Recent news items published in 2019 or 2020 on quantum computing developments are listed below. Click on the hyperlinked item to go to the press release or news article for details. For older news items published in in 2018, click here and for items published in 2015-2017, click here.
April 6, 2020
AQT and HQS Partner to Provide Quantum Chemistry Software Solutions
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) and HQS Quantum Simulations are partnering to combine HQS’s experience in providing computational with AQT’s know-how on ion-trap quantum computing to provide end users with access to solutions that can be used for computer-aided materials design. Since chemical reactions are government by quantum mechanical principles, the use of quantum computers for simulating these quantum mechanical processes is one of the key applications expected of quantum computers in the future. Current computational chemistry is performed by classical computers but these classical models are limited by the size of the molecules that can be simulated as well as the approximate nature of many of the algorithms that will lead to inaccuracies. Although the initial activity will be to work with small toy models to develop the techniques for modelling the chemical reactions on the AQT ion-trap device, as future machines get introduced that are larger and more powerful these techniques can be put to work on real commercially valuable problems. As part of the solutions HQS will be leveraging the partnership that AQT and Google announced last year to support Google’s Cirq software platform on the AQT quantum computer. For more, you can view the news release on AQT’s web site here.
April 2, 2020
European Commission Providing 3 Million Euro Grant for a New European Quantum Annealer Project
The AVaQus project will be coordinated by the newly created Quantum Computing Technologies group at the High Energy Physics Institute (IFAE) and is the first European-funded large-scale project on quantum annealing. The total amount of funding is 3 million Euros (about $3.25M USD) over a 3 year period. There are eight partners in this project including five research centers and three startups. The key focus of this project will be to develop quantum annealing technology that has substantially better coherence times and qubit-qubit connectivity than current quantum annealers. Click here for more.
March 31, 2020
ID Quantique (IDQ) Introduces Ultra-Small Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) Chip
IDQ’s Quantis QRNG chip is targeted for mobile, IoT and Edge applications and produces high entropy random data using shot noise of a light source captured by a CMOS image sensor. A strong source of random bits is important for generating keys for use in authentication and encryption applications. For more, you can view IDQ press release on the chip here and a related web page with additional information here.
March 29, 2020
Paycheck Protection Program May Be of Help to U.S. Based Quantum Startup Companies
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering a new program that may be of interest to small quantum companies that are under economic pressure due to the coronavirus situation. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Companies will not be required to provide a personal guarantee or collateral in order to receive the loan. Perhaps of most interest, these loans may be forgiven for those companies that maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore them afterwards. For more, click here.
March 27, 2020
DARPA Provides $8.6M Award to Team of Rigetti, NASA-Quail, and USRA for Research in Quantum Optimization
The U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) has provided an $8.6 million award over four years to a team including the Universities Space Research Assocation (USRA), Rigetti Computing, and NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL). The research will focus on advancing quantum hardware/software to help solve optimization problems such as scheduling and asset allocation. The grant is a part of the DARPA’s Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum program (ONISQ) program which has a goal of establishing that quantum information processing using NISQ devices has a quantitative advantage for solving real-world-combinatorial optimization problems. Click here for more.
March 26, 2020
NSF Awards $10M Funding for Coherent Ising Machine Research
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a team led by Stanford University with additional partners from Caltech, Cornell University, and Universities Space Research Association a $10 million award over five years for research into Coherent Ising Machines (CIMs). This award is being made as part of NSF’s Expeditions in Computing research agenda. In addition, NTT Research will be an external unfunded collaborator to the team. A CIM is an unconventional computing architecture that uses an optical storage ring format to provide massive connectivity and can potentially solve hard combinatorial optimization problems. The CIM architecture does not use the gate architectures that are used in many quantum systems. It does take advantage of certain quantum mechanical affects and could potentially provide a computational speedup over classical computers. You can find a more complete description of the CIM architecture in a paper published in Nature here. For more information about this award, you can give NSF’s announcement on their web site here and the web site set up for this project here. NTT Research has also issued a press release that provides additional details about their participation in the program here.
March 26, 2020
Quantum Benchmark Partners with Fujitsu Laboratories to Conduct Research on Quantum Algorithms that Use Error Suppression Technology
To start, Quantum Benchmark will be focusing on applying their True-Q™ error diagnostic technology on current quantum computing platforms. Fujitsu will incorporate this technology to develop more robust quantum algorithms for applications in the areas of materials science, drug development and finance. Fujitsu will also develop performance analysis technology for quantum algorithm using simulations. The initial phase of this partnership will last from April 2020 to March 2021. However it is anticipated that this work will be continued after that and expanded to pursue algorithms in other application areas. The goal will be to demonstrate applications using this research on a 100+ qubit quantum computer by 2023. For more, you can view the news release on the Fujitsu web site here.
March 25, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. Forms Partnership with Splunk, Inc.
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) is a quantum software company developing developing novel applications and solutions utilizing quantum and quantum-inspired computing to solve difficult problems in various industries. Splunk is a data analytics software company that provides that produces software they call the “Data-To-Everything Platform” for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated big data via a web-style interface. QCI will partner with Splunk to do both fundamental and applied research and develop analytics that exploit conventional large-data cybersecurity stores and dataanalytics workflows, combined with quantum-ready graph and constrained-optimization algorithms. These algorithms will initially be developed using QCI’s Mukai software platform, which enables quantum-ready algorithms to execute on classical hardware and also to run without modification on quantum hardware when ready. Once proofs of concept are completed, QCI and Splunk will develop new analytics with these algorithms in the Splunk data-analytics platform, to evaluate quantum analytics readiness on real-world data. More details are available in the news release located on the QCI web site here.
March 23, 2020
DARPA Provides $2.1 Million Grant to Team Led by Lehigh University for Quantum Optimization
The grant provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will be led by members of Lehigh’s Industry and Systems Engineering faculty and will include additional partners from IBM, Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE), Argonne National Laboratory, the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (INRIA), and the Dutch Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI). This award is a little unusual because the researchers come from an industrial and system engineering background instead of the more common physics and computer science backgrounds. For more details, you can view the news release on the Lehigh web site here.
March 19, 2020
Quantum Machines Raises $17.5 Million in Series A Funding
The investment round was led by Avigdor Willenz and Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services with the participation of previous backers TLV Partners and Battery Ventures. Tel Aviv based Quantum Machines provides a subsystem for quantum hardware developers called the Quantum Orchestration Platform that provides the necessary classical control electronics and associated software to accurately control the qubits. They also provide their own programming language called Qua for programming the system. Quantum Machines has indicated they have already provided product to several several multinational corporation and startups as well as additional academic and research organizations. Additional details on the investment can be found in their news release here.
March 12, 2020
Google Releases TensorFlow Quantum for Machine Learning and qsim/qsimh High Performance Simulators
TensorFlow Quantum is a new, open source version of Google’s TensorFlow machine learning software that incorporates an interface to Google’s Cirq quantum programming software and allows the implementation of a hybrid quantum-classical model for quantum machine learning. qsim and qsimh are open source simulators that provide a significant performance improvement over the native simulator in Cirq. Click here for more.
March 12, 2020
NSF Soliciting Research Concept Outline (RCO) Pre-proposals for Early Stage Quantum Computing Research
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested RCOs, essentially pre-proposals, for funding of quantum research in three areas. These include QSA: Quantum Computing Simulation Algorithms, QIA: Quantum Information Algorithms, and QCH: Quantum Computing Horizons. The deadline for submission of these RCOs is April 15, 2020 and promising ones will be invited to submit to submit a proposal for funding under either the Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) or the EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding programs. Invited EAGER and RAISE proposals will be due on June 15, 2020. The RAISE program can provide a maximum funding of $1 million for up to five years while the EAGER program can provide a maximum funding of $300K for up to two years. Additional details can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter posted on the NSF web site here.
March 12, 2020
Honeywell Releases a Qiskit Backend for Their Quantum Device; CQC Announces Support for the Honeywell Device with their t|ket> Software
Honeywell has released version 0.1.0 backend for IBM’s Qiskit quantum programming software. Using the software will require obtaining credentials to the Honeywell quantum device, but once a user has this they can execute a command and use the backend like any other quantum device. You can access this open source Qiskit backend on GitHub here. The Python package from Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) is called pytket_honeywell and is currently at version 0.4.6 which provides optimizations specifically for the Honeywell device. This program can take as an input original programs written in pytket, Qiskit, Cirq, Quil, or QASM. Additional enhancements for the Honeywell device will be in Pytket version 0.5 slated for release in April. For more information on this software, you can view CQC’s news release on their web site here.
March 11, 2020
IQM Expands with a New Subsidiary in Germany
IQM Finland Oy announced that the establishment of a new IQM Germany subsidiary based in Munich and headed by Professor Enrique Solano. The purpose will be to establish a co-design hub that tightens the interaction between quantum hardware and quantum software development. One of the more unique aspects of their strategy is to develop certain processor designs for specific applications. For example, they may create a certain processor architecture for financial applications and another architecture for chemistry applications. The Munich team will investigate the architectures needed for the different applications with the fabrication and testing being performed by IQM’s team in Helsinki. For more you can view IQM’s press release here and also see a blog with additional information here.
March 6, 2020
University of California at Riverside and Partners Win $3.75 Million Award to Research Ion Trap Quantum Computers Made by 3D Printing
The University of California, Riverside (UCR) will serve as a project lead with partners UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will investigate using creating ion trap qubits via 3D printing. The award is part of a University of California Multicampus-National Lab Collaborative Research and Training Award with a goal on enabling scalable quantum computing using a novel fabrication technology. Additional details are available in the new release on the UCR web site here.
March 4, 2020
Honeywell Discloses their QC Roadmap and Investments in Zapata and Cambridge Quantum Computing
In a news release and two different blog articles and technical papers, Honeywell has provided some details on their ion trap quantum architecture that they have dubbed QCCD (quantum charge coupled device). They have indicated that they will be introducing within the next 3 months a quantum computer with a Quantum Volume measure of 64 or greater which would double the current quantum volume measure recently announced by IBM in their latest quantum computer. They also announced that they would be collaborating with JP Morgan Chase to develop quantum solutions for financial applications and have made investments in both Zapata Computing and Cambridge Quantum Computing for undisclosed amounts. Click here for more.
March 3, 2020
APS March Meeting Cancelled; Virtual March Meeting Takes Its Place
The American Physical Society (APS) holds a yearly meeting in March which is a major event for physicists worldwide to discuss the latest developments in various topics in physics, including quantum computing. Due to coronavirus concerns, APS has cancelled the meeting to minimize any risk of health issues. In response, Q-CTRL with additional assistance from Rigetti, Zapata, Horizon QC, and the journal Matter has created a Virtual March Meeting site for APS ‘refugees’ who would still like to share their slide decks and recorded presentations as well as conduct live webinars with the physics community. Access to the site is free and anyone who intended to make a presentation at the APS March Meeting is encouraged to upload their presentation or a video so that others can see it. You can access the site here.
March 2, 2020
Keysight Technologies Acquires Labber Quantum
Keysight Technologies, a manufacturer of electronics test and measurement equipment and software, has acquired Labber Quantum for an undisclosed amount. Labber Quantum, a startup that came out of MIT’s EQus group, develops control solutions for experimental quantum computing. Their product provides an interface between the quantum devices and the classical electronics needed for control and manipulation. The software handles instrument control, signal generation, qubit calibration and dynamical error suppression. Keysight will combine their hardware products with Labber’s software to create a Quantum Engineering Toolkit (QET) that will be used by MIT’s EQus Group for a new 64-qubit quantum computing test bed. For more, you can view Keysights news release here.
March 2, 2020
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Announces Collaboration with CERN
CQC has announced they will be collaborating with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in a project they call QUATERNION. Two initial areas of research were disclosed as part of this project. The first is to utilize CQC’s quantum development platform, t|ket>™ with various quantum computers to improve CERN’s analysis and classification of their vast data sets. The second will be to investigate the use of CQC’s Ironbridge™ certified quantum cryptographic device to provide certified entropy for Monte Carlo simulations. The value of this collaboration was not mentioned in the announcement. For more, you can view the news release on CQC’s web site here.
March 2, 2020
Rigetti Receives $71 Million in a New Round of Funding
Rigetti has sold $71.0 Million in an offering amount of up to $83.8 Million leaving $12.8 million remaining to be sold. The $71 Million includes the conversion of $23,8 Million of convertible securities. The names of the investors have not yet been disclosed, but they did report that a total of 65 investors participated in the offering. Additional details can be found in the SEC Form D filing here.
February 29, 2020
Application Deadline for Creative Destruction Lab’s (CDL) Quantum Incubator Stream is March 15, 2020
The Quantum Stream at CDL-Toronto brings together entrepreneurs, investors, leading scientists in quantum technologies and quantum hardware vendors to build ventures in the nascent domain of quantum computing, machine learning, optimization, sensing and other applications of quantum technologies. Participants are eligible to receive pre-seed investment from a prominent venture capital firm, office space in downtown Toronto, and an intensive 4-week technical quantum bootcamp in Toronto from industry and academic leaders in quantum computing and machine learning. The program is now in its third year and has been very successful in creating several well-known quantum startups. There is no fee to participate for those accepted. Participants receive access to seed capital, access to quantum hardware resources, technical education, business support from top students and faculty of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and mentorship from quantum computing executives, active angel and venture capital investors, and other leading business professionals and academics. Click here to see more details on the CDL Quantum Incubator Stream. To apply to participate in the program you can visit the Application Page on the CDL web site here.
