Recent news items published in 2020 on quantum computing developments are listed below. Click on the hyperlinked item to go to the press release or news article for more details. For older news items published in 2019 click here, for 2018 click here, and for items published in 2015-2017, click here.
September 18, 2020
IBM Announces a $100 Million Quantum Education and Research Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
IBM has announced a two-part initiative to invest in HBCUs is part of the company’s efforts around social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to unlock economic opportunity and prosperity with a goal of having students become familiar with this technology and have career options rooted in quantum computing. The first part is the establishment of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center which will offer access to its quantum computers, as well as collaborate on academic, education, and community outreach programs. The second part is the donation of more than $100M in assets, including including university guests lectures, curriculum content, digital badges, software and faculty training to select HBCUs by the end of 2020 as part of their Skills Academy Academic Initiative in Global University Programs. Click here for the full article.
September 17, 2020 – News Brief
Origin Quantum Launches a New Quantum Cloud Service in China
Origin Quantum, based in Heifei, China, has established its own cloud service and is offering free access to global users. The Origin Quantum Cloud service includes a 6 qubit superconducting quantum computer called the Kuafu KF C6-130 plus four different quantum simulators (or virtual machines) that use different simulation methods including full amplitude, partial amplitude, single amplitude, and noisy quantum virtual machines. They have indicated that various technical indicators such as fidelity and coherence time have reached the international advanced level. The company is currently developing a 24 qubit superconducting version and has plans to offer a 60 qubit version by the end of 2021. For more information, you can view the press article published in Chinese on the Science and Technology Daily web site by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. You can also visit the home page of the Origin Quantum Cloud service to learn more details about the service and access the computers here.
September 17, 2020
CQC and IBM Announce Quantum Random Number Generation as a Service
In what might be the first publicly announced application which exhibits Quantum Advantage, Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and IBM has announced a software application for their IBM Q Network that will provide verifiable quantum random number generation on demand. This service will be available at no additional charge to the 100+ organizations that are members of the IBM Q Network. Click here for the full article.
September 16, 2020 – News Brief
Seeqc Raises $22.4 Million in Series A Funding
This latest funding was led by EQT Ventures with additional participating by FAM AB. The Series A amount includes an earlier funding of $5 million from the Corporate Venture Capital Arm of Merck KGaA and others that we reported on last April. Seeqc is developing a new approach to making quantum computing useful called digital quantum computing which combines classical and quantum computing into an all-digital architecture to address the efficiency, stability and cost issues that often plague quantum computing systems using a CMOS-based analog, microwave control infrastructure. Additional information is available in the Seeqc news release which you can find here.
September 15, 2020
IBM Unveils a Quantum Computing Roadmap that Will Take Them to One Million Qubits and Beyond
IBM has described a quantum computing roadmap that incorporates a number of advancements in future machines that include innovations at the chip, electrical, mechanical, and software technology levels. The goal is to not only improvement the number of qubits in the machines, but also improve the qubit quality metrics so that meaningful error correction algorithms can be implemented in future machines. Click here for the full article.
September 9, 2020 – News Brief
UK Startup AegiQ Receives £1.4m ($1.8M USD) in Funding
The funding was provided by Innovate UK as part of a consortium of companies. AegiQ, a spin-out of the University of Sheffield, is developing quantum photonics based upon III-V semiconductors which are intended to be used in quantum communications applications. Additional information is available in the news release on the AegiQ web site here.
September 9, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Machines and Q-CTRL Partner to Integrate Q-CTRL’s Firmware into Quantum Machines’ Quantum Hardware Platform
We had previously reported on Quantum Machines Quantum Orchestration Platform (QOP), which includes an analog front end and pulse processor called OPX, to provide the electronic signals that control the qubits. The QOP release also included a compiler that could compiler a quantum program in Quantum Machines’ QUA programming language all the way down to the pulse level to control the qubits. Q-CTRL has been focused on developing control firmware that could optimize the timing and shaping of the pulses to maximize the qubit fidelities and the overall computation quality. Their flagship Boulder Opal product has been used with multiple systems and Q-CTRL has stated that it 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. Both companies plan to jointly market the combined solution to customers. Additional details are available on the Q-CTRL and the Quantum Machines websites.
September 4, 2020
Google Goal: Build an Error Corrected Computer with 1 Million Physical Qubits by the End of the Decade
Google held a Quantum Summer Symposium on July 22 and 23 of this year and discussed their activities to build a Quantum Computing Data Center, establish a Quantum Computing Service, develop a 1 million qubit processor, and research quantum computing applications. Click here for the full article.
September 3, 2020 – News Brief
NSF Awards the University of Washington $3 Million to Establish an Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies (AQET) Traineeship Program
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has made the award to help train graduate students for work in quantum information science and technology, or QIST. The funding will be for a five year period with the first year being for development and student recruitment with the following four years for operations. The funds will be used for development of QIST courses, recruitment of students, fellowships for some of the AQET trainees, a six to nine month capstone project, and outreach efforts to recruit femaie students. Additional information on this effort can be found in the news release located on the University of Washington’s web site here.
September 2, 2020
Xanadu Introduces a Photonic-Based Quantum Computer in the Cloud
Another new entrant has entered the cloud-based quantum computing market with Xanadu offering a photonic-based versions that have 8 and 12 qubits with a 24 qubit version coming soon. Although others are working on quantum computers using photonic technologies, Xanadu is the first one to make one publicly available in the cloud. Photonic-based quantum computers have some theoretical benefits over superconducting or ion trap versions because they can run at room temperature and do not need expensive refrigeration systems. Also, they can be easily networked using fiber optic cables to create multi-processing clusters that can support many qubits. Click here for the full article.
September 2, 2020
Rigetti Computing Will Lead a £10M ($13.35M USD) Consortium to Install the First Commercial Quantum Computing in the UK
This will be Rigetti’s first installation outside of the United States and the system will be located in Abingdon, U.K. They will be joined by Oxford Instruments, University of Edinburgh, quantum software start-up Phasecraft, and Standard Chartered Bank. The effort will be funded by the government’s Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research & Innovation along with matching funds from the consortium’s partners. Click here for the full article.
September 1, 2020 – News Brief
Zurich Instruments Introduces the SHFQA 8.5 Ghz Quantum Analyzer that can Measure Up to 64 Qubits
As the number of qubits on a chip continues to increase, it is become more and more important for hardware designers to improve the integration of the supporting electronics in order to reduce the size of the instrument racks and handle the complexity of the cables that connect to the qubits. With this in mind, Zurich Instruments has introduced the SHFQA Quantum Analyzer which integrates in a single instrument a full real-time readout setup for up to 64 superconducting or spin qubits. The unit is available in either 2 or 4 channel configurations with each channel able to handle up to 16 qubits. It operates in a frequency range from 0.5 to 8.5 GHz and provides a clean analysis bandwidth of 1 GHz and simplifies operation because it does not need for mixer calibration. The unit is controlled using Zurich Instruments LabOne software and seamlessly integrates with other Zurich Instruments products including the HDAWG Arbitrary Waveform Generator and the PQSC Programmable Quantum System Controller. For additional information you can view a Zurich Instruments press release announcing the product here and also a product page on their web site here.
September 1, 2020 – News Brief
IBM Releases a 65 Qubit Processor with a Quantum Volume of 32
The processor is now available to IBM clients and has the backend identifier Manhattan. It has good error rate metrics, but perhaps not quite a good yet as the 27 qubit Montreal device which IBM reported a quantum volume of 64 last month. The Manhattan device has the OpenPulse interface enabled which may allow a user to optimize the qubit control pulses to achieve better qubit fidelity metrics in the future. Information on this new device is currently limited but you can view a Twitter post announcing its release here.
August 29, 2020 – News Brief
Google and Collaborators Achieve the Largest Quantum Chemical Simulation to Date
In a paper just published in Science Magazine titled Hartree-Fock on a superconducting qubit quantum computer the Google AI Quantum team and collaborators was able to model the binding energy of H6, H8, H10 and H12 chains as well as the isomerization of diazene. These represent the largest quantum chemical simulation that we are aware of, with the largest simulation requiring 12 qubits, 72 two-qubit gates, and 114 one-qubit gates. The Hartree-Fock calculations of molecular electronic energies were performed on Google’s 53 qubit Sycamore processor. Google has released the code for the experiment which utilizes the OpenFermion quantum chemistry software library and a Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) approach to mitigate errors. Since this experiment only used 12 out of the 53 available qubits, this approach should be extensible to even more complex chemical simulations in the future. Additional information is available in a Google AI blog posting here, an abstract of the article here (the full article is also available behind a paywall), and an arXiv preprint of the article here.
