

Xanadu is an innovative startup setting out to build quantum computers that are useful and available to people everywhere, pursuing an approach based on programmable integrated quantum photonics. Leveraging the technological advances in integrated photonics fabrication and measurement-driven by the telecom industry, Xanadu’s solution promises to avoid much of the cumbersome and expensive cryogenics required for superconducting-based solutions in favor of a compact form factor operating at room temperature.

The primary challenge to building quantum computers is achieving fault tolerance, and the error mitigation strategies used to correct even a single logical qubit can require thousands of physical qubits. For Xanadu, photonic components must be designed with low loss while maintaining performance and stability for manufacturing imperfections. This can only be achieved with savvy component design techniques and simulation tools. Minimal loss is crucial, and success is tied to efficient optimization workflows centered around simulation tools that are accurate, flexible, and highly parallel. These flows must migrate seamlessly to onsite and cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) platforms with high scalability.


Ansys Lumerical provided the accuracy, run-time scalability, and flexibility needed to meet Xanadu’s design goals on time and spec. Xanadu’s quantum photonics engineer Matteo Menotti said, “Lumerical’s FDTD solutions paired with its cloud Accelerators allowed us to reduce insertion loss by more than 15% while significantly accelerating our design schedule."

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