February 28, 2020
D-Wave Announces Leap 2 Quantum Computing Cloud Platform
Leap 2 is the follow-on to D-Wave’s Leap platform announced in 2018. It includes several new features that allow users to more easily program the D-Wave quantum computers, particularly for those solutions that require a combination classical/quantum environment. The first feature includes a hybrid solver service that will automatically find the best way to solve a problem containing up to 10,000 variables using both classical and quantum resources. A second feature is a pre-built Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) that has immediate access to D-Wave’s tools, GitHub libraries and examples without a complicated setup. And finally, a Problem Inspector for advanced users that shows how the user’s problem maps onto the quantum processing unit (QPU) and shows both the logical and physical structure of the problem. D-Wave is offering free trial access to users that includes 1 minute of QPU time, enough for 400-4000 problems, and 20 minutes of time of access time to the hybrid quantum-classical solvers. Beyond that, D-Wave offers a few different paid access plans with approximate pricing of $2000/hour for QPU access and $100/hour for hybrid solver access. For more information about Leap 2, you can view D-Wave’s press release here, a Medium article that describes it in a little more detail here, a page that contains a short Leap 2 video here and a page where you can sign up for an account here.
February 27, 2020
Q-CTRL Releases Beta of Professional Grade BOULDER OPAL Quantum Control Software
BOULDER OPAL is a Python-based toolkit that allows researchers to provide advanced control of quantum hardware to improve performance. The software is hardware agnostic and can be integrated with other Python based platforms including IBM’s Qiskit, Rigetti’s Pyquil, and Google’s Cirq. Q-CTRL states that the software can improve quantum computing hardware by 10 to 100 times for key metrics of error reduction, variability across devices, hardware stability, and reduction of error correlations. For more details, you can view Q-CTRL’s news release here, a detailed technical paper on arXiv here, and you can register for a free 30 day trial here.
February 26, 2020
Videos Posted from Rigetti Advantage 2000 Event
Rigetti held an Advantage 2020 event earlier this month and intends to continue holding these on an annual basis. It is a showcase for Rigetti, its developers and partners to discuss their latest capabilities and provide a technology roadmap for Rigetti quantum systems. They have posted 21 videos of the presentations from Rigetti and its partners and you can find them on the Rigetti YouTube channel here.
February 18, 2020
Intel/QuTech Provide Details of their Cryo-CMOS Chip at ISSCC
We had previously reported about efforts by Intel, Microsoft, and Google to develop cryo-CMOS quantum control chips to help minimize the tangle of cables that are needed in the current generation of quantum computers. Today, Intel and QuTech revealed additional details of their chip, code-named “Horse Ridge”, at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). In a paper titled “A Scalable Cryo-CMOS 2-to-20GHz Digitally Intensive Controller for 4×32 Frequency Multiplexed Spin Qubits/Transmons in 22nm FinFET Technology for Quantum Computers” they describe a chip that can provide the requisite microwave control signals for up to 128 qubits with a wide frequency range from 2-20 Ghz that can support both superconducting (transmons) as well as spin qubits. For more, click here.
February 17, 2020
IQT New York Startup Conference Pitch Competition Application Deadline is February 25, 2020
At the Inside Quantum Technology (IQT) New York conference, they will be holding a startup forum competition on April 2, 2020. It will provide the opportunity for seed stage quantum technology organizations or academic based groups to pitch their respective start ups to an audience of industry executives, quantum tech companies, VCs and investors. There is no charge for participants and Asimov Ventures will be providing a $15,000 SAFE note to the winning startup by a panel of the judges. The deadline to apply to participate in this competition is February 25th and you can view the rules and apply to participate by clicking here.
February 14, 2020
FOSDEM 2020 Videos Now Available Online
FOSDEM 2020, a conference devoted to discussion of Open Source software held a track on quantum computing on Saturday, February 1, 2020. They have posted 13 video presentations covering a variety of different open source quantum related programs and you can find them here.
February 12, 2020
White House National Quantum Coordination Office Releases “A Strategic Vision for America’s Quantum Networks”
The document’s goal is to help focus America’s R&D efforts on advancing the development of foundations for the quantum internet. It establishes quantum community goals for quantum networking and recommends six specific technical areas for focused research activity. The activities are intended to support a five year goal to demonstrate the foundational science and key technologies to enable quantum networks and to identify both the applications and the impact that would benefit from the use of these technologies. Afterwards, the intent over the next 20 years will be to leverage the networked quantum devices to enable new capabilities not possible with classical technology. For more information about the contents of this document, click here.
February 12, 2020
Q2B Videos and Presentations Are Now Available Online
Most of the presentations and videos from the Q2B 2019 conference held last December in San Jose, California are now available. Click here to access them.
February 11, 2020
IBM Makes an Investment in Cambridge Quantum Computing
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) has announced that IBM has become a strategic investor. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. IBM and CQC have been working together for some time already since CQC was one of the first startups to join the IBM Q Network in 2018. IBM is the second strategic investor in CQC that we are aware of. In 2018, Japanese materials supplier JSR Corporation purchased a stake in CQC and increased their ownership to about 5.5% (at that time) with a second investment in August 2018. For additional details on the IBM investment, you can view the news release on the CQC website here.
February 3, 2020
India’s Government Proposes 80 Billion Rupee ($1.12 Billion USD) Program for Research on Quantum Technologies
In a recent budget announcement from India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, she proposed allocating funds for a National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Application. The funding would be for a five year period and bring India’s level of funding at levels similar to the U.S.’s National Quantum Initiative Act and the European Union’s Quantum Flagship. Although India’s activity in quantum computing has been relatively small up until now, this new investment is intended to make India a significant player. Recently, one of India’s major technology companies, Infosys, has indicated they are starting look at potential quantum offerings. For more you can view an article on the web site of India’s Economic Times here.
January 31, 2020
Quantum Information Edge and Maryland Quantum Alliance Consortiums Being Formed in the United States
Taking a page from the Chicago Quantum Alliance that was formed about a year and a half ago, two additional alliances have been formed with members from the academic, government lab, and commercial sectors. Although it does not seem that these alliances will obtain any new funding or even build new facilities, they will help researchers working on quantum technology by increasing cooperation between organizations, exchanging personnel, holding seminars and improving communications. Additional benefits these alliances will work to achieve is to help accelerate the deployment of quantum research into commercial markets and also to strengthen the creation of a quantum ready workforce. The first alliance is called the Quantum Information Edge and was announced last December. It will be led by the U.S. government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratory. Other participants include researchers from the University of Maryland, Duke University, Harvard University, University of Colorado Boulder, UC Berkeley, Caltech, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of New Mexico. The second alliance is called the Maryland Quantum Alliance and will be led by the University of Maryland in College Park. Other participating organizations include University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, MITRE, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, CCDC Army Research Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, IonQ, Qrypt, Booz Allen Hamilton and Amazon Web Services. For more information on these two new alliances, you can view the Quantum Information Edge news release on the Berkeley Lab web site here and the news release on the Maryland Quantum Alliance on the University of Maryland web site here.
January 31, 2020
Qubitekk Acquires 57 Patent Filings, a Foundation Grant, and a Development Partner
Qubitekk, one of the leading U.S. based developers of QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) technologies has acquired 57 patent filings across 17 families for quantum related technologies from QinetiQ, a British multinational defense technology company. One of the focus technologies in the portfolio allows QKD to be used across long distances without requiring a quantum repeater or a satellite. Together with Qubitekk’s internally developed quantum patents, this will make Qubitekk one of the largest U.S. holders of quantum communications related patents. You can view Qubitekk’s press announcement here. And in a separate announcement, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation announced that it has provided Qubitekk along with its development partner, Israel based Raicol Crystals, a grant to develop an efficient miniaturized entangled photon source for quantum computing. Raicol specializes in supplying nonlinear optical crystals and electro-optic devices. BIRD grants will cover up to 50% of development costs with a maximum of $1 million in funding per project. Repayments are only due if commercial revenues are generated as a direct result of the project. For more details about the BIRD grants, you can view the recent press release announcing the Qubitek/Raicol and other awards here.
January 31, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) Releases the Mukai Application Development Platform
Mukai is a software stack designed to solve quadratic unconstrained binary operations (QUBO). The software has been designed so that problems can be run on classical computers now and then run on quantum computers later on when quantum can provide some performance advances. The Mukai package includes two major components. The first is the NetworkX graph-analysis package that exploits that capability for graph problems. And the second is a qbsolv package that implements a state-of-the-art, high-performance optimization capability for QUBO problems. D-Wave had previously announced a program called qbsolv in 2017 and QCI indicates that their qbsolv is derived from and compatible with D-Wave’s open sourced version. QCI has added many improvements and says their version is much faster and can solve a more diverse set of problems and with a greater accuracy. For more information on QCI’s announcement you can read their press release here.
January 23, 2020
University of Chicago to Offer Quantum Engineering and Technology Certificates Program
To help speed the development of a quantum workforce, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago will be holding a four day course to educate scientists and engineers on the key principles of quantum technology and practical applications. Approximately 25 to 30 students will be accepted into program which will be taught by faculty members from across institutions within the Chicago Quantum Exchange. This four-day in-person course is slated to take place April 27-April 30, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois, but may change due to the COVID-19 situation. Scientists and engineers with advanced degrees in physics, engineering, and materials science with an interest in quantum technologies are encouraged to apply. For additional background information about the need to help develop a quantum workforce you can see the press release announcing the program on the University of Chicago’s web site here. And for additional details about this program and to register, click here.
January 18, 2020
Call for Papers – Quantum Engineering Special Issue in the Journal of Mechatronic Systems & Control
The Journal of Mechatronic Systems & Control is planning to publish a special issue later this year focusing on the interface of quantum technologies for engineering applications, including but not limited to, automation, control, and robotics applications, as well as advanced techniques in experimental quantum entanglement and cryptography which can potentially be used in engineering systems. Additional information about this special issue and the types of papers being sought can be found here. The submission deadline is February 15, 2020 and submissions can be made at https://www.editorialmanager.com/msc/default.aspx.
January 17, 2020
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Requesting White Papers for $49.9 Million Quantum Information Sciences Program
AFRL has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) requesting presolicitation white papers for a Quantum Information Sciences Program that will run for five years with funding of about $10 Million each year. Their expectation is they will make multiple awards of $0.5-$2.0 Million each with each award running for a 36 month period. They are looking for proposals to provide research, design, development, concept testing, experimentation, integration, evaluation, and delivery of technologies/techniques to support AFRL’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) mission. The BAA describes five focus areas in which they are seeking proposals including:
- Quantum Algorithm and Computation
- Quantum Information Processing
- Memory-Node-Based Quantum Networking
- Superconducting Hybrid Quantum Platforms
- Quantum Information Sciences
For those interested in submitting a proposal for FY20 funding, the submission deadline is January 31, 2020. After review of the white papers, the AFRL will invite selected proposers to submit a formal proposal. A summary of this BAA is available on the government’s contract opportunity site here and the full text announcement of the BAA can be viewed here.
January 16, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) Launches Its First Software Product, a Quantum Asset Allocator
The Quantum Asset Allocator is a tool that financial institutions can use implement portfolio optimization to provide the best mix of return and risk for a potential portfolio of assets. The classical approach for this is to use a Monte Carlo simulation which requires significant computer resources and takes a lot of time. It is expected that portfolio optimization will be one of the very first quantum applications that will be used in the finance community and a number of companies are working on this. QCI states that they are already working with beta clients to implement this software and early tests have already demonstrated superior results to traditional portfolio management techniques. The Quantum Asset Allocator is available both as a cloud based software service and also as an on premises software + hardware system. You can view QCI’s press release announcement of this product here.
January 16, 2020
Xanadu Receives $4.4M CAD ($3.4M USD) Investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)
The investment will help fund the development of Xanadu’s photonic quantum computers which Xanadu intends on making available over the cloud. SDTC is a foundation created by the Government of Canada to advance clean technology innovation in Canada by funding and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises developing and demonstrating clean technology solutions. One benefit of quantum computing is that is can potentially provide much higher energy efficiency versus large classical computer installations in solving computationally complex problems. And in particular, Xanadu’s photonic approach may be able to provide additional energy benefits because it does not require the power hungry and expensive dilution refrigerators that are needed with other quantum technology. For more details on this investment, you can view Xanadu’s press release here.