August 28, 2020
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Announces Members of the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee (NQIAC)
One of the provisions of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act, approved in December 2018, was to appoint an advisory committee composed of members from industry, universities, Federal laboratories, and other Federal Government agencies to 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. Click here to view the full article and the names of the newly announced members.
August 28, 2020 – News Brief
Japanese Quantum Software Company JiJ Raises 200 Million Yen ($1.9M USD) in Series A Funding
The funding was provided by three Japanese venture capital companies, Anri, Deepcore, and Mira Souzou. Jij specializes in providing Ising machine and quantum annealing solutions for challenging industrial optimization problems. The company is using both the quantum and quantum-inspired techniques and is utilizing platforms from D-Wave, Microsoft Azure, NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi and others. The company’s founders all came from the Nishimori Lab at the University of Tokyo which is well known for its pioneering research in quantum annealing. For more, you can view the news release on the Jij web site here.
August 28, 2020 – News Brief
Seeqc Receives $150,000 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Award from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
The award was made for Seeqc’s proposal of “Highly Manufacturable Fluxonium Qubits at 300mm Wafer Scale”. The fluxonium qubits are superconducting qubits which have longer coherence times and could help build high fidelity circuits with large numbers of qubits. The Phase 1 activity will be to establish the design and process parameters for the circuit designs. It is expected that this will be followed by a Phase 2 that will actually build the qubits on 300 mm wafers. For more, you can read the news release issued by Seeqc on their web site here.
August 27, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. Announces New Support for Cloud-Based Quantum Computers with their Mukai Software
We had reported in January on an announcement by Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) of their Mukai software product which can be used to create applications to solve complex optimization problems. At the time, the software was designed to run on classical computers with a future capability to be run on real quantum computers at a later date. Now, QCI has announced Mukai support for four cloud-based quantum computers including IonQ, Rigetti, and D-Wave through Amazon Web Services and also IBM through their IBM-Q network. Mukai not only serves as a software development platform it can also serve as an execution platform to provide simplified access to the cloud quantum computers for its users. Click here for the full article.
August 26, 2020
U.S. Announces $965 Million in Funding to Establish Five Quantum Information Science Centers
The White House Office of Technology Policy (OSTP), National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DOE) announces U.S. government funding of $625 Million to establish these centers which will be led by five different DOE national labs. An additional $340 million will be contributed from the private sector and academic institutions. These investments will be in additional to the $75 million in funding for three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes announced by the National Science Foundation last month. The centers will be led by the Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A total of 69 organizations including national labs, universities, and companies will participate in the effort in over 22 U.S. states, Canada, and Italy. Click here for the full article.
August 26, 2020 – News Brief
60 Qubit Superconducting and 32 Qubit Ion Trap Quantum Computers Under Development
In a recent talk given by Professor Zhu Xiaobo of the Shanghai Research Institute of the University of Science and Technology China, he disclosed they expect to achieve development of a 60 qubit superconducting processor with 99.5% fidelities by the end of this year. This would be comparable, with a few more qubits, to the Google Sycamore quantum supremacy device that Google announced last October. Professor Xiaobo further indicated a goal of achieving a 1,000 qubit device within five years. Additional details are available (in Chinese) on the Shanghai news website Thepaper.cn.
In a news release by The Optical Society (OSA), they announced that Junki Kim of Duke University will describe a new 32 qubit full-connected ion trap device at the inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 conference on September 14, 2020. The work is part of a multi-institutional NSF-funded Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design (STAQ) project led by Kenneth Brown at Duke University. You can view OSA’s news release on their web site here and we expect additional information will be available after the OSA Quantum 2.0 conference.
August 20, 2020
IBM Reaches Quantum Volume 64 with Improved Software and Qubit Controls
Not to be outdone by Honeywell, who announced a quantum volume level of 64 in June, IBM has announced that they too have reached this level with their IBMQ_Montreal device which is based upon their Falcon processor family. The interesting thing about this improvement was that it was reached solely through the use of improved software. The IBMQ_Montreal device itself has been available since last July. Click here for the full article.
August 19, 2020 – News Brief
Indiana University Creates New Master of Science Program in Quantum information Science
The Master of Science in quantum information science will involve an intensive, one-year, multidisciplinary program with tracks that tie into physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, engineering and business. It’s offered through the Office of Multidisciplinary Graduate Programs in the University Graduate School. Most of the faculty who will teach the classes are members of the newly established IU Quantum Science and Engineering Center. There is a growing number of programs being formed to provide Master’s degrees in quantum technology due to the increasing demands for a growing quantum workforce. Harrisburg University is creating a list of those institutions developing such Master’s programs. This is still a work in progress but you can find the preliminary version here.
August 15, 2020 – News Brief
White House Proposes a 20% Increase in U.S. Quantum R&D Funding for FY2021 U.S. Budget
In a report issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) proposing funding for Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Information Science, OSTP proposed raising the QIS R&D budget to $699 million in FY2021 from the previously enacted $579 million in FY2020, a 20.7% increase. FY2021 starts on October 1, 2020 and runs through September 30, 2021. The budget would be allocated to funding programs at the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NIST, NSF, and NASA and is part of the multi-year U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act passed in December 2018. For more, you can view the Artificial Intelligence & Quantum Information Science R&D Summary: Fiscal Years 2020-2021 document here.
August 14, 2020
Amazon AWS Announces General Availability of their Quantum Cloud Service
We had previously written about Amazon’s announcement in December last year to provide a quantum cloud service. They have been running the service in a beta test mode to selected customers for the past several months and now have announced General Availability for any AWS customer. The service is currently offering access to the D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealing processor, the Rigetti Aspen-8 superconducting gate level processor, and the IonQ ion trap processor. In addition, the service also includes a high power state vector simulator (SV1) that can simulate circuits up to 34 qubits on AWS classical cloud computers. Along with the hardware and simulators, AWS is also providing its own Amazon Braket Python SDK that is an open source library to design and build quantum circuits and submit them to Braket quantum processing units (QPUs) as tasks and monitor their execution. The SDK also includes a lower performance quantum gate simulator that can handle up to 25 qubit simulations and runs on the user’s notebook. Click here for the full article.
August 7, 2020 – News Brief
University of Arizona Receives $26 Million from the NSF to Lead a New Center for Quantum Networks
The Center for Quantum Networks (CQN) will have as core partners Harvard, MIT, and Yale with a key focus to research advanced quantum materials and devices, quantum and classical processing required at a network node, and quantum network protocols and architectures. CQN also aims to demonstrate the first U.S.-based quantum network that can distribute quantum information at high speeds, over long distances, to multiple user groups by creating a versatile Quantum Network Testbed and making it available as a national resource. Additional institutions participating in the project include Brigham Young University, Howard University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Oregon and the University of Chicago. The initial $26 million grant will cover five years with an option to have an additional five year grant for $24.6 million. For more, view the news release on the University of Arizona web site here.
August 6, 2020 – News Brief
NSF Awards $9.75 Million to the Quantum Computing & Information Science – Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF) Program
The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) QCIS-FF program supports departments and schools in U.S. institutions of higher education that conduct research and teaching in computer science, information science, and computer engineering, with the specific goal of encouraging hiring of tenure-track and tenured faculty in quantum computing and quantum communication. The schools receiving this award include Columbia, Harvard, Indiana University, North Carolina State University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Tufts, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Davis, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, University of New Mexico, and University of Washington. For more, click here to view the news release on the NSF web site.
August 6, 2020 – News Brief
IP Group Announces a £12 Million ($15.6M USD) Investment Partnership in Quantum Technologies
The partnership is an accelerator in quantum technologies to provide seed funding for projects lasting up to two years related to second generation quantum techniques or direct supporting technologies. Examples of eligible projects include those dealing with quantum connectivity, situational awareness, imaging and sensing, and computing. The funding will come in the form of a mixture of grants and equity and the projects must be between £125k and £2m in size. The portion coming from grants can be up to £1m and is funded through the UK Research and Innovation agency’s Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge. Applications will be accepted until either the May 31, 2022 or until the funding runs out. Additional details are available in the accelerator information page here and also a news release from the IP Group here.
August 5, 2020
U.S. Government and Industrial/Academic Partners form a National Q-12 Education Partnership for Middle and High School Students
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) along with industrial, academic, and professional society partners Amazon Web Services (AWS), Boeing Co, Google, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Montana Instruments, Microsoft Corp, Rigetti, Zapata, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, APS, IEEE, OSA, and SPIE have created the National Q-12 Education Partnership with the aim to support and grow a quantum workforce that is diverse and equitable. The unique aspect of this program is that it is focused on providing quantum education to middle and high school students (K-12) rather than those at universities. Activities will include developing educational materials, providing tools for hands-on experiences, and supporting pathways to quantum careers. Click here for the full article.
