Quantum technologies and photonics innovation


Quantum technology

Quantum technologies hold immense potential to redefine technology and society. Significant research and development efforts continue to support commercialization and scalability for deployment across applications such as:

  • Finance, pharmaceuticals, materials design, and solving complex optimization problems
  • Navigation, precision measurement, and medical imaging
  • Ultra-secure networks essential for protecting sensitive data


While organizations like The National Quantum Initiative, led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), are taking a “science first approach to quantum,” quantum computing suppliers are reporting a viable and accelerating market. In a Quantum Consortium survey by Hyperion Research, quantum computing suppliers anticipate a $1.2B revenue by 2025 fueled by applications in finance, R&D, cybersecurity, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries.

Barriers to quantum technology adoption

Significant hurdles remain in the widespread adoption of these technologies. Dr. Jonathan Felbinger, CEO of the Quantum Open Source Foundation, identifies three key challenges:

  • Scientific Advancement: Continued breakthroughs in the core science underlying quantum systems are essential to overcome current limitations and fully realize their potential.
  • Workforce Development: Building a skilled workforce equipped with the expertise to design, operate, and maintain these sophisticated technologies is crucial.
  • Economic Development and Security: Establishing a robust and secure economic ecosystem for quantum technologies is vital to ensure responsible development and prevent potential misuse.


Progress is being made in various quantum computing hardware platforms, including superconducting qubits, trapped ions, and photonic systems.

Photonics’ role in the pillars of quantum technologies

Emerging quantum technology fields – broken into four pillars – all rely on photonic innovations exemplified below.

  1. Quantum Computation & Simulation: neutral atoms, trapped ions, nitrogen vacancy
  2. Quantum Communication & Networking: quantum random number generation, quantum key distribution (QKD), quantum repeaters, memories, and buffers
  3. Quantum Metrology & Sensing: measurement of magnetic and electrical fields, precise timing instruments, and inertial instruments like accelerometers and gyroscopes
  4. Fundamental Research: optics, imaging, biology, and entanglement/single photon sources


Across the four pillars, quantum technologies share common challenges:

  • Lowering SWaP-C
  • Sustained investment to commercialize
  • Robust supply chain


Despite the challenges, innovation has been advancing forward with some milestones closer than expected.

Quantum technology advancements

Quantum computers have demonstrated aspects of scaling roadmaps with neutral atoms constructing arrays with over 1,000 atoms as well as executing large-scale algorithms with 48 logical qubits.

In the world of quantum communication and networks, more industrial quantum networks have come online to help companies as well as researchers develop and test their solutions on existing telecom fiber infrastructure. On the other hand, quantum sensing has seen more progress in startups advancing field deployable solutions in magnetometry and timing.

Today, readily available photonic components and solutions can help engineers realize quantum systems across computing, communication, and sensing while the next generation of photonic solutions can enable scaling of quantum computers or field deployable SWaP-C quantum sensors.

Hamamatsu Photonics is an active participant in the quantum technologies space by providing a range of photonic devices and solutions ranging from detectors to cameras to modulators, as well as through active R&D efforts for providing the next generation of photonic solutions. The company is a member of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C).

Our product development initiatives look to democratize quantum functionality by providing the key tools and solutions to propel emerging technologies.

Klea Dhimitri discusses quantum topics at our Vision Suite exhibit at Photonics West 2024. Some of our products showcased include the LCOS-SLM optical phase modulator that is suitable for quantum computers.

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