January 14, 2020
U.S. Air Force Soliciting Proposals for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants
The STTR program is a U.S. government program to provide funding for private/public sector partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The Air Force is seeking proposals on four different quantum related topics that will provide a Phase 1 funding of a maximum of $156,000 for a five month program and a Phase 2 funding for a maximum of $1.5 million for an 18 month program. The expectation is that the proposals will be specifically aimed at later stage development rather than earlier stage basic science and research. Proposers will need to provide preliminary information by February 12, 2020 and then attend a Pitch Day event in New York in May. Additional information on each of the four topics can be found by clicking on the links below:
- Topic AF20A-T001: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Timing
- Topic AF20A-T002: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Sensing
- Topic AF20A-T003: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Information Processing and Computing
- Topic AF20A-T004: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Communication and Networking
January 14, 2020
U.S. Senators Introduce Industries of the Future Bill with a Potential $10 Billion in Spending
Although the U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act has just gotten started, the U.S. Congress has already introduced a bill for consideration that could substantially increase the U.S. government funding for quantum information science and several other advanced technologies. The Industries of the Future Act of 2020 has been proposed to advance U.S. global leadership in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum information science, synthetic biology, and next generation wireless networks and infrastructure. The bill would require a doubling of investments in these industries by 2022 and require a plan to increase civilian spending on these industries to $10 Billion by fiscal 2025. The bill is in its very early stages and if it is passed it will likely take many months and probably undergo substantial modifications before it becomes law. For more, you can view the press release announcing the bill from the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee here and read the full bill here.
January 11, 2020
U.S. DOE Seeking Applications to Establish Several National Quantum Information Science Research Centers with Funding Up to $625M
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is planning to fund 2-5 multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary National Quantum Information Science Research Centers with plans to fund each center with $10-$25 million per year for a period of five years. The total funding could reach as high as $625 million. The purpose of the centers will be to accelerate the transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based technology needed to assure continued U.S. leadership in quantum information science, consistent with the National Quantum Initiative. The centers will be expected to push the current state-of-the-art science and technology toward realizing the full potential of quantum-based applications, from computing, to communication, to sensing. DOE has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and is requiring that all applications must consist of multi-institution collaborations. The lead applicant must be a domestic institution. Non-domestic institutions may be eligible as a sub-awardee if they possess skills or abilities that are not available with potential domestic institutions. The deadline to submit a pre-application is February 10, 2020 with a response from DOE encouraging or discouraging the submission of a full application sent out by March 10, 2020. The deadline for submission of the full application with be April 10, 2020. You can view the full details of this Funding Opportunity Announcement on the web site of DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) here.
January 11, 2020
France Unveils Proposed 1.4 Billion Euro National Strategy for Quantum Technologies
After several months of hearings in 2019, French Parliament member Paula Forteza has presented a plan to structure a national strategy for quantum technologies. In reviewing the significant investments that have already been started in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Canada, Australia and other countries, France does not want to be left behind. The 68 page plan, with the title “Quantum: the technological turn that France will not miss”, calls for an investment of 1.4 billion Euros over five years from sources including the public sector, private sector, local governments, and European Union support. Click here for the full article.
January 10, 2020
Qunnect Closes Seed Round Financing of $800,000
Qunnect, LLC, a Long Island, New York company developing a suite of room temperature devices to enable long-distance quantum-secured communications, announced it has closed a seed round of $800,000. Investors include Quantonation, the Accelerate NY Seed Fund, and several private investors. Qunnect is commercializing these technologies developed at the Quantum Information Technology Lab at Stony Brook University. For more details, you can view Qunnect’s news release here.
January 8, 2020
IBM Discusses Quantum Computing Applications and Customers at CES
In a large presentation at today’s CES show, IBM described how they are making progress in acquiring customers and working with them to develop applications that will take advantage of quantum computing.Although the current generation of machines may not be quite powerful enough to provide an advantage over the use of a classical computer for commercial applications, it is clear that they are confident they will have more powerful generations of quantum computers in the years ahead that will be able to demonstrate a quantum advantage. So they are taking steps right now to prepare as many customers as possible to utilize quantum computers. Click here for more details.
January 8, 2020
IBM Doubles Their Quantum Volume Performance Metric to 32
We had previously reported on IBM’s Quantum Volume metric and their goal of achieving a doubling of this measure every year. This factor takes into account a number of factors including qubit count, qubit quality, qubit connectivity, crosstalk considerations and a number of other factors to provide a relative figure of merit for a quantum computer design. Now, they have announced they have doubled this once again to 32 with a new 28 qubit design called Raleigh. This design combines the lattice structure of the 53 qubit design (the 28 qubit would appear to look roughly like half of the 53 qubit design) that they introduced last year with additional upgrades implemented in some of the latter versions of the 20 qubit design. For more, click here.
January 7, 2020
Quantum Machines Announces its Quantum Orchestration Platform
Building a quantum computer requires assembling a lot of different pieces. This includes the quantum chip, the control electronics and control firmware, mechanical packaging, software, libraries, etc. The complexity of assembling all these pieces can be a big challenge. This is where Quantum Machines’ Quantum Orchestration Platform fits in. Although there are many efforts to build quantum chips, the complexity of providing the necessary control electronics and control firmware and software to control the chips can be just as difficult and the expertise to do this may not be as readily available. The Quantum Orchestration Platform provides a solution for those teams that want to bring in this capability from the outside instead of designing it themselves. Click here for more.
January 4, 2020
LANL Summer School Applications are Now Open
Applications for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Quantum Computing Summer School are open until January 17, 2020. This ten week program is designed for upper division undergraduates to early graduate students. It consists of an initial two week lecture period given by world leading experts in quantum computing research followed by an eight week period where students will work on a quantum computing research project. Successful applicants will receive a fellowship to attend that will cover travel, living expenses and a salary. Click here for more information on the program and instructions on how to apply.
January 3, 2020
DARPA Issues RFI for Possible Quantum Hardware Collaboration Effort
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to see whether to find out if any companies would be willing to enter into quantum research consortium with DARPA and other quantum research leaders to collaborate across and provide access to quantum hardware. DARPA is interested in obtaining feedback on interest level, pricing, intellectual property concerns and other details. The deadline for responding to this RFI is January 24, 2020 and for more details you can view the DARPA’s RFI posting here.
December 20, 2019
U.S. Government Soliciting Proposals for Quantum Characterization of Intermediate Scale Systems
In a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) in association with the National Security Agency (NSA) are soliciting proposals to research efficient and practical protocols and techniques that allow Quantum Characterization, Verification, and Validation (QCVV) of larger systems with direct relevance to Fault Tolerant Quantum Computing (FTQC), and to demonstrate these protocols on intermediate-scale systems 10-20 qubits in size. The program will run for four years with multiple awards as much as $400K to $1.5M per year for each award, depending upon the category. Click here for more details.
December 20, 2019
Quantastica Releases Software that Can Run Qiskit Code on Rigetti Platforms
Quantastica’s new software called Forest Backend for Qiskit, version 0.9.7 that allows running IBM’s Qiskit code on both simulators and quantum computers from Rigetti. Programmers only need to change two lines of code so those who have access to both IBM and Rigetti machines can easily run their programs on both and compare the differences. You can view documentation for the software here and a video demonstration on YouTube here.
December 20, 2019
U.S. Government Seeks to Limit Export of Dilution Refrigerators to China
Reuters is reporting they have seen an internal document from the U.S. Commerce Department proposing rules to limit the export of dilution refrigerators to U.S. adversaries like China. These dilution refrigerators are major components of quantum computers based on superconducting, spin, and topological qubit technologies. But they are not required for other quantum technologies such as photonic or ion trap technologies. Although the U.S. has one significant supplier of these systems, Janis Research, several of the manufacturers of these devices are based in Europe, including ICE Oxford, Bluefors, and Oxford Instruments. So for such a restriction to be effective it would need to also be observed by these other companies so the U.S. will be submitting the proposed rules to international organizations for approval. For more, you can view a news article written by Reuters here.
December 19, 2019
Japan-IBM Partnership Formed; IBM Q System One to Be Installed in Japan
IBM and the University of Tokyo have announced a partnership to encourage and promote quantum computing research in Japan. This partnership is similar to one they established with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany last September. Key elements of the program include installation of an IBM Q System One in Japan, establishment of a quantum system technology center at the University of Tokyo and expansion of IBM Japan’s quantum hub. Click here for more about this new endeavor.
December 19, 2019
Russia and Israel Funding Quantum Programs
Both Russian and Israel have set multiyear budgets to fund quantum computing research in an effort to compete with other countries that have already funded quantum programs. Russia has allocated 50 billion rubles (about $800M USD) over a five year period for basic and applied research in quantum technology. In Israel committees have recommend spending 1.2 billion shekels (about $345M USD) on quantum technology with the funds derived from both existing budgets as well as new allocations from the government. The recommendations are waiting approval from the government to fund its share of the budget. For more details on the Russian activity you can view an article in Nature here and another article on the Tass news agency web site here. For details on the Israeli funding, you can view an article on the Haaretz Newspaper web site here.
December 14, 2019
D-Wave Announces New CEO and Signs Agreements with NEC
D-Wave is finishing the year with a pair of announcements. First, it gave notice that CEO Vern Brownell will be retiring at the end of the year and that current chief product officer and executive vice president of research and development Alan Baratz will take over as CEO. And second, they announced agreements with NEC to collaborate in the areas of hybrid services, application development, and sales & marketing. In addition, NEC will be making a $10 million investment into D-Wave. For more details, you can view our full article here.
December 13, 2019
Intel, Microsoft Disclose Cryo-CMOS Quantum Control Chips
The mechanical engineering challenges of routing thousands of cables from room temperature electronics to millikelvin temperatures at the qubit chip though a dilution refrigerator would create a nightmare. So both Intel and Microsoft have recently described (as well as Google earlier this year) new chips that operate at near absolute zero temperatures to provide a solution to this engineering problem for future quantum processors. Click here for more.
December 12, 2019
CQC/IBM Connect Another Quantum Device on to the Cloud
IBM and Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) have worked together to integrate CQC’s Ironbridge Quantum Random Number Generator to the IBM Cloud Platform. (This is IBM’s classical cloud, not the IBM Q cloud). This device can be used with IBM’s Key Protect capability to provide high entropy certified random numbers using the quantum entanglement phenomena. These random numbers can be used for either classical or post-quantum encryption algorithms, as well as any other application that may require a random string of bits. For more information, you can view IBM’s news release announcing this deployment here and you can also see our original news article about the Ironbridge product when it was announced here.
December 12, 2019
University of Waterloo Announces a Quantum Alliance Program
The Quantum Alliance (QA) program will connect industry and other organizations to quantum experts at the University of Waterloo’s Transformative Quantum Technologies (TQT) research initiative. QA partners will be able to explore opportunities for co-investment, participate in focused workshops, attend an invite-only annual quantum opportunity and showcase, embed their researchers within TQT, hear quantum briefings, and access quantum talent from the University of Waterloo. TQT is currently accepting applications on a limited basis from organizations interested in joining the Quantum Alliance. For more, you can view the news release on the University of Waterloo’s web site here and the web page for the Quantum Alliance here.
December 7, 2019
KETS Quantum Security and Cryptonext Security Join Forces to Develop Quantum Safe Cryptography Solutions
KETS, a Bristol, U.K. based provider of quantum photonic devices will be providing their quantum random number generator (QRNG) device to this solution while Paris-based Cryptonext will be providing their quantum-resistant software technology. By utilizing both pieces together, customers can be assured that the quantum resistance inherent in the software is not weakened by use of a key that is not truly random. Both companies will be able to offer the combined solution to their customers. Also, the companies have additional plans to incorporate KET’s QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) products into future offerings. For more information, you can view the news release here.
December 3, 2019
Amazon Enters the Quantum Computing Business
In a multi-pronged thrust, Amazon through its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division will be entering the quantum business via cloud services, research, and consulting services. The quantum computing cloud service is called Amazon Braket and provide access to quantum computers from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti, with more to be added in the future. They are also creating the AWS Center for Quantum Computing at Caltech in Pasadena, California to bring together researchers and engineers from Amazon and leading academic institutions to perform quantum computing research. And finally, Amazon is creating a Quantum Solutions Lab that will provide hands-on educational workshops and help their customers develop their own strategy for quantum computing, build internal expertise, and eventually deploy quantum applications. Click here for more.
December 3, 2019
Rigetti Announces Availability of 32 Qubit Machine on Amazon Web Services (AWS)
In conjunction with Amazon AWS’s announcement of their new Braket quantum cloud service, Rigetti announced that their new 32 qubit machine, codenamed Aspen-7, will be included in this service. For now, this machine is only available on AWS, but it will also be included in Rigetti’s own Quantum Cloud Service (QCS) in the near future. The machine appears to be an extension of their previous 16 qubit Aspen-4, but some of the qubit quality parameters seem a little improved over what we had seen in the previous machine. For more information you can view Rigetti’s press release here and a more detailed description of the chip architecture and parameters on the Amazon Braket web site here.
November 26, 2019
QunaSys Closes $2.6 Million Series A Financing
The investment was supplied by three Japan-based VC’s, Global Brain Corporation, Shinsei Corporate Investment and ANRI. QunaSys is a quantum software company currently targets quantum chemical simulation and machine learning applications, They are partnering with Osaka university and Japan’s top chemical companies as well as being members of IBM’s Q Network, Microsoft Quantum Network Startups and Rigetti Computing’s QCS Developer Partners. For more information, you can view the news release on their web site here.
November 25, 2019
Xanadu Awarded DARPA Grant to Investigate Quantum Machine Learning Performance
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has provided a grant to Xanadu for investigating the performance of quantum machine learning (QML) algorithms on several different quantum computers. Xanadu will use their PennyLane platform to connect with quantum computing hardware and software from multiple vendor including Xanadu, IBM, Google, Rigetti, and Microsoft and machine learning libraries like TensorFlow and PyTorch. The goal of the program will be to explore the performance of a variety of near-term QML algorithms on multiple hardware devices. The length of the program is 12 months and the size of the grant was not disclosed. For more details, you can view Xanadu’s news release here.