August 4, 2020 – News Brief
Rigetti Announces Closing of $79M Series C Financing
We had previously written about this investment in March, but the final amount and the names of the investors were not available at the time. This new announcement shows the round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with additional participation from Franklin Templeton, Alumni Ventures Group, DCVC, Morpheus Ventures, and Northgate Capital. When the SEC Form D was filed earlier this year, the amount as $71 million, so apparently Rigetti was able to get an additional investment of $8 million for this round over the past several months. Additional information about this financing can be found in the news release issued by Rigetti here as well as a blog article from Morpheus Ventures on why they decided to invest in Rigetti here.
July 31, 2020 – News Brief
IBM and the University of Tokyo Set Up a Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium (QIIC) in Japan
The consortium will be headquartered at the University of Tokyo and will be joined by other organizations including Keio University, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mizuho, MUFG, JSR, DIC, Toyota, Mitsubishi Chemicals and IBM Japan. The goal will be to accelerate quantum computing activities in Japan, improve student skills, and enable future discoveries and practical applications. The consortium will be part of the IBM Q network and will have access to machines in the IBM Quantum Computation Center located in the U.S. and in 2021, to an IBM System One quantum computer scheduled to be installed in Japan. Additional details can be found in the news release on IBM’s web site here.
July 30, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Software Company Classiq Raises $4M
The finding was provided by Entrée Capital. Israeli-based Classiq is working to provide software at a higher level of abstraction than the gate level quantum circuits that are required in other quantum software packages. Their goal is to enable higher productivity for algorithm designers with their software so the designers can concentrate their efforts on the needs of their application rather than developing the individual gates to match the intricacies of the quantum hardware.
July 29, 2020
U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Weighs In on Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC)
In the aftermath of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) selection of candidates for Round 3 of the PQC selection process, the NSA has posted comments on what types algorithms they are favoring for national security and commercial use cases. The NSA has reviewed the security of many of the algorithms and has concluded that they are confident of the security and performance characteristics of lattice-based schemes that have a strong dependence on well-studied mathematical problems also believe that hash-based signatures provide well-understood security for certain niche solutions. Click here for our full article.
July 28, 2020 – News Brief
Q-CTRL Announces Professional Services Offering to Help Customers Apply the Principles of Control Engineering to Quantum Cloud Computers
Many enterprise organizations are looking at utilizing the growing number of quantum cloud offerings in order to provide quantum solutions to their difficult problems in finance, logistics, telecommunications, transportation, pharmaceuticals, and more. While developing the right quantum programs and algorithms to solve these problems is a challenging task, an even greater challenge is to optimize the programs to get the maximum performance out of noisy hardware. Some cloud vendors are providing users with the capabilities of programming their machines down to the microwave pulse level for this, but figuring out how to do this requires very specialized knowledge and tools that most end users do not have. In order to help with this, Q-CTRL has formed a Professional Services team that will work with end users to help achieve the most from the cloud computers they are using. The team will show users how Q-CTRL’s custom designed tools can be used for hardware calibration and characterization, stabilizing hardware against performance variations, utilize machine learning to suppress errors, optimize algorithms, and benchmark performance. For more details on Q-CTRL’s Professional Services, you can read a news release announcing it here.
July 28, 2020 – News Brief
UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine Each Receive a $1.5 Million Gift for Quantum Research
The gifts were provided to the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) by businessman Roy T. Eddleman and will be used to support quantum research at each school. The Santa Barbara center will be called the Roy T. Eddleman Center for Quantum Innovation while the Irvine institute will be called the Eddleman Quantum Institute. The gifts will extend over a three year period and will supports a variety of quantum science-related activity, including research, graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. For more information about these gifts, you can view the news release from UCSB here and another news release from UCI here.
July 27, 2020 – News Brief
Xanadu Provides Support for Honeywell Ion Trap Computer with their PennyLane Software
PennyLane is a cross-platform Python library for quantum machine learning, automatic differentiation, and optimization of hybrid quantum-classical computations and Xanadu has now added a new plug-in that supports Honeywell’s ion trap computer. This adds to the collection of other platforms supported by PennyLane including IBM’s Qiskit, Rigetti Forest, Google Cirq, Microsoft QDK, Alpine Quantum Technology (AQT), Project Q, and Xanadu’s own photonic quantum computer. The software is currently in beta release and provides access to Honeywell’s ion-trap computing hardware over the cloud for those who have credentials for the Honeywell Quantum Solutions platform. Additional details are available on the PennyLane-Honeywell Plugin documentation here and the code is available on the corresponding GitHub site here.
July 25, 2020 – News Brief
Elyah Introduces Qubit Workbench, a Visual Quantum Programming Tool
Qubit Workbench is a graphical quantrum programming tool that can handle over 100 qubits. It also includes a built-in simulator and a capability to download printable versions of .TEX files. A free version is available that allows creating programs for up to 6 qubits and paid versions to provide the full capability of the software are available for both individual designers and enterprises. For more information, you can view the product announcement issued by Elyah here and also a description of the Qubit Workbench on the Elyah web site here.
July 25, 2020
Innovare Advancement Center to Provide Over $1 Million in Grants for University Quantum Research During a Pitch Competition September 1-3, 2020
Innovare Advancement Center, a new technology accelerator in Rome, New York that was recently created in partnership by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), Griffiss Institute (GI), Oneida County (OC), and State University of New York (SUNY), announced it will host a “$1,000,000 International Quantum U Tech Accelerator” event on September 1-3, 2020. This event will provide one year grants for up to 18 university proposer groups, both nationally and internationally, for $75,000 each for research in the areas of quantum communications, quantum computing, quantum sensing and quantum timing. For additional information about this competition and directions on where to submit a proposal, click here.
July 24, 2020 – News Brief
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Will Offer the World’s First Bachelors Degree in Quantum Engineering
UNSW in Sydney, Australia will offer a Bachelor of Quantum Engineering (Honours) degree that will train students in advanced electronics and telecommunication engineering, specializing in how to design and control complex quantum systems. The degree will cover nanoelectronics, microwave engineering and quantum technologies for advanced sensors, secure communications and computing. Although other universities, such as the University of Wisconsin – Madison, offer an M.S. Degree in Physics – Quantum Computing, this is the first program we are aware of that offer a bachelors degree focused on quantum technology. While many of the early quantum industry players have been staffed with researchers holding PhD degrees in Physics, as the industry expands it will need more workers who can help implement the technologies rather than working on theoretical concepts. For more on this new program at UNSW, you can view a recent news release announcing it here and a full description of the program here.
July 24, 2020 – News Brief
Quandela Receives First Round Financing To Accumulate a Total of 1.5 Million Euros ($1.75M USD) of Investment
The round was led by Quantonation with additional participation from Bpifrance. Quandela provides single photon sources for quantum communications and optical quantum computers and has already delivered products to customers in Russia and Australia and has orders from additional European customers. Additional information is available in a news release on the Quandela web site here.
July 24, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Xchange Releases Version 2.0 of Phio Trusted Xchange (TX) Which Supports Both QKD and PQC
There has been a lot of news this week regarding advancements in both physics-based QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) and math-based PQC (Post Quantum Cryptography) for quantum resistant cryptography. Most organizations involved only work in one area or the other, but Quantum Xchange is taking a different approach and releasing a crypto agile appliance that supports all forms of quantum keys — both physics and math-based. It is also uniquely capable of making traditional keys quantum-safe — bringing an immediate heightened level of security to any encryption environment. Version 2.0 of the Phio Trusted Xchange (TX) features a dynamic GUI, allowing security administrators to see in real-time the routing and transmission of quantum keys throughout the enterprise for improved key management, performance, and data-security optimization. For more details on Quantum Xchange’s product release, you can view their news release here.
July 23, 2020
Department of Energy (DOE) Unveils Blueprint for a U.S. Quantum Internet
In an event held at the University of Chicago, the U.S. DOE unveiled a blueprint for creating a quantum internet in the United States. The network would start with a network being constructed in the Chicago area between the University of Chicago, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, and the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois. A 52 mile testbed loop for this network has already been constructed in the Chicago suburbs and is one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the U.S. This testbed will be extended soon to connect Fermilab and will have a length of 80 miles. DOE intends to proceed and connect up all 17 of their national labs to establish the backbone of the quantum internet. Click here for more.