November 22, 2019
ColdQuanta Secures an Additional $10 Million in Seed Financing
The additional seed round equity financing is coming from ColdQuanta’s current investors, Maverick Ventures and Global Frontier Investments, bringing the total investment in the seed round to $16.75 Million. The funds will be used for development of ColdQuanta’s cold atom Quantum Core™ technology, which will be the basis of the company’s quantum computers, and real-time quantum signal processing and positioning systems. For more, you can view the news release on the ColdQuanta web site here.
November 21, 2019
The Unitary Fund Expands Into Its Next Phase with Additional Support
The Unitary Fund has just posted a new article on Medium in which they announced that it is entering a new phase with funding from IBM, Google X, Microsoft, Rigetti, Xanadu, and Zapata Computing. The new funding will allow the standard micro-grant size to double to $4,000 and allow the Unitary Fund to support up to 40 new projects. Also in the announcement, the Unitary Fund announced that it has formed an internal research program which they call Unitary Labs. This effort will perform quantum research along with partners from universities and government labs. Click here for more.
November 20, 2019
Rahko Introduces Hyrax, a Quantum Discovery Framework
Hyrax is a program for enabling fast development and deployment of quantum machine learning algorithms on real quantum computers. It includes proprietary HPC pipeline for integration of quantum and classical hardware and supports multiple classical CPUs, classical QPUs, and quantum GPU backends including IBM Qiskit, Google Cirq, and Rigetti Forest. It can accelerates such applications as catalyst discover, drug discovery, and modelling advanced materials for batteries. The software is now in beta test for partners of Rahko. For more information and a demo you can view the web page here.
November 19, 2019
Zapata Partners with Atos to Support their Orquestra Software Platform on Atos’ Quantum Learning Machine (QLM)
Zapata’s Orquestra is a software platform and quantum algorithm library that can support a wide range of programs for industries including chemistry, pharmaceuticals, logistics, and materials science. The Atos QLM is a quantum simulator built with classical semiconductor technology that can simulate quantum systems of up to 40 qubits. The companies will partner together to provide access to their products and also provide consulting services to enterprise looking for solutions to difficult computational problems. In addition to the Atos QLM, Zapata’s software is defigned to support a variety of both classical and quantum based hardware for many different applications. For more details, you can view the news release on the Atos web site here.
November 19, 2019
CQC, Xanadu Release New Software Versions for Improved Multi-Platform Support
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) has released version 0.4 of pytket, a Python tool for interfacing to their t|ket> quantum programming tools. Key features of this version include improvements in circuit optimization and qubit routing as well as a consistent back-end interface to allow easy switch between different quantum computing platforms or simulators. Xanadu has also released a Cirq plug-in for Pennylane, a Python library for quantum machine learning, automatic differentiation, and optimization of hybrid quantum-classical computations. Click here for more.
November 14, 2019
Fermilab and Partners Receive DOE Grant of $3.2 Million for Illinois Quantum Network
The Department of Energy (DOE) grant will be used to establish the Illinois-Express Quantum Network (IEQNET) which will be an optical quantum network that will connect Fermilab with Northwestern University’s Chicago and Evanston campuses. The grant will cover a four year period and include additional partners from Caltech and the Argonne National Laboratory. The network will use existing fiber-optic cable and will work to support both classical and quantum communication in the same cable. Since all the nodes in this phase are located in the Chicago metropolitan area, the network should not require any intermediate quantum repeaters or trusted nodes to amplify the signals. For more, you can view the news release on the Fermilab web site here.
November 13, 2019
Qnami Closes 2.6 Million CHF ($2.6M USD) Seed Round Financing
The round was led by venture capital fund Quantonation with additional participation from investors ZKB Start-up Finance and High Tech Gründerfond. The funds will support the market entry of Qnami’s first product, a quantum microscope for inspection of magnetic materials at the nanoscale, and further developments of quantum sensing applications. Click here for the full news release on the Qnami web site.
November 8, 2019
IBM and AQT Create Qiskit Support for AQT’s Ion Trap Quantum Processor
IBM and Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) have created a new version of Qiskit (version 0.13) that support ion trap devices. The remarkable point in the announcement is that they were able to complete this port in just three days time indicating the flexibility of the Qiskit software. To support a different backend the project just required a set of decomposition rules to convert from one set of basis gates to the other and it also required a new “provider” which handles the API connections, authentication, as well as job submission and retrieval between Qiskit and the host backend. Once these are available, a user can use the same front end programming and libraries and then compile code which can run on either machine. For more details, you can view IBM’s blog post here and AQT’s new release here.
November 7, 2019
Microsoft Announces Azure Quantum with Partners IonQ, Honeywell, QCI, and 1QBit
Microsoft has announced its intent to offer quantum computing cloud services through its Azure cloud computing platform. The near term hardware platforms that they will support will include IonQ, Honeywell, and Quantum Circuits Inc. (QCI). IonQ and Honeywell are using the trapped ion technology while QCI is using superconducting. Click here for more.
November 1, 2019
QuTech and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Join Chicago Quantum Exchange as First International Partners
The Chicago Quantum Exchange which previously only had members from Illinois and the neighboring state of Wisconsin has added QuTech and the UNSW. The collaboration with QuTech will develop research partnerships in areas such as quantum computing, sensing and communication while UNSW is more focused on quantum computing using their spin qubit technology. In addition, the Chicago Quantum Exchange also includes seven industry partners – IBM, Boeing, Applied Materials, Inc., Cold Quanta, Inc., HRL Laboratories LLC, Quantum Opus LLC, and Rigetti Computing. Click here, for the news announcement on the Chicago Quantum Exchange web site.
October 31, 2019
Volkswagen To Test Real World Traffic Optimization using a Quantum Computer
Volkswagen announced that they will perform a limited test of their quantum traffic optimization algorithms on nine busses in Lisbon, Portugal that will carry passengers during the Web Summit 2019 Conference on November 4-8, 2019. The algorithms have the potential to reduce passenger travel times and improve traffic flow, even during heavy traffic, by calculating individual optimized routes for each bus as it travels its route. Volkswagen has been working on this approach for some time and described the results in March 2017 of a paper study that calculated hypothetical optimized routes for 10,000 Beijing taxis. Although this test will be a limited study, Volkswagen apparently is intent on commercializing this capability once it has reached market maturity. For more, click here to view Volkswagen’s news release.
October 26, 2019
D-Wave Announces First European Site for Next Generation Annealing System
D-Wave has announced that their next generation Advantage™ quantum annealer will be installed at the Forschungszentrum Jülich Supercomputing Center in Jülich, Germany. It will be the first implementation of the Leap quantum cloud-based system outside of North America. The system will be available for use by government and academic customers of Forschungszentrum Jülich and time on the system will also be able to be purchased by European business customers. For more, you can read the news release on the D-Wave web site here.
October 23, 2019
IonQ Receives Additional Funding of $55 Million
This funding round was led by the Samsung Catalyst Fund and Mubadala Capital. Additional participants include ACME Capital, Airbus Ventures, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, Tao Capital Partners, Correlation Ventures and A&E Investment LLC, as well as previous investors Osage University Partners (OUP), New Enterprise Associates (NEA), GV and Amazon. The funds will be used to expand IonQ’s efforts to make its quantum computers commercially available via the cloud and develop next-generation systems for programming these machines. For additional details, you can view the news release on IonQ’s web site here.
October 21, 2019
HQS Quantum Simulations Closes Seed Round Financing of 2.3 Million Euros ($2.6M USD)
The funding was provided by UVC Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), and btov Partners. HQS is current focusing its efforts on enabling chemical and material science companies, such as BASF, Bosch, and Merck, with quantum chemical and advanced material simulations for use on medium-term available NISQ processors. HQS was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. For more, you can view the news release on the HQS web site here.
October 20, 2019
University of Strathclyde Partnership Receives £4.6 Million ($5.9M USD) for Quantum Technology Research
The Scottish university’s technology partnership received the research funding from three sources including £2.6 million in Prosperity Partnership funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation, M Squared invested a further £1.7 million, and Strathclyde has itself contributed £300,000. The goal of their research will be to develop a new experimental platform which offers the potential to be truly disruptive in its ability to scale in the future to extremely large numbers of qubits. For more, you can view the news release on the University of Strathclyde web site here.
October 18, 2019
Nu Quantum Raises Pre-Seed Capital of £650,000 ($842K USD)
The round was led by Amadeus Capital Partners with additional participation from Ahren Innovation Capital, Cambridge Enterprise, IQ Capital, and Martlet Capital. Nu Quantum is a spinout from the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and is developing high-performance single-photon sources and detectors that work at room temperature for QKD applications. Their approach is a little unique because they are working to apply their technology to free-space communications rather than through fiberoptic cables. For more details, you can view a news release on the Amadeus web site here.
October 18, 2019
University of Bristol Receives Another £20 Million ($26M USD) to Establish a Quantum Technology Innovation Center (QTIC)
The investment comes from the West of England Combined Authority and is addition to the earlier £14.97 million ($19M USD) in Local Growth Fund funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership received in 2017. The new funds will be used to extend QTIC for the development of new businesses, products and services to explore emerging and new applications for quantum and other disruptive technologies. More details are available on a news release at the University of Bristol’s web site here.
October 17, 2019
The Netherlands Releases Its National Agenda for Quantum Technology
Like several other nations, the Netherlands has released its plan to become a significant player in the development of quantum technology. Their program is called Quantum Delta NL (or QΔNL for short) and will have a total budget of about 102 million euros per year (about $113M USD). Of this amount 69 million euros ($77M USD) is already covered with existing programs and the remainder will require a new investment. For more, click here.
October 16, 2019
ColdQuanta Receives $1 Million Grant from NASA To Advance Its Quantum Core™ Technology Platform
The grant was received under NASA’s Civilian Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program (CCRPP) and will be used by ColdQuanta to develop significantly smaller cold atom systems with a high level of ruggedness. Their goal is to reduce the size of their self-contained cold-atom instrument from 400 liters to approximately 40 liters and make it suitable for portable quantum atomic devices. For more details, you can view ColdQuanta’s news release here.
October 12, 2019
Rahko Raises £1.3 Million ($1.6 Million USD) in a Seed Round Investment
The round was led by Balderton Capital with additional investors AI Seed and angel investors Charles Songhurst (former Microsoft head of Corporate Strategy), Tom McInerney (founder, TGM Ventures), John Spindler (CEO, Capital Enterprise) and James Field (CEO, LabGenius). Rahko is focusing on creating 2nd generation quantum machine learning (QML) algorithms, ‘parametrized quantum circuits’ that can be trained like deep learning models to be highly robust to noise on today’s quantum computers for use on chemical simulations. Additional details are available in a news release and a blog article posted on Balderton’s web site here and here.
October 11, 2019
Q-CTRL and Bleximo Enter Partnership for Quantum Control Firmware
Quantum hardware company Bleximo will be using Q-CTRL’s low-level quantum firmware to make their hardware more resilient against errors. Q-CTRL will be the preferred provider of ‘quantum firmware’ for quantum computing systems that Bleximo brings to market. For more details, you can view the blog article on Q-CTRL’s web site here.
October 10, 2019
Entropica Announces EntropicaQAOA, a Modular Package Implementing QAOA on Rigetti’s QCS
The public release of EntropicaQAOA, a free and open source software package implementing the quantum approximate optimisation algorithm (QAOA) on Rigetti’s Quantum Cloud Service (QCS). These algorithms have applications in machine learning and discrete optimization problems. Details of this software package can be found on a Medium article posted by Entropica here. The documentation for EntropicaQAOA can be found here and the GitHub code for the software can be seen here.
October 4, 2019
Quantum Xchange Introduces a New Type of Quantum Resistant Key Management System
Quantum Xchange, one of the pioneers in providing commercial quantum key distribution services in the United States, has introduced a new product called Phio™ Trusted Xchange (TX). Quantum Xchange views their Phio TX product as complementary to their previously released QKD-based Phio QK system. Phio TX uses an out-of-band symmetric key technique to deliver encryption keys and is different from any of the Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) methods that are under review in the NIST competition. For more, click here.
October 3, 2019
Quantum Algorithms Institute Being Established at SFU Surrey with $17 Million CAD ($12.75 Million USD) Funding from the B.C. Government
Canada’s British Columbia (B.C.) provincial government is providing the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey campus with this five year funding to establish an institute that specializes in building quantum computing software and algorithms. B.C. already has a significant amount of quantum activity with both D-Wave and 1QBit headquartered there. In addition, Simon Fraser University has another campus in Burnaby that also has a Silicon Quantum Technology Lab. Besides performing research, the Quantum Algorithms Institute will provide training for a quantum workforce and help grow a grow the Surrey Innovation Corridor. More details are available on the news release posted on the SFU web site here.
October 2, 2019
Oki Data Uses a D-Wave Quantum Annealer to Optimize Factory Machine Layout and Realize a Quantum Advantage
In what may be the first commercial, real-world use of a quantum computer, Oki Data has announced they’ve used a D-Wave quantum annealer to calculate the optimal machine layout in their LED Management Factory. In doing so, they estimate that they have reduced flow line distances by 28% percent which will help improve productivity in their factory. Because their factory produces multiple products using multiple process flow on multiple machines Oki indicated that such an optimization could not have been achieved even with a supercomputer and required the quantum annealer to calculate the solution. For additional details, see the news release posted on the Oki web site here.