July 22, 2020
NIST Selects 7 Finalists and 8 Alternates for Round 3 of the PQC Standardization Program
As part of the ongoing program to develop a quantum resistant Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) standard which started in 2017 with 69 candidate algorithms, NIST has announced they have finished their analysis for Round 2 which began in January 2019 with 26 algorithms and are now proceeding to Round 3 with seven finalists and eight alternates.The algorithms in the finalist group will be evaluated and those that are selected will be recommended for standardization at the conclusion of Round 3. The algorithms in the alternate group were chosen because they may potentially provide better security, better performance, better suitability for certain use cases or have a potential for further improvement, but NIST believes these algorithms will require additional analysis. They will continue to be analyzed during Round 3 and some of them will be selected for Round 4. At the conclusion of Round 4 some of these alternate algorithms may also become recommended standards. Click here for more details in the full article.
July 21, 2020
NSF Establishes Three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes with $75 Million in Funding
We reported last year on 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 technology. Today, the concept has turned into a reality with NSF’s announcement in partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy of three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes. For more, click here to read the full article.
July 21, 2020 – News Brief
ORCA Computing Raises a Pre-Seed Round of £2.9 Million ($3.7M USD)
The round was led by Atmos Ventures with additional participation from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) and Quantonation. ORCA has also received three grants from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. ORCA is developing a quantum computer using a novel photonic approach that uses quantum memories and optical fiber cable. This will enable them to leverage many components originally designed for the telecom industry, which can simplify some of the design and procurement requirements. ORCA plans to initially develop a prototype, scaled down quantum computer which will be used for learning and as a development tool for partners. They believe their approach will make it easier to scale up the number of qubits and intend on creating systems that can reach 100,000 qubits or more. For more information on ORCA, you can view the news release here.
July 21, 2020
QC Ware Releases New Version of their Forge Software Which Includes New QML Data Loading Algorithms
QC Ware has release a new version of their Forge software which includes two algorithms they call the Forge Parallel Data Loader and the Forge Optimized Data Loader that they say are a breakthrough and can implement loading of classical data into qubits very efficiently without using QRAM. The new release also includes additional features including simulation using GPU’s over the cloud, improved performance on the D-Wave quantum annealer, automatic importing and translation of IBM Qiskit and Google Cirq circuits, and others. Read our full article that covers it here.
July 20, 2020 – News Brief
D-Wave Extends Leap 2 Cloud Service to India and Australia
When the D-Wave’s Leap quantum computing cloud service was first introduced in October 2018, it was only available in the U.S. and Canada. Then in March 2019 they expanded availability of the service to 33 new countries in Europe and Japan. Now, D-Wave has expanded the service to two additional countries, India and Australia, bringing the total number of supported countries to 37. This service will include all the latest features they have available in the latest version of the platform called Leap 2 which D-Wave announced in February of this year. For more information, you can view the news release available on the D-Wave web site here.
July 18, 2020 – News Brief
Thirty-one Percent of Life Sciences Companies Intend to Evaluate Quantum Computing This Year
In a poll conducted at a recent industry webinar, 82% of life science companies believe that quantum computing will have an impact for their industry within the next ten years. Also, 31% of the respondents indicated that are beginning quantum computing evaluations this year with another 39% planning to start evaluations next year or are looking at it. The poll was conducted by three organizations including the Pistoia Alliance, the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C), and QuPharm that have memberships from a broad array of quantum, life sciences, and healthcare companies. These three organizations have come together to create a Community of Interest (COI) to help organizations address the key issues that need to be solved to take advantage of the capabilities of quantum computing. Quantum Computing can have a significant potential impact in such areas as drug discovery, precision medicine, accelerated genomics and proteomics correlation, as well as the calculation of multiple probabilities and outcomes. Additional information regarding this poll and the activities of these organizations to incorporate quantum computing in life sciences applications can be found in the news release on the QED-C web site here.
July 17, 2020 – News Brief
Honeywell Releases Model H0, a Six Qubit Ion Trap Computer, for General Availability Over the Cloud
The Honeywell System Model HØ quantum computer is now available commercially for those wishing to purchase access. The system can be programmed using an Open QASM API to leverage a variety of frameworks and simulations can be achieved with several open source simulation tools. Honeywell offers two types of access modes including a Queued access mode as well as a Reserved mode which provides pre-scheduled, exclusive use of the machine. Usage of the machine is metered through the use of Honeywell Quantum Credits (HQC) which are a representation of the size of a quantum computational job run on the system and can be purchased in increments of 1000 units. The Honeywell machine possesses some unique features include high fidelity, fully connected qubits, mid-circuit measures with qubit reuse capabilities and high resolution rotations. Additional details about this machine and information on how to purchase access credits can be found on Honeywell’s web site here.
July 17, 2020 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Becomes the First Startup-Based Hub in the IBM Q Network
CQC has a long relationship with IBM and was part of the initial group of IBM Q startup partners in 2018 and received an investment from IBM in January 2020. Being named a hub in the IBM Q Network now allows them to serve as a reseller and will allow them to resell time on the IBM Q systems to their customers while the customers are working with CQC on advanced application development. This can be a nice advantage to end users because it allows them to have short term access to IBM’s premium quantum computers and try them out before deciding to enter into a longer term direct relationship with IBM or one of the other hubs for purchasing time on the premium systems. In contrast, IBM other software partners can provide their software to end users but those end users would need to contract directly with IBM or a hub to obtain premium access. Additional details are available in the news release posted on the CQC website here.
July 16, 2020 – News Brief
ProteinQure Collaborates with AstraZeneca to Accelerate the Research and Development of Peptide Therapeutics
The collaboration will combine ProteinQure’s expertise in computational methods and structure-based drug design while AstraZeneca will conduct experimental validation, drawing on the company’s extensive expertise in biologics. The goal will be to to explore this vast peptide therapeutic space and design peptide libraries with broad applicability in drug discovery. This is another example of quantum companies working with pharmaceutical companies. Earlier this year we reported on Seeqc’s investment from the venture capital arm of Merck KGaA. For more release on this activity, you can view the news release here.
July 11, 2020 – News Brief
Atos Announces a Quantum Annealing Simulator
Atos, which has been offering a dedicated box called the Quantum Learning Machine that performs gate-level quantum computer simulation, has announced a new capability that will allow it to perform quantum annealing simulations. The Quantum Learning Machine will be able to perform perfect, noiseless simulations of a few thousand qubits in a few seconds and is fully tunable to allow users to experiment with different parameters in the simulation. This device provides a competitive alternative to D-Wave’s quantum annealers as well as Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer. Atos’ Quantum Annealing Simulator will be available in Q4 2020. For more, see Atos’ press release announcement located on the their web site here.
July 11, 2020
IBM Expands their IBM Q Program with New Hardware, Software, and User Programs
IBM made several smaller announcements in the past week that show continued expansion of their quantum computing efforts. These include additional machines, a new optimization module, a special advanced access program for academic researchers, receipt of five thousand pre-registrations to their Qiskit Summer School and a published paper on Quantum advantage with noisy shallow circuits. Click here for more.
July 10, 2020 – News Brief
QuantumCTek IPOs on the Shanghai STAR Market with a Record First Day Jump
QuantumCTek, China’s leading quantum networking company, had an IPO (Initial Public Offering) on Thursday with an initial offering price of 36.18 yuan ($5.18 USD) and hit a close price by the end of the day of 370.43 yuan ($52.90 USD) to achieve an increase of 924% on its first day. The stock price did decline slightly on Friday to 338.05 yuan ($48.28 USD) but is still well above its issue price. In terms of market cap, it would translate to about $414 million USD at the issue price and is now at $3.8 billion USD as of Friday’s close. In comparison, the company achieved in its last fiscal year about $37 million USD in revenue with a net income of about $7 million providing a Price/Sales ratio of 111 and a Price/Earnings ratio of about 542. QuantumCTek provides quantum networking equipment at the component, system and software levels utilizing QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) for secure quantum resistant encryption. The company was formed in 2009 and is the first quantum company to have an IPO in China. Additional details are available in this report from the Nikkei Asian Review.
July 10, 2020 – News Brief
Q-CTRL Partners with Advanced Navigation to Apply Quantum Control Engineering to Quantum Sensing
Advanced Navigation is an Australian company, as is Q-CTRL, that builds ultra-precise, AI-based navigational technologies and robotics for sea, air, land and space across commercial and defense domains. The goal of the partnership will be to apply Q-CTRL’s quantum control technology to enhance the performance of Advanced Navations PNT (Position, Navigation, and Timing) systems. These systems can enable precise navigation for autonomous vehicles, defense, and space applications when GPS systems are not available. Although there are several companies who are providing quantum control technology for the quantum computing market, this is the first instance that we are aware of that is taking this technology and applying it to quantum sensing applications. For more details, you can view the press release on the Q-CTRL web site here.
July 9, 2020 – News Brief
Seven New Corporate Partners Join the Chicago Quantum Exchange
The new partners include Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Quantum Design, Qubitekk, Rigetti Computing, and Zurich Instruments. They join previously announced corporate partners including Boeing, IBM, Applied Materials, Inc., Cold Quanta, HRL Laboratories, LLC, and Quantum Opus, LLC. bringing the total number of corporate partners to 13. The Chicago Quantum Exchange is a hub for the research and development of quantum technology and is anchored by the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University. The new partners will work with the Chicago Quantum Exchange on projects ranging from quantum communication hardware to quantum computing systems and controls to finance and cryptography applications. Additional details are available in the news release on the Chicago Quantum Exchange’s web site here.
July 8, 2020 – News Brief
PQShield Raises £5.5 Million ($6.4M USD) in Seed Funding
The funding was provided by Kindred Capital, Crane Venture Partners, Oxford Sciences Innovation and additional angel investors. PQShield is a spinout of Oxford University formed in 2018 and is developing both hardware and software Post Quantum Cryptography solutions to enable quantum resistant communications. They are an active participant in NIST’s Post Quantum Cryptography standardization process and they are working with several candidate algorithms that are being evaluated as part of Round 2 selection process. For more on this funding, you can read the news release on the PQShield web site here.
July 7, 2020 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Partners with Pasqal to Provide Support for Pasqal’s Neutral Atom Based Quantum Computer
CQC announced they are collaborating with Pasqal to provide support for Pasqal’s neutral atom based quantum processor with CQC’s t|ket> quantum software development platform. They will provide an additional backend for t|ket which already supports a wide range of backends including IBM Q, Rigetti’s pyQuil, Google’s Cirq, Microsoft Q#, AQT, Honeywell, ProjectQ, and Pyzx. The software not only translates machine independent algorithms, but also optimizes the circuits for the physical qubit layout of each target platform. Besides CQC, Pasqal has also formed partnerships with Rahko to provide solutions for advanced chemistry problems and also with Google to provide direct support for Pasqal’s system with Google’s Cirq software platform. Pasqal recently released a preprint paper titled “Quantum computing with neutral atoms” in which they stated that their approach provides intrinsic scalability to the 100-1,000 qubits range and will have prospects for universal fault tolerant quantum computing and applications beyond quantum computing. Additional details about the CQC-Pasqal partnership can be found in the news release available on the CQC web site here.
July 7, 2020
Three European Companies Receive Venture Investments
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC), QuiX and Qblox have all announced new venture capital investments for undisclosed amounts. The investment in CQC was made by Singapore-based Serendipity Capital. Netherlands-based QuiX received its investment from investment from FORWARD.one and Oost NL. Qblox, also based in The Netherlands received its investment from UNIIQ, an investment fund set up by a consortium of Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the Province of Zuid-Holland regional development agency InnovationQuarter. For more, click here.
July 3, 2020 – News Brief
Menten AI and Qubit Pharmaceuticals Receive Venture Funding for Quantum Drug Discovery
Menten AI received a seed round financing of $4 million from investors Khosla Ventures, Uncork Capital, and Social Impact Capital. Their goal is to to create the next generation of protein-based drugs using machine learning and quantum computing. Qubit Pharmaceuticals received pre-seed funding from Quantonation for an undisclosed amount. They are a a spin off from CNAM, CNRS, University of Texas at Austin, Sorbonne University and Washington University developing a software suite for the discovery and testing of drug candidates running on supercomputers, and eventually quantum computers, to codesign new drugs with pharma and biotech companies. Additional details about Menten AI can be found on their web site here and for details about Qubit Pharmaceutical’s funding round, you can click here.
June 30, 2020 – News Brief
QURECA Launches Quantum Training and Recruiting Platform
QURECA (Quantum Resources & Careers), a quantum services company located in Glasgow, Scotland, has announced a platform to help individuals, companies and other organizations develop a quantum ready workforce. A key component of this is their offering of a wide variety of training programs to fit various needs. The initial set of courses will be online, although in-person courses are anticipated to be available in the future, and can be configured either as one-on-one training or group training for corporate customers. The fixed set of courses will include introductory courses as well as intermediate and advanced training for different sectors and courses can be customized, if desired. A typical course will include 5 lessons and take between 10 and 20 hours to complete. The next series of courses is scheduled to start in September with registration anticipated to start in mid-August. Besides training, QURECA also offers recruiting and career coaching services. Additional details are available in the news announcement on the QURECA web site here.
June 27, 2020 – News Brief
DOE Awards Two Argonne National Laboratory Scientists with $500,000 Per Year for Each to Perform Quantum Research
The awards were made as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s FY2020 Early Career Research Program and provides each recipient with at least $500,000 per year for five years to advance their research. The first award was made to Michael Bishof for development of a quantum simulator using an array of laser-trapped ytterbium atoms that is tailored to address specific challenges in nuclear physics. The second award was made to Marco Govoni who will study light-activated quantum materials for the realization of qubits in solid-state environments. A total of six scientists from Argonne received the Early Career Research awards, but the other four work on problems not directly related to quantum information science. More details are available in the announcement on Argonne’s web site here.
June 27, 2020 – News Brief
D-Wave Annealer Located at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) Will Be Upgraded to the Forthcoming 5000 Qubit D-Wave Advantage System
The University of Southern California (USC) and Lockheed-Martin have been jointly operating various models of the D-Wave annealers at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) in Marina del Rey (near Los Angeles) since 2011. The initial installation in 2011 was with the D-Wave One machine that had 128 qubits and was subsequently upgraded several times. The new D-Wave Advantage machine will contain over 5000 qubits and the Pegasus chip architecture with improved qubit connectivity and qubit noise characteristics. D-Wave had previously announced last year that it was installing an Advantage system at the Forschungszentrum Jülich Supercomputing Center in Jülich, Germany and also the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Additional details on USC’s Quantum Computing Collaboration with D-Wave and Lockheed-Martin can be found on USC’s web site here.
June 25, 2020 – News Brief
Atos Announces More Powerful QLM E (Quantum Learning Machine Enhanced) for Quantum Algorithm Simulations
The new QLM E is can offer up to 12 times the computation speed of the predecessor QLM due to its use of the NVIDIA V100s PCI GPUs versus Intel general purpose microprocessors used in the previous product. As a result, Atos indicates that the QLM E is the world’s most powerful commercially available quantum simulator. It is available in six different configurations that can vary the number of GPU chips from 2 to 32. In addition, Atos is also providing the capability for existing QLM customers to upgrade to the QLM E. For more, you can view Atos’ press release on their web site here.
June 23, 2020 – News Brief
Pasqal and Rahko Partner to Solve Advanced Chemistry Problems and Implement them on Pasqal’s Future Rydberg Atom Quantum Processor
The two year project will receive support from the Région Ilê-de-France, as part of the Innov’up Leader PIA program. Aid from that program typically ranges between €100,000 to €500,000, 2/3’s of which is paid in the form of a grant and 1/3 paid is paid in the form of a recoverable advance. Additional details are available on Pasqal’s web site here.
June 23, 2020 – News Brief
Horizon Quantum Computing Receives Seed-plus Round of Financing for 4.5 Million SGD ($3.23M USD)
The round was led by Sequoia Capital India with with participation from previous investors SGInnovate, Abies Ventures, DCVC, Qubit Protocol, Summer Capital and Posa CV. Horizon is located in Singapore and is taking a unique approach of quantum software with a goal of providing a program that can convert classical computing source code to run on a quantum computer. Their program, named Carbon, will use a MATLAB-like language as the top level programming interface. MATLAB is a numerical computing environment that allows users to analyze data, develop algorithms, or creating models using matrix and array mathematics. Horizon’s program could potentially open up quantum computing to a large base of classical computing users who would not need to learn the intricacies of quantum computing programming to take advantage of it. More details can be found on the press release at Horizon’s web site here.