October 1, 2019
Beit Inc. Receives $1.4 Million Seed Round Financing
Beit closed on its first equity financing in a round led by Kindred Capital with additional participating by Manta Ray Ventures, Firebolt Ventures, Charles M. Songhurst, George Armoyan, Data Collective VC, Bloomberg Beta, and Spectrum28. These funds will be used to match a previous grant of $2.6 Million that Beit received from the European Union. Additional details can be found on their news release posted on LinkedIn here.
September 26, 2019
NSF Provides $4M Funding to Brown and Dartmouth for Quantum Research
The grant will be from U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) “Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)” program and will will work to better understand the materials and the exotic quantum states that make these technologies possible. The research team will combine the quantum materials expertise at Brown University with the quantum information science expertise at Dartmouth College. For more details, you can view the press release at the Brown web site here.
September 26, 2019
QC Ware Launches Public Cloud Service named Forge
QC Ware’s Forge quantum cloud service has entered a public beta period and serves as a bridge between the Problem/Data Mapping at the user level to the quantum programs running on the quantum computing hardware or quantum simulators. In between these two points, Forge provides the high level features and the algorithms to implement this. The software is designed to be backend agnostic and will enable running the quantum programs on a variety of hardware platforms and simulators. Click here for more.
September 25, 2019
D-Wave Books First Order for Next Generation Quantum Annealer
D-Wave has announced that the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has signed a contract to upgrade their existing D-Wave processor to the next generation version which D-Wave is now called Advantage™. This will be the third time that LANL has upgraded a D-Wave machine. The processor is based upon D-Wave’s Pegasus architecture that we previously described last March. The Advantage processor is expected to be available in mid-2020 and will also be available on D-Wave Leap cloud computing service. It will contain up to 5640 quantum annealing qubits with improvements in qubit connectivity and other features, but there also may be smaller versions available using the same architecture. For more details, you can see D-Wave’s press release here
September 24, 2019
UMD’s QuICS Receives $3.8 Million Award for QC Research
The University of Maryland (UMD) Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS) has received awards for two programs from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The first is called “Fundamental Algorithmic Research for Quantum Computing (FAR-QC)” to study algorithms for quantum simulation. This program will be performed by a multi-organizational team from government labs, academia, and industry. The Argonne National Laboratory is also involved with this program as reported below. The second is called “Tough Errors are No Match (TEAM)” which will investigate how techniques from classical programming languages might lead to noise-resistant outputs from quantum compilers. Additional information on QuICS’ new awards is available on the UMD’s web site here.
September 23, 2019
Argonne National Laboratory Awarded $4.15 Million for Quantum Research
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided the three multi-year awards as part of the 2019 Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) Quantum Computing and Quantum Network Awards. Argonne will be teaming with other national laboratories, academia, and industry on all three programs and will receive a $4.15 million portion of the $41.3 million that has been awarded to all parties in the programs. The three programs are titled 1) “Fundamental Algorithmic Research for Quantum Computing (FAR-QC)” , 2) “Advancing Integrated Development Environments for Quantum Computing through Fundamental Research (AIDE-QC)” and 3) “Illinois-Express Quantum Network (IEQNET)”. More details about the awards and programs are available in the news release on the Argonne web site here.
September 20, 2019
Less is More. Google is Working on a 54 Qubit Chip
We previously reported on a 72 qubit superconducting chip named Bristlecone that Google first described at the APS conference in March 2018. But in recent technical conferences, Google has been talking about a new 54 qubit chip codenamed Sycamore that may actually have more quantum computing performance than Bristlecone. Click here for more.
September 19, 2019
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) Adopts Cirq as their Software Framework
AQT, a quantum hardware startup that has been working with the University of Innsbruck to develop ion trap based computers, has decided to adopt Google’s Cirq as their software framework for algorithm development. This is an interesting developing considering that Cirq was originally developed to support Google’s own superconducting based machine, but it does show the flexibility of open source Cirq to support other technologies. For more, you can view a brief news release on the AQT web site here and another one from the University of Innsbruck here.
September 19, 2019
Aliro Technologies Raises a $2.7 Million Seed Round
The seed round is being led Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from Crosslink Ventures and Samsung NEXT’s Q Fund. Aliro is a quantum software startup founded by a team from Harvard’s Quantum Information Sciences Lab. They are developing a software stack that will support multiple different hardware platforms. The software will allow a user to program an application at a higher level, have Aliro’s software recommend the best platform for that particular application and then compile low level code for the recommended platform. For more details you can visit Aliro’s news page here.
September 18, 2019
IBM Opens New Quantum Data Center; Introduces New 53 Qubit Machine
IBM has officially opened the new quantum data center in Poughkeepsie, New York that we reported on last January. The center is currently operating ten quantum computers, including five IBM Q Systems One 20-qubit machines, one 14-qubit machine, and four 5-qubit machines with four additional machines scheduled to be installed next month. IBM also announced they will be bringing on-line next month a new 53 qubit machine which will be available to their commercial customers in the IBM Q Network. Although technical details on this machine are not yet available, we do expect it to be significantly more powerful than the current 20 qubit machines. For more, click here.
September 17, 2019
UCSB Receives a $25 Million Grant to Establish the U.S.’s first NSF-Funded Quantum Foundry
The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) has received a six-year $25 Million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a quantum foundry. The foundry will be housed within the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) and will focus on challenges specific to quantum technology. Click here for more.
September 14, 2019
IBM and Fraunhofer Partner on a Quantum Computing Initiative for Germany
IBM and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a German research organization, will work together to promote research and development of quantum computing in Germany. As part of this program, IBM will install an IBM Q System One in one of its facilities in Germany, Fraunhofer will establish a new Fraunhofer Center for Quantum Computing, and the German government will provide funding of 650 million Euros ($719 million USD) through 2022. Click here for more.
September 13, 2019
Nominations Open for U.S. National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee
The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking nominations for members to serve on the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee. This committee will provide guidance to the government regarding the National Quantum Initiative (NQI). It will include assessments of trends and developments in quantum information science and technology (QIST), implementation and management of the NQI, whether NQI activities are helping to maintain United States leadership in QIST, whether program revisions are necessary, what opportunities exist for international collaboration and open standards, and whether national security and economic considerations are adequately addressed by the NQI. The nomination period is open until October 4, 2019. For more details you can view the announcement on the U.S. Federal Register web site here.
September 12, 2019
Q-CTRL Closes a $15 Million Series A Funding Round
The funding was led by Australia’s Square Peg Capital with additional participation from Sierra Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Main Sequence Ventures, and Horizons Ventures. Q-CTRL will use the funds to double the size of their current 25 person engineering team and to also set up a new office in Los Angeles to support North American customers. Q-CTRL provides software that allows users to better understand and control the sources of errors in the quantum hardware and has developed four different products targeted for a span ranging from novices to experts to help achieve this goal. For more details, you can view their press release here.
September 7, 2019
NSF Awards $2 Million for University of Maryland Led Research on Quantum Machine Learning with Photonics
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided a grant for researchers to study architectures inspired by machine learning and deep learning to implement quantum protocols that are naturally efficient and robust against noise. The project will leverage quantum photonics to develop these quantum machine learning architectures. The program is expected to last four years and includes professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as the lead from the University of Maryland (UMD). For more details, you can view the news release on the UMD web site here and a more detailed award abstract on the NSF web site here.
September 5, 2019
IQM and JoS Quantum Announce a Partnership to Develop an Optimized Hardware/Software Solution for Financial Applications
IQM is developing a scalable hardware solution using some unique technology they are applying to a superconducting qubit design. JoS Quantum is a software company developing quantum software primarily for the finance sector. IQM has agreed to provide hardware that will fit some very specific requirements that are required for the algorithms that JoS is developing. Click here to view the announcement on the IQM web site.
September 5, 2019
IBM Announces New Quantum Tools and Hardware Features for Education
In an effort to get more students, educators, developers, and domain experts with “quantum ready” skills, IBM has rolled out several new offerings, programs and tools for developers, researchers and educators who want to build these skills. The intended audience include undergraduate level college students, self-learners, and professors who may want to use some of this material to create new quantum computing courses. Not coincidentally, this will also build the base of people who are familiar with the IBM Q Experience as well as the Qiskit software platform who might become paying customers in the future. Click here for more.
September 4, 2019
U.S. National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee Being Established
We had previously reported on the passage of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2018. One of the provisions in that act was for the President to establish a National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee to provide periodic, independent assessments of development, management, coordination and other activities associated with this program. Membership will include individuals from industry, the scientific community (including the National Academy of Sciences, scientific professional societies, and universities), the defense community, and other appropriate organizations. President Trump has signed an Executive Order to establish this committee. Membership will be limited to not more than 22 members, although no one has been officially named as a member as of yet. For more details you can view the Executive Order on the White House web site here.
September 3, 2019
Qu & Co and Schrödinger Announce Partnership for Quantum Computational Chemistry
The Schrödinger company provides a computational platform to accelerate drug discovery and materials design that is deployed by leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, and electronics companies worldwide. Qu & Co is a quantum-software development firm that develops quantum-computational-chemistry and quantum-machine-learning algorithms and software, As stated in the joint press release, “By bringing together Qu & Co’s expertise in quantum computing and Schrödinger’s deep knowledge and experience in applying quantum mechanics in real-world applications, the collaboration aims to advance the state of the art of quantum computing for quantum chemistry. The collaboration will also explore a hybrid computing framework that leverages the strengths of both quantum and conventional approaches to atomistic simulations.” For more details you can view the full press release on the Qu & Co web site here.
August 30, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Announces $82.1 Million in Quantum Research Awards
The DoE announced two separate award programs that provide a total of $82.1 Million in grants over a 5 year period. The first set of awards provides funding of $21.4 Million to 27 different projects of up to three years in duration related to the use of quantum information science for particle physics and fusion energy sciences. The second set of awards provides funding of $60.7 Million for eight different programs lasting four or five years that will research quantum computing and networking. These programs are in addition to the $37 Million program for quantum chemistry and materials research that we reported on in July. For more details on the first set of awards you can view the DoE news release here and the list of projects here. For the second set of awards you can view the DoE new release here and the list of projects here.
August 29, 2019
QC Ware, SLAC, and Others Awarded $4.2 Million DoE grant for Quantum Computational Chemistry Research
The U.S.’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is leading a project consortium that also includes QC Ware, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University to research new ways of using hybrid classical-quantum computing to better understand complex material and chemical systems with a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). The focus will be to study how photochemistry simulations can predict the outcomes of chemical reactions induced by light. The research will use the AIEM+MC-VQE (Contracted Variant of the Variational Quantum Eigensolver within the context of the Ab Initio Exciton Model) methodology as discussed in a recent arXiv posted paper and deploy it on actual quantum computing hardware. This award was part of the overall $37 Million funding initiative for materials and chemistry research in quantum information science announced last month by the DoE. For more details on this particular award, you can view the press release from QC Ware posted here.
August 28, 2019
Atos Announces Quantum Learning Machine Agreements with Xofia (Houston, Texas) and C-DAC (Pune, India)
Atos, which has developed a high-performance, 40 qubit, quantum circuit simulator called the Quantum Learning Machine has announced they will be providing this technology to Xofia, a quantum software startup in Houston, Texas, and C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) in Pune, India. Xofia will access the machine remotely and will focus on use cases related to energy and healthcare. C-DAC, a national R&D organization under the Indian Government’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, will have a machine on-site to support their newly created Quantum Computing Experience Centre. For more details, you can view the news releases on the Atos web site for Xofia here and for C-DAC here.
August 27, 2019
Call for Presentations for the Q2B 2019 Conference
The Q2B 2019 Conference will be held in San Jose, California on December 10-12, 2019. If you are interested in presenting on Day 3 you can submit a proposal at https://q2b.qcware.com/submit-a-talk/. The proposal topics should be related to research and applications in the areas of Optimization (Track A), Quantum Machine Learning (Track B), or Simulation (Track C). The number of available presentation slots is limited and Q2B organizer team will select the most appropriate talks from the ones submitted.
August 26, 2019
Alpine Quantum Technologies Receives €10 Million ($11M USD) Funding
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) announced that it has received 10 Million Euros in funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG and the University of Innsbruck. This follows an existing investment by the IVT private foundation of the Tyrolean Industrial Association for start-up financing and pre-seed financing by Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH. AQT has been working with IQOQI Innsbruck and the University of Innsbruck to develop an ion trap based quantum computer. They are planning to have a demonstration machine available with product maturity in 2022. For more details, click here for a news release (in German) on the University of Innsbruck web site.
August 21, 2019
Xanadu Partners with BMO and ScotiaBank to Develop Proof-of-Concept of a Quantum Monte Carlo Algorithm
Xanadu announced that they are working with the BMO Financial Group (part of the Bank of Montreal) and Scotiabank to benchmark the potential for using quantum Monte Carlo algorithms in the future. Monte Carlo algorithms are very important to the financial community for optimizing different portfolio under different possible market scenarios and currently consume a tremendous amount of classical computing resources. Xanadu helped develop a quantum version and tested it on their own quantum simulator running on a classical computer. Although production use of the quantum Monte Carlo algorithm will require the development of more powerful quantum hardware, the simulation results indicated that speedups of a hundred or thousands of times faster should be achievable when these algorithms are run on future quantum computers. For more, you can view Xanadu’s press release here.