June 18, 2020 – News Brief
IQM, Atos, and Finland’s CSC Will Partner to Create a New Full-Stack Environment for Quantum Computing
IQM is a quantum hardware developer that up until now did not have a complete programming environment for their computer. Atos is a large European information technology company with annual revenue of €12 billion ($13.4B USD) that has developed a quantum simulator using classical hardware called the Quantum Learning Machine. Up until now, Atos’ programming environment and simulator had no previously announced link to any real quantum computer. And CSC – The Centre for Information Technology in Science is a public Finnish center of expertise in information technology that provides internationally high-quality ICT expert services for research, education, culture, public administration and businesses. So it makes a lot of sense for these three organizations to team up and create a full-stack offering which includes a simulator, universal programming environment and quantum hardware. With each team contributimg its own area of expertise, they can provide end users with a much better solution than each could do on their own. The first step of the project is already underway and will involve connecting the Atos QLM to IQM’s quantum accelerator at CSC’s facility in Espoo, Finland. Additional details are available in a press release on the Atos web site here.
June 18, 2020 – News Brief
D-Wave and NEC Enter into a Multifaceted Partnership to Include Investment, Joint Development, Applications Research, and Marketing
D-Wave and NEC, a leading Japanese company in IT and network technologies, have entered into a broad, multifaceted partnership to work together on a number of fronts. On the financial side, NEC will make an investment of $10 million USD in D-Wave. In technology, they will work together to incorporate NEC supercomputers into D-Wave’s cloud computing service. In applications, they will work together to create practical business and scientific applications using D-Wave’s experience with over 200 early customer applications for six market identified by NEC. And in marketing, they will conduct joint marketing programs with a particular emphasis on enterprises in Japan. Our belief is that this is another step of a growing trend of classical computing companies partnering up with quantum companies and we expect to see more of these in the future. In some cases, we would not be surprised if these partnerships ultimately turn into outright acquisitions sometime in the future. For more information on D-Wave partnership with NEC, you can view the press announcement on D-Wave’s web site here.
June 18, 2020 – News Brief
Newly Formed Startup Super.tech Receives Initial $150K Funding for Development of an Improved Software Technology Stack
The funding was provided by the George Shultz Innovation Fund which provides funding for startups that are spun out of the University of Chicago and other Chicago area institutions. Super.tech is a spin out of the University of Chicago that is developing a technology stack that makes software explicitly aware of the underlying quantum hardware. Super.tech’s technology will be an extension of the National Science Foundation’s Enabling Practical-Scale Quantum Computation (EPiQC) research project that is intended to provide useful speedups in near term quantum computers. For more, you can check out the announcement of the funding at the University of Chicago’s web site here.
June 17, 2020 – News Brief
Arline Introduces Program to Benchmark Quantum Compilers
Developing an optimizing compiler for quantum programs can be a very complex tasks. The object is to take a description of a quantum algorithm written in a higher level programming language and compile it to a set of native gates that are supported by the hardware. A good compiler tries to develop a result that is as efficient as possible by utilizing the fewest numbers of gates and well as minimizing the gate depth to reduce the susceptibility to noise. The more a compiler achieves this, the better the overall quality of the solutions as well as improvement in the execution time. To provide users with a tool that compares the performance of different compilers Arline has developed an open source, automated tool that can benchmark and compare different compilers. You can view more information about this benchmarking tool at a news release on the Arline web site here, view some papers posted on Medium here and access the software on GitHub here. Their web site shows a sample report that compares the performance of IBM’s Qiskit compiler versus Cambridge Quantum Computing’s pytket versus Google’s Cirq.
June 17, 2020
Quantum Machines Introduces the QUA Programming Language to Provide Low Level Tools to Get the Most of the Hardware
We had previously reported on Quantum Machines Quantum Orquestration Platform, which includes an analog front end and pulse processor called OPX, to provide the electronic signals that control the qubits. Now, they have announced a new software programming language called QUA that allows someone to develop a quantum program and have it compiled all the way down to the programming pulses by an associated proprietary compiler from Quantum Machines called XQP. The thing that makes QUA different from other software is the ability to compile all the way down to the pulse level. Click here for more.
June 16, 2020 – News Brief
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) Named to the 20th Cohort of Technology Pioneers by the World Economic Forum
Each year the World Economic Forum names 100 early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are pioneering new technologies and innovations and represent some of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups. Previous recipients include such household names as, Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia. AQT, a spin-off of the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, founded by the quantum physicists Prof. Rainer Blatt, Dr. Thomas Monz and Prof. Peter Zoller, develops hardware for quantum computers based on trapped-ion technology. Among the many potential uses, their technology has the potential to support development of new pharmaceuticals or materials with designed properties for creating better catalysts to curb emissions and help fight climate change. For more details, you can view AQT’s press release on their web site here and you can also view the World Economic Forums release of the 2020 Technology Pioneers here.
June 16, 2020 – News Brief
IonQ Raises Additional $7 Million in Capital, Brings Total Funding to $84 Million
The additional capital raise is an extension to the $55 million Series B round we reported on last year. Investors in this funding include Lockheed Martin Ventures, Robert Bosch Ventures, and Cambian Capital. The additional raise brings the total invested amount to $84 million including all the previous rounds. IonQ also announced additional advisory board members including Umesh Vazirani, co-director of the Berkeley Quantum Computation Center (BQIC), David Wineland, Nobel Laureate and Philip H. Knight Distinguished Research Chair, University of Oregon, Margaret (Peg) Williams, former Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Cray Inc. and Kenneth Brown, Associate Professor at Duke University. IonQ is developing ion trap based quantum computers and is also a partner with both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services for their quantum cloud offerings. For more details, you can view IonQ’s press release on their web site here.
June 15, 2020 – News Brief
Universal Quantum Receives a £3.6 Million ($4.5M USD) Seed Funding Round
Universal Quantum, a spinout of the University of Sussex, received the investment from a group including 7Percent, Hoxton Ventures, Innovate UK, La Roca Capital, Luminous Ventures, Propagator Ventures, and Village Global. Universal Quantum is developing a quantum computing device that uses an ion trap technology, but uses microwave pulses instead of lasers to control the qubits. In addition, their technology only requires cooling to 70 degrees Kelvin rather than milliKelvin temperatures. They also have a silicon microchip module approach that will allow them to build out a more powerful computer from multiple modules. They believe these technical approaches make their technology much more scalable and have a stated goal of developing a million qubit quantum computer. For additional information, you can read a Medium article announcing the investment here.
June 15, 2020 – News Brief
AQT and Xanadu Announce Support for AQT Processors by Xanadu’s Pennylane for Quantum Machine Learning, Automatic Differentiation, and Optimization
Xanadu had previously announced Pennylane support for processors and platforms from IBM, Google, Rigetti, and Microsoft as well as their own photonics based platform. The AQT quantum computer is based upon an ion trap technology, accessible over the cloud, which is a different technology from the superconducting technology used by some of the others. AQT has indicated that the ion-trap platform has intrinsically low error rates and can be readily scaled up to larger systems. For more, you can view a press release on AQT’s web site here.
June 13, 2020 – News Brief
Delft Circuits Introduces Cri/oFlex®3 Multi Channel Cable
One of the challenges of building a quantum computer involves the routing of the microwave control signals generated by the electronic waveform generators at room temperature down to the qubit chip held inside the dilution refrigerator at millikelvin temperatures. This becomes increasingly difficult as the number of qubits continues to scale up. To help solve this problem, Delft Circuits has developed a new cabling product that can carry eight signal lines with distributed attenuation, integrated microwave signal conditioning, small volume and a light thermal load. The product almost completely eliminates the need for additional microwave components and is designed for scalability. Additional details are available on Delft Circuits’ news announcement about the product here and their product specification here.
June 12, 2020 – News Brief
German Government Proposes €2 Billion ($2.2 Billion USD) Budget for Quantum Technology Development
As part of a 130 billion Euro stimulus package, a coalition committee of the German government has proposed funding a quantum technology innovation program for €2 billion with a goal that Germany should be at the top of the world in terms of economics and technology in key areas of quantum technology. Part of this budget will be used to construct at least two quantum computers and also to provide substantial funding to quantum startup companies and clusters of science and industry for quantum technology. For more, you can read the full text of the German stimulus package proposal (in German) here. The quantum technology portion is shown in item 44.
June 11, 2020 – News Brief
IQM Awarded a Grant and Equity Investment of Up to €17.5 Million ($19.75M USD) by the European Innovation Council (EIC)
The award was made by the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot program, part of the European Union’s Horizon Europe project. It will consists of a mixture of a €2.5 million grant plus an equity investment of up to €15 million. IQM was one of 72 companies selected out of 3969 companies that applied for funding in this program. IQM will use the funds to expand their staff at a projected rate of one quantum engineer a week and to commercialize their technology which takes an unusual approach of co-designing the quantum-computing hardware and applications together. IQM previously received seed equity funding of €11.45 Million in seed funding last year and also a grant from Business Finland for €3.3 million for a total funding of over €32 million ($36.1M USD) if the EIC decides to invest the maximum amount. For more information, you can view IQM’s press release here.