August 14, 2019
Feedback Sought on the Quantum Flagship Strategic Research Agenda
The European Union’s Quantum Flagship has issued the first draft of their Strategic Research Agenda and they are seeking feedback from the quantum community. Comments are due by September 2, 2019. Click here to download the documents and additional details on how to submit your comments.
August 14, 2019
Quantum Flagship Use Case Survey
The European Union’s Quantum Flagship QFlag Applications and Markets Team is conducting a quantum technology use case survey and is inviting members of the quantum community to respond and provide their views. The answers will be used to subsequently organize workshop themes to discuss the possibilities enabled by quantum technology. The survey responses are due by September 9, 2019 and you can access the survey and additional details here.
August 8, 2019
Xanadu and Multiverse Computing Sign Partnership Agreement to Develop Financial Applications for Optical Quantum Computers
Multiverse Computing is an early-stage start-up based in San Sebastian (Spain) that is exploring applications of quantum computing in finance. Multiverse Computing’s team consists of world renowned experts known for their innovative approaches to financial and macro-economics problems. Xanadu is building a room temperature optical quantum computing device and providing specialized quantum software. They recently showed their first public demonstration of their pre-alpha photonic quantum cloud at the Creative Destruction Lab.
July 31, 2019
Qu & Co Releases an Open-Source Quantum-Code-Chemistry Package
Qu & Co, an Amsterdam based quantum-software developer, has released quantum-code-chemistry, an end-to-end stack which compiles and executes quantum-chemistry algorithms for current-day NISQ level quantum processors. This package implements the popular Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) algorithm, which shortens the quantum circuit depth by applying a quantum-classical hybrid optimization scheme and makes it better suited for the current generation of small and noisy quantum processors. Qu & Co is one of Rigetti’s QCS Development Partners and has made the software executable on Rigetti’s Quantum Cloud Services platform as well as a wide range of simulation back ends. For more details, you can read Qu & Co’s news release here and access links to install the software and related documentation here.
July 26, 2019
ProteinQure Secures $4 Million in Seed Round Financing
ProteinQure, a company building the computational methods needed to unlock the full potential of protein therapeutics (biologics) has raised $4 million in a seed round led by Felicis Ventures with participation from 8VC, Golden Ventures, iNovia, Global Founders Capital and angel investor Tom Williams. Their computational platform combines biophysical models with statistical and machine learning approaches leveraging advances in computing architectures including GPUs, TPUs, specialized circuits, and quantum computers. More details are available at their posting on Medium.com here.
July 24, 2019
UK Government Plans to Fund an Additional £33 Million ($41M USD) for Quantum Commercialization Projects
The UK Research and Innovation organization announced that the application period will be open from August 5, 2019 to October 30, 2019 for a program that provides grants for development of new products and services that exploit second generation quantum technologies. The funding will come from the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and be divided between two classes of projects. The funding for large collaborative projects will total £27 million ($33.6M USD) for projects that have individual budgets of £2 to £10 Million and last 18-36 months. The funding for smaller projects will total another £6 Million ($7.5M USD) with each project having a maximum funding of £500,000 and lasting between 6-18 months. Both types of projects should have a focus on speeding up commercialization, as opposed to pure research, and must be led by UK based business that intend on developing and exploiting the resulting technology within the UK. For more details, you can view the announcement on the UK Government’s web site here.
July 24, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Announces Awards of $37 Million for Quantum Chemistry and Materials Research
Twenty projects were selected for investigations into projects aimed at synthesizing and observing material and chemical systems with exotic quantum properties as well as efforts to use quantum computing to better understand complex material and chemical systems. The projects are expected to last for three years and will be led by seventeen university and three DOE labs. For more details you can view the DOE announcement on their web site here and the list of selected projects here.
July 21, 2019
UK Government Announces £94 Million ($117M USD) Funding for Quantum Technology Research Hubs
As part of the UK’s UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) organization announced second phase funding grants to four of the UK’s Quantum Technologies Research Hubs. The £94 million amount is a follow-on to the initial funding of £120 million (about $150M USD) that started in December 2014. Click here for more.
July 16, 2019
Application Period Open for Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) Quantum Enterprise Fellows Program
To encourage more quantum startup companies in the U.K., in 2016 Britain’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded a pioneering skills and training hub at the University of Bristol, the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC). The centre, which offers a 12-month paid fellowship provides early career scientists and researchers who have a potentially commercially viable quantum technology with the coaching, mentorship, and resources to create an investable business proposition and start an early stage company Click here for more.
July 13, 2019
Microsoft Releases Open Source Version of their QDK
We reported last May that Microsoft was intending to make their Quantum Development Kit (QDK) open sourced and now they have done it. The goal is to broaden the support for this platform and enable a broader community to contribute algorithms, applications, and advances in applications, optimization, and tooling. Microsoft’s QDK now has a few notable features including an optional Python interface, support for Jupyter notebooks, and a translator to OpenQASM, which is the quantum assembly language used by IBM in their Quantum Experience. This last feature should allow someone to write a program in Microsoft’s Q# language, translate it to OpenQASM and run it on the IBM quantum processors. There is also an OpenQASM Reader that can translate the other way around so that Qiskit programs can be translated and run on Microsoft’s simulators. For more details about this new release, you can visit Microsoft’s recent blog article here, the main web page for the Quantum Development Kit here, and the Microsoft Quantum GitHub archive here.
July 12, 2019
Airbus to Hold Webinars on Their Quantum Computing Challenge Problem Statements
In order to encourage quantum researchers to think about how they can use quantum computing to solve real world problems, Airbus has created a Quantum Computing Challenge competition and ask for researchers to submit proposals on how they might use a quantum computer to solve these problems. They have created five specific challenges related to aircraft design and operations and will be holding webinars to have the Airbus experts describe the problems in more detail. Click here for more.
July 11, 2019
Rigetti Computing Acquires QxBranch
Rigetti announced today that they have acquired QxBranch in an all-equity transaction with the goal of expanding their full-stack capabilities at the application layer. Details of the financial terms were not disclosed. Michael Brett, CEO of QxBranch will join Rigetti as the Senior Vice-President of Applications and Dr. Ray Johnson, Board Chair of QxBranch, will join the board of Rigetti as an independent director. Click here for more.
July 9, 2019
IQM Receives €11.45 Million ($13 Million USD) in Seed Funding
Finish company IQM announced that they have received about $13 Million in a seed funding round from Matadero QED, Maki.vc, MIG Fonds, OpenOcean, Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment), and Vito Ventures. The company is a spinout from Aalto University (Aalto) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). They are developing what they call a second generation quantum processor based upon superconducting technology that will have proprietary technology to reduce the time for logic gates, readouts, and qubit resets. These improvements will increase the processing speed and reduce the error rates. For more details you can view IQM’s news release here.
July 6, 2019
Preliminary Proposals for $94 Million NSF QLCI Program Due August 1, 2019
As part of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) “Big Ideas” concept to fund bold long-term research and process ideas, the NSF is setting up the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes (QLCI) to perform research in the focus areas of quantum computation, quantum communication, quantum simulation and/or quantum sensing. The total budget for the QLCI program will be up to $94 million and the selected proposals are expected to foster multidisciplinary approaches to specific scientific, technological, educational workforce development goals in these fields. Click here for more.
July 3, 2019
Rigetti Computing Selected as one of the Technology Pioneers of 2019 by the World Economic Forum
Rigetti was chosen as one of 56 early to growth stage companies chosen for this award that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations. These companies have the potential to make a significant future impact on business and society in years to come. For more details you can view Rigetti’s news release here.
July 2, 2019
Utimaco and ISARA Team to Provide Quantum-Safe HSMs
Utimaco, a leading supplier of Hardware Security Modules (HSMs), will be partnering with ISARA Corporation to utilize ISARA’s Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) software and provide a quantum-safe (Q-safe) firmware extension for their Utimaco Cryptoserver products. This will enable their customers to establish encrypted communications that cannot be broken by a future quantum computer using Shor’s algorithm. Click here for more.
July 1, 2019
D-Wave Announces Cloud Access Contract with Japanese Startup Sigma-i
Although the specific dollar (or yen) amount was not revealed, D-Wave indicated that this is the largest quantum cloud access contract they have received so far. Sigma-i is a startup formed by researchers from Tohoku’s University Quantum Annealing Research & Development group with the aim of coupling their quantum expertise with D-Wave’s powerful quantum computing systems to bridge the gap between industry and academia, and usher in a new era of quantum computing in Japan. You can find the press release on D-Wave’s web site here.
June 27, 2019
D-Wave Announces General Availability of D-Wave Hybrid Software
We previously wrote last December about D-Wave’s developer preview release of the D-Wave Hybrid software. It appears the software has matured enough that D-Wave has officially designated it as suitable for general availability. As previously indicated, D-Wave asserts that many, if not most, real world application will best be solved by a combination of classical and quantum computers working together. For more details about this you can see their recently released white paper titled Three Truths and the Advent of Hybrid Quantum Computing and see their press release announcing general availability of the software here.
June 25, 2019
Xanadu Raises $32 Million CAD ($24M USD) in Series A Financing
The investment was led by OMERS Ventures with additional participation from Georgian Partners, Radical Ventures, Real Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, and Tim Draper. Xanadu, based in Toronto, Canada, has a goal of being a full-stack quantum computing company but has important differences with some of the others. First, their technology is based upon an integrated photonic chip technology which can run at room temperature. Second, their approach uses qumodes rather than qubits, which can encode information in a continuous variable. Third, although their software will eventually support their own hardware they are also supporting other quantum programming and hardware platforms from Rigetti, IBM, Project Q, and Microsoft. And finally, they are apparently fans of the Beatles because Xanadu has named its software programs after songs from this famous rock group. For more information you can read their press release here.
June 22, 2019
IBM QC Expands to Africa By Adding Wits University to the Q Network
IBM, which boasts that they have users of the IBM Q Experiences from all seven continents, has added University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in South Africa as an official member of their IBM Q Network. Wits will serve as a gateway for researchers from 15 other universities who are part of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). You can find more details at IBM’s news release which you can find here.
June 14, 2019
Riverlane Raises £3.25M ($4.1M USD) Seed Round
The round was led by venture capital investors Cambridge Innovation Capital and Amadeus Capital Partners, with the participation of Cambridge Enterprise. The company is working on quantum simulation engines focusing on materials design and drug discovery. For more details, you can view their news releases here.
June 11, 2019
UK Government To Provide £153m ($194M USD) for Quantum Computing
In comments at London Tech Week, UK acting Prime Minister Theresa May indicated the government plans to invest £153m ($194M USD) in quantum computing. These funds will be supplemented by an additional £205m ($261M USD) from industry for a total investment of £358m ($455M USD) between the two. You can read additional details on the NS Tech website here.
June 8, 2019
The Proceedings and Videos of the TQC+NISQ Conference are Now On-line
The QuICS center at the University of Maryland hosted a conference last week on the Theory of Quantum Computation, Communication and Cryptography immediately followed by a Workshop on Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum Technologies. Kudos to the QuICS team for already having the proceedings and videos posted online. Many of the talks are quite good. Click here for a link to the proceedings and here to view the videos.
June 7, 2019
U.S. Government Issues a New RFI and Reopens Another One
The U.S. government’s Department of Energy has issued a new Request for Information (RFI) to establish two or more Quantum Information Science Centers. The inputs will be used to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeking applications for two or more DOE QIS Centers to support the National Quantum Initiative enacted by Congress in December 2018. The reopened RFI concerns the National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science and asks suggestions on ways the government can address the specific policies described in the National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science report. Click here for more details on these two RFI’s.
June 5, 2019
HQS Quantum Simulations and Merck KGaA Announce a Three-Year Cooperation Deal for Quantum Chemistry Research
HQS Quantum Simulations, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, develops quantum algorithms to predict molecular properties for performance materials, specialty chemicals and pharmaceutical companies. Merck KGaA (known as the EMD Group in the U.S. and Canada) is a multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and life sciences company headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany. Note that Merck KGaA is a completely separate company from Merck & Co. which is based in the United States. The goal of the research is to use the resulting quantum simulation software to accelerate research and development processes for customers and widen the understanding of chemical and physical interactions which leads to better products and processes. For more information, you can view the news release from Merck KGaA here.
June 4, 2019
Phasecraft Closes a £750K (about $952K USD) Seed Round Investment
The round was led by the UCL Technology Fund with additional participation from Parkwalk Advisors and the London Co-Investment Fund. Phasecraft is developing software for quantum computers and was cofounded by academics at UCL and the University of Bristol. For more details, you can view the news release at the UCL Technology Fund web site here.
May 31, 2019
Microsoft Releases QDK Version 0.7 and Integrates 1QBit’s QEMIST Materials Simulation Platform
Microsoft has released another update to their Quantum Development Kit called version 0.7. New features include additional Q# language features, a further expansion of their Quantum Katas with community contributions and a new numerics library. This release also includes some significant enhancements to Microsoft’s Quantum Chemistry Library. It now includes support for unitary couple cluster methods (UCC) and provides a seamless integration with 1QBit’s Quantum-Enabled Molecular ab Initio Simulation Toolkit (QEMIST), a materials simulation platform which includes algorithms for variational quantum eigensolvers (VQE). Click here for more details.