June 6, 2020 – News Brief
Finnish Government Provides 20.7 Million Euro ($23.4M USD) Grant to VTT to Implement Finland’s First Quantum Computer
The development of Finland’s quantum computer will be a three phase program running from 2020-2024 that VTT will undertake with partners. The goal for the first phase will be to create a quantum computer with a minimum of 5 qubits and then more powerful machines developed in follow-on phases with as many as 50 qubits. VTT has issued an international tender inviting potential partners to submit a bid. The first phase of the tendering process closes on June 16, 2020. For more information, you can read VTT’s announcement about the project here and the announcement about the government award here.
June 6, 2020 – News Brief
Finnish Consortium Receives 3 Million Euro ($3.4M USD) Grant to Develop Quantum Safe Encryption Technologies
The funds will be provided by Business Finland’s Digital Trust program to a consortium led by the VTT Technical Research Centre. Other participants include companies Advenica, Bittium, Insta, Sectra, SSH, and Tosibox as well as the research organizations Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. The program includes several work packages and will focus on Post-Quantum Cryptography. The program will continue through 2022 and will have a total budget of approximately 6 million Euro ($6.7M USD). We had previously reported on the portion of the grant provided to SSH, but this latest announcement include additional information about the funding provided to the entire consortium.
June 5, 2020 – News Brief
OIDA Publishes Quantum Photonics Roadmap
The Optical Society’s Industry Development Associates (OIDA) has published a 70 page document titled “OIDA Quantum Photonics Roadmap – Every Photon Counts”. Created in collaboration with Corning, this document provides a good overview of the status, progress, and potential future for the three major sectors utilizing quantum technology: Computing, Communications, and Sensing & Timing. Although the focus is on photonics technologies, the document does touch upon many of the non-photonic technologies also used in quantum devices and includes many charts that show components requirements, technology comparisons, and estimated commercialization timelines. The document is now available to the public for downloading and can be found here.
June 5, 2020 – News Brief
QC Ware Collaborates with Auto Parts Manufacturer AISIN
As an example of the broad range of different problems that quantum computing can help solve, QC Ware is performing research with AISIN to demonstrate how their Forge quantum computing software can be applied to two difference Proof-of-Concept (POC) problems. The first POC is used quantum optimization techniques to perform static code testing of software that controls automobile transmissions. The second is using quantum machine learning techniques to optimize the logistics of material movement and inventories. QC Ware is utilizing quantum computers from both D-Wave and Rigetti for these POC’s. For more details, you can read a news release on the QC Ware web site here.
May 29, 2020 – News Brief
OneQuantum Launched to Support Quantum Startup Companies
OneQuantum LLC is intended to be a resource for startups to share information, collaborate and provide assistance for the challenges associated with being a quantum technology startup. The founding members of OneQuantum include Cambridge Quantum Computing, Solid State AI, Rahko, QunaSys, Qu&Co, Turing, BEIT, Archer Materials and others. Additional memberships are available for people employed by a quantum startup at a rate of $10/month. For more information about OneQuantum, you can view their announcement news release here and also visit their web site here.
May 26, 2020 – News Brief
French Startup Alice&Bob Raises €3M ($3.3M USD) to Develop a Fault Tolerant Quantum Computer
The round was led by French venture capital firms Elaia Partners and Breega and the funds will be used to develop a fault tolerant quantum computer based upon an innovative superconducting microwave qubit. The cofounders are affiliated with France’s Ecole Normale Supérieure and the technology will be developed jointly with INRIA, ENS Paris, Mines ParisTech, ENS de Lyon and CEA. The technology is expected to eliminate or reduce bit-flip errors by several orders of magnitude and greatly simplify error correction circuitry since it will only have to correct for phase-flip errors. For more details, you can view additional information on the myScience.org web site here.
May 23, 2020 – News Brief
U.S. Congressman Submits Advancing Quantum Computing Act
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) has introduced the Advancing Quantum Computing Act (H.R.6919) to identify how quantum computing can benefit the U.S. economy and to identify and mitigate risks to the supply chain. The bill would require the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in coordination with other federal agencies to undertake a study to understand the impact of quantum computing on U.S. businesses conducting interstate commerce. The study would consists of four surveys to report on quantum computing adoption and industry sectors, federal activities related to quantum computing, international activity, and marketplace and supply chain risks. The proposed bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the House Committees on Science, Space, and Technology, and Foreign Affairs for review. Additional details are available in the text of the proposed bill posted on the congressman’s web site here.
May 22, 2020 – News Brief
Australia’s CSIRO Publishes Roadmap for Growing Australia’s Quantum Technology Industry to $4 Billion AUS ($2.6B USD) by 2040
Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has created a report with recommendations to position Australia to achieve a $4 billion AUS quantum industry by 2040. They estimate that this could generate about 16,000 jobs in Australia and allow them to capture roughly 5% of the global market share for three segments including quantum computing, quantum communications, and quantum sensing and measurement. The report contains key recommendations including development of a national quantum technology strategy, attracting and retaining quantum talent, explore funding mechanisms, assessing industry capabilities and infrastructure facility. It also provides a comprehensive review of quantum technology companies and research currently located in Australia. Additional details are available in a press release from CSIRO announcing the report here and you can access the full report here.
May 21, 2020 – News Brief
NSF and OSTP Host Workshop to Create List of Key Concepts for Future QIS Learners
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) recently held a virtual workshop to develop guidance for teaching the core concepts of Quantum Information Science (QIS) to the next generation of quantum researchers. They are particularly interested in teaching these concepts to K-12 students and created a document outlining Key Concepts for Future QIS Learners. The document provides a concise list of nine basic concepts, including quantum entanglement, communication, and sensing. It is intended to provide a framework for future expansion and adaptation for students at different levels in computer science, mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses. This activity is part of a broader overall effort by the NSF and OSTP to encourage quantum education and workforce development, a key goal of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative (NQI). Additional information is available in a news release located on the NSF web site here as well as a document that summarized the output of the virtual workshop to identify the key concepts here.
May 19, 2020 – News Brief
Microsoft’s Azure Quantum is Now Officially in Preview with Select Customers and Partners
Microsoft had announced last November that it was creating a quantum capability for its Azure cloud offering and it is now announcing that this capability is now available in a preview mode for select customers and partners. They will be partnering with 1Qbit, Honeywell, Ionq, and Quantum Circuits Inc. (QCI) in this effort along with a Microsoft Quantum Network consisting of solution partners, customers and affiliates, and university research and curriculum partners. A unique aspect of Microsoft’s approach is that they are also offering quantum-inspired solutions that can be used to solve problems on a classical computer in ways better than conventional classical methods. Microsoft will be holding an Azure Quantum Developer Workshop on July 16, 2020 for those interested in using the Azure Quantum service. For more information, you can read a MIcrosoft blog article with more details about Azure Quantum and examples of applications developed by two of their solution providers with early access. It is available on their web site here.
May 18, 2020
DARPA Selects 7 Teams to Research Optimization with NISQ Devices and Potential Funding as High as $35 Million
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has started a program called ONISQ (Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum) Devices with a potential budget of $35 million over four years. The program will research how a hybrid concept that combines intermediate-sized quantum devices (hundreds to thousands of qubits) with classical computing systems could solve combinatorial optimization problems and provide a quantum advantage over classical computing solutions. Click here for more.
May 16, 2020 – News Brief
The Quantum Computing Academy (QCA) for High School Students is Now Accepting Registrations
The Quantum Computing Academy consists of a series of five two-week, online, hands-on, learning workshops where students will explore actual quantum computers, run specialized algorithms and learn about quantum cryptography and quantum networking. Generous scholarships are available for eligible students. See the link https://camps.harrisburgu.edu/online-quantum-computing-academy for more information and to register for any or all of the sessions. The QCA is a part of the Harrisburg University Summer Camp program.
May 14, 2020 – News Brief
Atos Sells Its Quantum Learning Machine Simulator to Its First Customer in Japan
The Quantum Learning Machine (QLM) is a specially configured classical computer designed to simulate quantum algorithms using up to 40 qubits with high performance. They indicate that it is hardware agnostic and algorithms developed on it can be transferred to any gate level quantum computer. It also includes the capability to model noise characteristics to see how an algorithm may perform on a real, noisy quantum computer. One of the advantages of the QLM is that it can be installed on a customer’s premises. So those customers working with highly confidential data and proprietary algorithms won’t have to worry about security issues that they might have to deal with if they are using a cloud based quantum computer. Atos did not disclose the name of the end customer in Japan or sales price for this installation. For more, you can read Atos’ news announcement here.