May 28, 2019
Poland Funding 17 Million Zlotys ($4.4M USD) for Quantum Computing Research
The Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) is providing this grant to the TEAM-NET project for quantum computing research led by Professor Marek Kuś at the Centre for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. The focus of the investigations will be on characterizing and optimizing quantum computing operations performed by qubits. Other institutes participating in the program include the Astronomy and Applied Computer Science group at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Informatics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice. For more details, you can view the FNP news release here.
May 27, 2019
Microsoft and Brilliant.org Partner to Offer a New Quantum Computing Course
Microsoft has team up with Brilliant.org, an online education company specializing in math and science topics, to create a new interactive course on quantum computing. The 33 chapter course starts with some of the basic concepts of quantum computing and ends showing a few example problems including the knapsack problem and a quantum simulation of a hydrogen molecule. For more, click here.
May 22, 2019
Peter Chapman Named President and CEO of IonQ
Peter Chapman was previously the Director of Engineering for Amazon Prime and will take over the CEO role from IonQ co-founder Christopher Monroe who will become the company’s Chief Scientist. It should be noted that Amazon Web Services is one of the investors in IonQ and also that we currently show seven open positions related to quantum computing for Amazon Web Services on our jobs page. In addition, one of the key early applications expected for quantum computing is to help commercial companies improve their logistics and Mr. Chapman’s experience at Amazon Prime should be very beneficial for this. For more details you can view IonQ’s news release here.
May 21, 2019
Kiutra Closes Seven-Figure Seed Round Funding
A consortium comprising lead investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), deep-tech VC investor APEX Ventures and the UnternehmerTUM Initiative for Industrial Innovators is investing a seven-figure sum in kiutra, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) founded in 2018. The new capital will be used to strengthen global sales and distribution, further increase production capacities, and expand the basic technology for the rapidly growing quantum technology market. For more details, you can view the news release here.
May 16, 2019
D-Wave Develops a Lower-Noise Quantum Annealer
D-Wave has developed a lower noise version of their D-Wave 2000Q processor and has made it available on-line via their Leap quantum cloud service. They indicated that this enhanced processor uses the same basic design as the 2000Q but uses different materials in its construction which improve the noise. In conjunction with their announcement, D-Wave also released a white paper that compares the performance of the enhanced processor with the previous version. The data show roughly a 25X improvement in solution time with the enhanced processor. Click here for more.
May 14, 2019
Northwestern University Joins the Chicago Quantum Exchange
Northwestern is the newest member of the Chicago Quantum Exchange which already includes the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Laboratory, the University of Illinois a Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These organizations will collaborate on the research and development of quantum technology. For more information, you can read the press releases on the University of Chicago and the Northwestern University websites.
May 10, 2019
NXM Labs Introduces Quake, a Hybrid Solution for Quantum Resistant Cryptography
The NXM Quake (Quantum Augmented Key Encapsulation) solution combines both a classical and a quantum key encapsulation algorithm (for example, NTRU) for extra security in public key encryption. Click here for more.
May 9, 2019
U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is Seeking White Papers for Research on Use of Quantum Resistant Algorithms
The Request for White Paper (RWP) is being issued to conduct research, development, and testing activities associated with evaluating quantum-resistant algorithms, and cryptographic solution that can be used to enable quantum-encrypted information transfer using symmetric encryption. This is the first step of a multi-phase process to award a prototype OTA (Other Transaction Authority) for a project to a vendor. The deadline for submission of the white paper is May 31, 2019. More details are available in a FedBizOps notice here.
May 8, 2019
IBM Revamps the IBM Q Experience to Provide Jupyter Notebook Support and Releases a New Version of Qiskit
IBM is now beta testing a new version of the IBM Q Experience that provides the ability to run Qiskit using Jupyter notebooks. Previously IBM had only provided Qiskit tutorials that could run on Jupyter notebooks, but the program writing, compiling, and simulation needed to be run on the user’s local machine. And the latest release of Qiskit includes the introduction of a Pulse module for building tools for Pulse commands, new transpiler optimization passes to improve efficiency in circuit depth, implementation of several new algorithms in the Aqua library module and many other added features and bug fixes. Click here for more.
May 6, 2019
Microsoft Plans to Open Source their Quantum Development Kit
Microsoft has announced that they will make an open source release of their Quantum Development Kit (QDK) later this summer, including their Q# compiler and quantum simulators. Previously, Microsoft had only made certain sample programs and libraries, such as their quantum chemistry library, open source but had kept the core portion of their quantum software proprietary. Microsoft will be joining IBM, Rigetti, D-Wave, Google, and others in making their quantum software open source with the intention of encouraging new external innovations as well as making the software more attractive and transparent for developers. For more details, you can view Microsoft’s blog announcement here.
May 4, 2019
Quantum Circuit Simulation on the World’s Fastest Classical Supercomputer
A team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, NASA, University of Illinois, and Google recently posted a paper showing simulation results that were run in Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Part of the reason for this exercise was to establish a methodology for determining quantum supremacy and to set the standard for the largest circuit a quantum computer needs to surpass in order to declare quantum supremacy against the best classical computer. Click here for more.
May 4, 2019
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Awards IBM $7.5 Million Contract for IBM Q System Access
The agreement will provide AFRL three years of remote access to the IBM Q System for experimental purposes through April 30, 2022. It will cover IBM’s quantum computers ranging from approximately 20 to 50 qubits. Click here to see the notice (about two-thirds down the page) on the U.S. Department of Defense contracts award page.
May 3, 2019
SpeQtral Receives a $1.9 million Seed Round Investment
The seed round was led by Space Capital, the venture fund of Space Angels, the world’s leading space investors. Additional investors participating in the round include Shasta Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures and SGInnovate. SpeQtral (formerly S15 Space Systems) is developing space-based, quantum communication built on technologies developed at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore. The team has developed technologies that harness the unique properties of quantum physics to enable encryption methods that can secure communications with forward security. Additional details are available on their news release here.
May 2, 2019
U.S. Government Funding Opportunity for Development of Quantum Algorithms
The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) together with the National Security Agency (NSA) is soliciting proposals to develop new quantum computing algorithms for hard computational problems, develop insights into the power of quantum computation, and consider issues of quantum complexity and computability. Click here for more.
April 26, 2019
Qunnect Awarded $120,000 SBIR for Quantum Communications Network Research
Qunnect is a spin-off venture from the Quantum Information Technology Group at Stony Brook University in New York. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for Qunnect’s development of portable, room temperature quantum entanglement sources for quantum communications. Qunnect is also researching quantum repeater technology to extend the distance of quantum communications networks over fiberoptic cables. Click here for more details on the award.
April 25, 2019
IBM Expands the IBM Q Network to Include a Number of Global Universities
IBM’s intent is to partner with these universities to accelerate joint research in quantum computing, and help the development of curricula to prepare students for quantum computing careers. Depending upon the institution, the universities will either access IBM’s quantum computers through an IBM Q hub or have direct access to IBM’s most advanced commercially available quantum systems. In addition, IBM will collaborate with several of the universities for various joint-research projects. For more details, you can view IBM’s press release here.
April 20, 2019
Canadian Government is Providing $41 Million CAD in Funding For QC and AI Related Research in the Waterloo, Canada Region
The $41 million CAD funding ($30.6 million USD) will be provided to four organizations including the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab ($20M CAD), Isara ($7.2M CAD), High Q Technologies ($6.5M CAD), and Cognitive Systems ($7.3M CAD). The funding is being provided by FedDev Ontario, as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund, to help support the organizations’ respective projects. For more details on this funding and the associated projects, you can read the article posted on the Waterloo Regional Record website here.
April 19, 2019
CQC and Q-CTRL Develop Extensions to IBM’s Qiskit that Provide Further Improvements
There were announcements this week from both Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and Q-CTRL that show how these two software companies can beat IBM at its own game and provide software for IBM’s Q hardware that improves upon IBM’s own implementations in Qiskit. CQC published a paper that shows a lithium hydride molecule simulation that displays a >50% improvement using their t|ket> software. And Q-CTRL announced a new product called Open Controls that works with IBM’s Qiskit to improve quantum circuit control. Click here for more.
April 17, 2019
Zapata Raises $21 Million in Series A Financing
The financing round was led by Comcast Ventures and Prelude Ventures, with participation from new and existing investors Pitango Ventures, BASF Venture Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Pillar VC, and The Engine. Zapata will be using the funds to further the development of their hardware-agnostic quantum software platform with a focus on applications in the computational chemistry, machine learning, and optimization areas. For additional details, you can read their news release here.
April 5, 2019
Archer Exploration Starts Carbon-Based QC Chip Development Project
Archer Exploration in Australia has started a project they call 12CQ with the aim of building a carbon-based quantum computing device (chip) capable of room-temperature quantum information processing. The development will take place at the University of Sydney Research & Prototype Foundry Core Research Facility at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub which will provide a world-class infrastructure, equipment, and engineers required to build the chip. Click here for more.
April 4, 2019
Chinese Scientists Set New Quantum Factoring Record
In a technical paper titled Factoring larger integers with fewer qubits via quantum annealing with optimized parameters, Chinese scientists have disclosed they have successfully factored the number 1005973 into its two semi-prime numbers, 997 and 1009. The factoring was performed on a D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealing machine and required 89 qubits. Click here for more.
April 3, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) To Provide Up to $40 Million for Research Into New QC Algorithms and Software Tools
The U.S. DOE has released Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for both government labs and non-government organizations for research aimed at developing new algorithms and software for quantum computers. The effort seeks to move beyond the current relatively limited applications available on quantum computers toward more robust algorithms and application software that can be used on a practical level to tackle a range of scientific problems. Click here for more.
March 30, 2019
Groovenauts to Release World’s First Business Service Powered with Quantum Computing Technology
Japan based Groovenauts, Inc., developers of the non-programming machine learning service MAGELLAN BLOCKS, will release in April the world’s first business optimization service using the D-Wave 2000Q quantum computer via the cloud. The service will analyze vast numbers of numerical combinations to find optimal shipping routes and plan staff schedules. These tasks which require significant manpower to solve will be more efficient and accurate with this service than with procedures used by customers today. Click here to view Groovenauts’ news release describing their service in more detail.
March 29, 2019
Quantum Platform Updates; D-Wave, Microsoft
D-Wave announced that they have expanded their Leap quantum cloud service to 33 new countries in Europe and Japan. This service, first announced in October, 2018 was previously only available in the U.S. and Canada. More details are available in D-Wave’s press release here. Also, Microsoft announced that they had added support for cross-platform Python host applications as well as the capability of using Q# code in Jupyter notebooks. Their March Quantum Development Kit update includes tutorials and samples on using the new Q# Jupyter kernel. For more details, you can view Microsoft’s blog on their Jupyter notebook support here and documentation on how to use the Q# package for Python here.
March 27, 2019
Bo Ewald Takes the Helm at ColdQuanta
ColdQuanta announced today that it has appointed Robert “Bo” Ewald as President and Chief Executive Officer. Bo is well known in the quantum community having served as President of D-Wave U.S. for the past several years. He also has had previous executive experience at Silicon Graphics, Cray Research, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and several other companies. Click here for more.
March 23, 2019
University of Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Microsoft Form the Northwest Quantum Nexus
The three organizations located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States will join in this coalition to: form cross-disciplinary research teams in quantum technology; cultivate a quantum-ready workforce; promote public-private partnerships; translate quantum information science to testbeds and relevant application areas and; develop a vibrant quantum ecosystem and economy in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more you can view the announcement news release on the University of Washington web site here or go to the Northwest Quantum Nexus web site here.
March 16, 2019
Intel and IBM Publish Research Papers Combining QC and AI
A lot of folks are researching using quantum computing to work with artificial intelligence algorithms. Recently, IBM and Intel received some attention (primarily because they have larger PR departments than most others) for papers they recently published that combine concepts from quantum computing (QC) and artificial intelligence (AI). IBM published a paper showing how quantum computing can be used on a supervised learning algorithm to classify data using a technique called feature mapping that is optimized for use with NISQ machines. And Intel described an approach to use the latest advancements in AI algorithms to better understand quantum physics phenomena. Click here for more.
March 16, 2019
IBM Releases Version 0.1 of Qiskit Ignis
IBM has released a new module in their Qiskit suite called Qiskit Ignis.
Qiskit Ignis is a framework for understanding and mitigating noise in quantum circuits and devices. It provides tools for characterizing the error characteristics of a quantum device, verification experiments to verify gate and small circuit performance and mitigation experiments to develop mitigation routines at the microwave pulse level to reduce errors. Click here for more.
March 8, 2019
Atom Computing Has Received a $225,000 SBIR Grant from the NSF for Neutral Atom Research
The grant was provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) to research “Spatially Modulated Light For Trapping And Addressing Of Alkaline-Earth Neutral Atom Qubits”. The objective of their work will be to demonstrate qubits with very long trapped coherence times. This is a Phase I project that will last one year. Click here for details on this grant.
March 7, 2019
Intel and Enterprise Ireland Provide €150,000 ($168K USD) Support to the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) for Research on Natural Language Processing Using a Quantum Computer
In one of the more unusual applications of QC that we have seen, ICHEC will be using Intel’s software quantum simulator, called qHiPSTER, to develop a natural language processing algorithm known as a distributional compositional semantics model, which describes how information flows between words in a sentence to determine the sentence’s meaning. Once the algorithm is developed it would be ready to run on real quantum computers, once they are available, to achieve higher performance. Click here for more details.
March 7, 2019
University of Wisconsin-Madison Has Joined the Chicago Quantum Exchange
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will be joining the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Fermi National Laboratory in this partnership of American Midwest institutions researching quantum computing. The university has expertise in three areas of qubit technology including neutral atoms, superconducting, and silicon quantum dots along with additional expertise in quantum sensing that it will bring to the Chicago Quantum Exchange. You can view UW-Madison’s news release here.
March 6, 2019
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Upgrades D-Wave Computer
D-Wave is upgrading the D-Wave 2X computer originally installed in 2016 to the latest D-Wave 2000Q version. Besides increasing the number of available qubits from over 1000 to more than 2000, the D-Wave 2000Q provides additional annealing control features that can help provide more accuracy and better performance. This is the second field upgrade that D-Wave has publicly announced. The first occurred in 2017 when they upgraded the D-Wave 2X machine at the NASA Ames Research Center to the D-Wave 2000Q. To date, D-Wave has been the only quantum company that has installed a machine for use remotely at a customer’s site, which can be more challenging than providing access to an in-house machine via a cloud service. For more details, you can view D-Wave’s press release here.
March 5, 2019
IBM Achieves Higher Quantum Volume with the IBM Q System One Design
IBM has provided new data on the improved system performance of their IBM Q Systems One design through the use of minimization of vibrations, custom control electronics to provide cleaner signals, and more precise temperature controls. The result has been a doubling of a power measure they call Quantum Volume over their previous design. To read the full article click here.
March 5, 2019
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Introduces “Ironbridge”, a Certifiable Quantum Cryptographic Device
Ironbridge generates random cryptographic keys using a 4-qubit photonic quantum processor. Although other hardware random number generators exist using other mechanisms, this is the first commercial device to take advantage of the quantum phenomena of entanglement to produce what the company claims is a certifiable random quantum key. For more details about Ironbridge, you can click here to see CQC’s news release along with a short video at the bottom that explains the operation of the device.
March 5, 2019
DARPA Schedules Proposers Day for New ONISQ Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is sponsoring a Proposers Day to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of an anticipated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices (ONISQ) program. The Proposers Day will be held on March 19, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. The event will be webcast for those who would like to participate remotely. Click here for more.
March 2, 2019
D-Wave Previews Their Next Generation Quantum Annealing Machine
In a press release, D-Wave provided a preview of their next generation quantum annealing machine codenamed Pegasus. In the press release, D-Wave highlighted key advances in this new architecture including an increase of qubit connectivity from 6 to 15, lower noise and an increased qubit count to over 5000 qubits. Click here for more.
March 1, 2019
Sydney Quantum Academy Being Established with a $15.4 Million AUD ($10.9M USD) Grant
The Australian state of New South Wales has provided a $15.4 million AUD grant to the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, and the University of Sydney to establish this academy. An additional $20 million AUD ($14.1 million USD) will be provided by the universities themselves and unnamed industry partners. Click here for more.
February 28, 2019
Intel, Bluefors, and Afore Develop First Cryogenic Wafer Prober
Intel has teamed up with dilution refrigerator manufacturer Bluefors and MEMS (Micro-electro-mechanical-systems) specialist Afore to develop a wafer prober that can operate at cryogenic temperatures. Intel will be utilizing this device to characterize and speed feedback of their silicon spin qubit device built on their 300 mm manufacturing line in Oregon. Click here for more.
February 27, 2019
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Now Accepting Applications for Their 2019/2020 Quantum Machine Learning Incubator Stream
The Quantum Machine Learning Incubator Stream at CDL-Toronto brings together entrepreneurs, investors, AI experts, leading quantum information researchers, and quantum hardware companies to build ventures in the nascent domain of quantum machine learning and quantum optimization. Participants are eligible to receive US$80k equity investment from three prominent venture capital firms, office space in downtown Toronto, and intensive technical training from industry and academic leaders in quantum computing and machine learning. The program will be held from July 2019 to June 2020 with a Wave 1 application deadline of March 14, 2019 and a final application deadline of May 19, 2019. Click here for more details.
February 23, 2019
Australian ARC Centre of Excellence CQC2T receives $33.7 Million AUS ($22.0M USD) in Funding for Quantum Research
The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney has been awarded $33.7 million in funding from the Australian government to continue its development of a quantum computer. More details are available at the UNSW web site here.
February 22, 2019
IBM/Princeton Sponsoring a Summer Quantum Undergraduate Research Program
IBM and Princeton are sponsoring a 10 week quantum undergraduate research program to provide students with the unique opportunity to do both academic and industry summer research. Click here for more.
February 21, 2019
Videos of the Q2B 2018 and the QIP 2019 Conferences are Now Online
Videos of the presentations from the Q2B 2018 (Quantum for Business Conference held in December 2018) and the QIP (Quantum Information Processing Conference held in January 2019) are now available on YouTube. Click here to access the Q2B 2018 videos and presentations and click here to access the QIP 2019 videos.
February 16, 2019
DOE Providing $12 Million in Grants for QIS Research of Particle Physics
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in a program named QuantISED will be providing funding to support research in using quantum computers and information systems to advance understanding of particle physics and also draw on insights from particle physics to advance QIS. The programs are expected to last two years and will be open to universities, national laboratories, industry, and nonprofits. The deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is March 5, 2019 and the deadline for submitting the final application is April 16, 2019. For more details you can view the general press release here, the Funding Opportunity Announcement for universities, industry, and nonprofits here, and a companion announcement for DOE labs here.
February 14, 2019
IBM Publishes their Qiskit Roadmap for 2019
IBM is planning several new improvements in the 2019 releases of Qiskit. The improvements will be made in the Qiskit Terra, Qiskit AER, Qiskit Aqua, and Qiskit Chemistry modules. They will also introduce a new module called Qiskit Ignis that will include a set of tools for characterization of errors, improving gates, and enhancing computation in the presence of noise. The improvements in the other modules will increase efficiency, improve scalability, introduce new features, and add flexibility to the software. For more details you can view IBM’s blog article that describes the planned changes in more detail here.
February 6, 2019
NIST Requesting Comments on Two Quantum Resistant Digital Signature Algorithms
In addition to NISTs Post-Quantum Cryptography selection program to standardize cryptography algorithms that are resistant to breaking by a quantum computer, NIST intends to approve two stateful-hash based signature standards for limited use. They are working in coordination with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and expect to approve their use for a limited range of signature applications, such as code signing, where most implementations will be able to securely deal with the requirement to keep state. NIST has issued a Request for Public Comments before taking any action. For more details, click here.
February 2, 2019
2019 Quantum MattersTM Science Communication Competition
The Museum of Science, Boston has announced the launch of the national Quantum MattersTM Science Communication Competition, inviting quantum researchers and enthusiasts from around the country to submit their best ideas for inspiring young people to explore the ground-breaking fields of quantum science and technology. Click here for more details about this competition. The deadline for entry is March 1, 2019.
February 2, 2019
Korea to Invest 44.5 Billion Won ($39.7M USD) in Quantum Computing Research
The South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) has announced it will provide funding of 44.5 billion won ($39.7 million USD) over a five year period to expand Korea’s quantum computing research base and develop core technology for quantum computing. The funds will be provided to 33 quantum computing research groups including 7 key team for core quantum computing technology. A significant goal of this program is to develop a 5 qubit quantum process with more than 90% reliability by 2023. For more information, you can view an article on the BusinessKorea web page here.
February 1, 2019
ColdQuanta to Sponsor Neutral Atom QC Research at the University of Wisconsin
ColdQuanta, a Colorado based supplier of components for quantum technology applications announced they will sponsor an undisclosed amount of funding for the continued development of cold neutral atom quantum computing devices at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. They stated that they were attracted to the UW-Madison technology because of its ability to rapidly scale the number of qubits with good fidelity and a high level of interconnectivity. Part of ColdQuanta’s intent is to move up the chain and market quantum devices based on this neutral atom technology in addition to the component level products they currently sell. Click here to view the news release on the ColdQuanta web site.
January 31, 2019
Rigetti Opens Their Quantum Cloud Service (QCS) for Public Beta
Rigetti Computing is opening their Quantum Cloud Service (QCS), which we reported on last September, for public beta testing. QCS will be using the hybrid quantum-classical architecture that Rigetti has been promoting and will use the new Aspen architecture QPUs (Quantum Processing Units) that Rigetti announced in August. Click here for more.
January 30, 2019
NIST Announces Round 2 Candidates for Their PQC Standardization Process
As we previous described, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is working on a multi-year program to select recommended public key encryption algorithms that will be quantum resistant and expected to eventually replace the RSA and Elliptic Curve algorithms in use today. Originally, 69 different algorithms were submitted at the beginning of Round 1 in November 2017 with five being subsequently withdrawn. After a 14 month evaluation period, NIST has narrowed the field down to 26 candidates split between 17 algorithms intended for use with key establishment and encryption applications and 9 algorithms intended for use with digital signature applications. NIST’s evaluation of the Round 2 candidates is expected to last for another 12-18 months and result in either an announcement of which algorithms have been selected or that a Round 3 analysis will be needed. Click here to view a listing on the NIST web site of which algorithms have made it into Round 2 and click here for a more detailed status report with comments on the evaluation criteria and additional information on each of the chosen algorithms.
January 26, 2019
Rigetti Discloses Improved Qubit Quality Metrics with their New Architecture
In a series of blog postings, Rigetti Computing disclosed significantly improved qubit quality metrics for their new Aspen architecture. Their measurements indicated best case T1 relaxation times of over 110 microseconds and best case two-qubit gate fidelities as high as 99.2%. Click here for more.
January 25, 2019
Quantum Circuits Inc. (QCI) Opens Up New Facility
The new 6,000 square feet (about 550 square meters) facility is located in New Haven, Connecticut and will house both development and in-house manufacturing for QCI’s quantum computer activities based upon their superconducting technology. Key members of the QCI team came from the Department of Applied Physics at Yale University. For more, you can view QCI’s news release on their web site here.
January 21, 2019
German Research Centre Forschungszentrum Jülich Awarded 36 Million Euros ($41M USD) for Quantum and Neuromorphic Computing Research
The grants are being provided by the German Federal Government and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The funds will be provided through the year 2020 and cover these two new areas of emerging computing technology. The news release did not describe what portion of these funds has been allocated to quantum computing versus neuromorphic computing, but we expect it to be many millions of euros. To view the announcement from Forschungszentrum Jülich, click here.
January 19, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy Will Provide $45 Million for Quantum Related Chemical and Materials Research
These grants will fund research into design and discovery of novel systems and materials relevant to the development of quantum information science and also the use of quantum computing to solve problems in chemical and materials science research. The funding will be over a three year period and is open to national laboratories, universities, and non-profits. Click here for more.
January 15, 2019
Sandia National Laboratories Receives $42 Million Funding for Four New Quantum Research Projects
The $42 million in funding is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research Programs for four new projects that will last 3-5 years, depending upon the specific project. The funding appears to be separate to the projects that will be funded by the National Quantum Initiative Act that was signed into law in December. Click here for more.
January 14, 2019
India to Invest Rs 80 Crores ($11.34M USD) in Quantum Computing Research
India’s Department of Science and Technology has initiated a three year program called QuEST (Quantum-Enabled Science and Technology) to help lay the groundwork for building quantum computers in India. After this first phase is complete, the Indian government expects to fund a follow-on phase 2 with a larger budget of Rs 300 crores (about $45.5M USD). Click here for more details about this QuEST program.
January 12, 2019
NIST Announcement of PQC Round 2 Candidates Has Been Delayed
We had previously reported that NIST was planning on announcing the round 2 Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithm candidates at the Real World Crypto Symposium on January 10th. However, due to the U.S. Government shutdown that did not occur. We do expect this announcement to be made shortly after the shutdown is over and we will post this information once it is released.
January 7, 2019
IBM Unveils New Packaging Design, New Quantum Computation Center and New Name for their Quantum Computer
IBM has unveiled a new packaging design for their IBM Q quantum computer, now called the IBM Q System One. The design leverages IBM’s decade’s worth of experience designing large mainframe computers to provide a distinctive look and packages the system in an airtight sealed and laminated glass cube. And in a sign that IBM is preparing for increased usage of their quantum technology from members of the IBM Q Network, they are establishing a new IBM Q Quantum Computation Center to expand their IBM Q commercial quantum computation program. Click here for more details on IBM’s announcement.
January 2, 2019
IBM Releases Version 0.7 of Qiskit Terra and Version 0.4 of Qiskit Aqua
IBM has released their next version of Qiskit Terra with improvements in visualization, transpiler improvements, backends and shot memory. A key goal in this release is to improve the internal infrastructure to provide more transparency, stability and extensibility that will help enable additional feature enhancements in future releases. They have also released an updated version of Qiskit Aqua, their library of algorithms for building domain-specific applications. Click here for more.