May 14, 2020
UK Government Provides £7.6 Million ($9.3M USD) Grant for Development of a New Quantum Operating System
The grant will be made to a consortium led by Riverlane with additional participants from SeeQC, Hitachi Europe, Universal Quantum, Duality Quantum Photonics, Oxford Ionics, Oxford Quantum Circuits, UK-based chip designer ARM, and the National Physical Laboratory by the UK government’s Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund. The project will create a new quantum operating system named Deltaflow.OS which is intended to be installed on every quantum computer in the UK. It will be technology agnostic, at least at the higher level, and support quantum computers made with superconducting, ion trap, photonics, and silicon technologies. Click here for more.
May 13, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Motion Secures £8.0 Million (about $9.7M USD) in Series A Funding
The round was led by INKEF Capital, a Dutch venture capital company, with additional participating from Octopus Ventures, the National Security Strategic Investment Fund, and previous investors Oxford Sciences Innovation, Parkwalk Advisros, and IP Group plc. Quantum Motion is developing a spin-qubit based architecture that would be compatible with standard CMOS fabrication techniques. They believe this approach will be easier to scale and allow them to eventually create quantum chips with thousand or even millions of qubits. The silicon spin technology was originally developed at UCL and Oxford University. For more information, you can read the news release here.
May 11, 2020 – News Brief
Entropica Labs Receives SGD 2.6 Million (about $1.8M USD) in Seed Financing
Entropica Labs, a quantum software company based in Singapore, received the funding from lead investor Elev8 with additional participation from SGInnovate, Wavemaker Partners, the Lim Teck Lee Group, Japanese software enterprise TIS Inc, V1 Capital (the seed investment office of Vy Capital) and talent investor Entrepreneur First. Entropica is a spin-off of Singapore’s Centre for Quantum Technologies (NUS) that creates algorithms, software tools, methods and models to make quantum computers useful. Their software is hardware agnostic and they are working with multiple platforms including those from IBM, Rigetti, and Microsoft. The company is currently focusing on quantum optimization and machine learning to support enterprise customers that desire to understand and integrate quantum computing into their operations. For more information, you can view Entropica’s news release here.
May 9, 2020
Recap of Two Significant Quantum Events Held Last Held by IBM and Berkeley’s Simons Institute
Unfortunately, both events were occurring simultaneously last week so unless you are able to put yourself in a superposition state you would be forced to choose one or the other. The IBM Quantum Challenge provided four problems of increasing difficulty for users to solve as part of a four year anniversary of their first IBM Quantum Experience system going online in 2016. It also had the goal to continue to spur interest from potential users and programmers in their Qiskit software platform. The other event was a five day online workshop on Quantum Devices: Simulation, Supremacy, and Optimization held by the Simons Institute of the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley. There were many talks given by renowned researchers in quantum computing and a panel session at the end. Click here for more.
May 6, 2020 – News Brief
Business Finland Has Awarded a 1.3 Million Euro ($1.4M USD) Grant to a Consortium For Development of Quantum Safe Cryptography
The consortium will include SSH.COM along with leading Finnish cybersecurity companies, research institutions, and international partners. The project entails assessment of the opportunities and threats posed by new technologies such as quantum computing, providing strategy advice to decisionmakers and other stakeholders, research and development of post quantum cryptography (PQC) solutions, and creation of reference implementation for SSH’s NQX product family. More details are available in the news release which you can find here.
May 5, 2020 – News Brief
QED-C Releases Survey Results of Covid-19 Impact on U.S. Quantum Companies
The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) surveyed 46 U.S. quantum companies last month to gauge the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on their operations. Most of the companies were smaller or medium sized companies with less than 500 employees and included component and system manufacturers, software
developers, and R&D firms. An important finding from the survey was that about 30% of the companies said they would need to take drastic actions, including layoffs, within the next three months if the lockdowns persist. And over half the companies indicated they would need to takes similar actions if the conditions persist for more than 12 months. To help U.S. quantum companies, the QED-C is proposing several solutions including strategic investments in America’s industries of the future, robust post-Covid R&D funding, supporting national security related programs, providing funding for expanded user access to quantum computing resources, assisting and incentivizing VC investments in pre-revenue QC companies, creating a private-public partnership to support companies with bridge loans and other measures. For more on the QED-C survey, you can view a news release about it here and another document that provides QED-C’s assessment and recommendations here.
May 5, 2020 – News Brief
Archer Materials Becomes the First Quantum Hardware Company to Join the IBM Q Network
Australian company Archer Materials announced that they have joined the IBM Q Network. What makes this announcement most interesting is that Archer is the first quantum hardware company we know of that has become part of the IBM Q Network. All the other members are either end customers, universities, government labs or quantum software developers. Perhaps this is a sign that IBM is hedging their bets in case a dark horse quantum technology is developed which is significantly superior to the superconducting approach that IBM is currently using. Archer is developing a unique quantum hardware technology they call 12CQ which is a carbon based spin qubit design which runs at room temperature. We understand that a goal of the agreement will be to provide support for the Archer 12CQ technology with the Qiskit software platform. Last year, IBM announced support for AQT’s ion trap processor with Qiskit and others have announced translators that can take Qiskit programs and translate them for other non-IBM backends. For more details, you can view Archer’s news release on their web site here.
May 4, 2020 – News Brief
New Versions of IBM’s Qiskit and Google’s Cirq Quantum Programming Platforms Released
IBM has released version 0.19 of Qiskit. It includes a new quantum circuit library in the Terra module containing some circuit families of interest including circuits that implement classical computing arithmetic and boolean functions. It also includes new functionality in the Aqua module and many bug fixes. For more details, you can view a blog post from IBM here and the Qiskit 0.19 release notes here. Also, Google has released version 0.8 of Cirq. This release contains major usability changes, new protocols and new top level objects. It also adds integration of the Pasqal API. For more details you can view the Cirq 0.8 release notes here.
April 28, 2020 – News Brief
Pasqal Collaborating with Google to Use the Cirq Software Platform for its Neutral Atom Based Quantum Computer
Pasqal, a French company developing a quantum computer based upon 2D arrays of neutral atoms, announced that they will use Cirq as a programming platform for their upcoming machine as well as their software emulator. Pasqal is the second European hardware company to adopt Cirq as AQT also announced Cirq support last year. This also means that hardware supported by Cirq can also use libraries compatible with Cirq including TensorFlow Quantum and OpenFermion. For more information, you can view a news release on the Pasqal web site here and a video presentation with additional technical information here.
April 27, 2020 – News Brief
Terra Quantum Announces It Has Raised €10 Million (about $10.8M USD) Since Inception
The funding was led by Lakestar with additional participation from angel investors and brings the company’s valuation to around 50 Million Euro (about $54M USD). Terra Quantum will use the investment to build infrastructure and software solutions and to further boost the European quantum ecosystem. They are a Swiss company and have most recently realized a hybrid quantum algorithm for solving a linear system of equations on an IBM Q quantum computer with exponential speedup that utilizes quantum phase estimation and a goal of using that algorithm to demonstrate quantum supremacy. As shown on their web site, Terra Quantum is working on a number of other projects using quantum technology.
April 25, 2020 – News Brief
Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) Led Consortium Wins £7 Million (about $8.7M USD) Grant for Superconducting Quantum Computer Development
Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, has awarded a team led by OQC and including Oxford Quantum Circuits, SeeQC UK, Oxford Instruments, Kelvin Nanotechnology, University of Glasgow and the Royal Holloway University of London for a project to commercialize OQC’s superconducting technology. OQC has developed a technology they call Coaxmon that uses 3D for connections of the control and readout. The project will start in August 2020 and will last for 36 months with a first key deliverable expected in 2021. For more information you can view the news release on the OQC web site here and also see a video with a short presentation on OQC’s technology here.
April 24, 2020 – News Brief
Muquans to Partner with Pasqal and Supply Technological Building Blocks for a Neutral Atom Based Quantum Computer
Muquans is a leading quantum sensing com and advanced laser solutions. Their laser solutions combine extreme performance, advanced functionalities and industrial reliability. Pasqal is planning to embed this technology in their processor design for use in providing control solutions for building quantum processors out of large arrays of neutral atoms in their excited Rydberg state. A good description of Pasqal’s technical approach can be found in an article on Medium.com here. For more information about the partnership, click here to view the news release on the Pasqal web site.
April 24, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) Releases Version 1.1 of Mukai Optimization Software
Mukai is a software stack designed to solve quadratic unconstrained binary operations (QUBO). The initial release occurred in January and this new release 1.1 has improvements including better results in less time, more automation, improved manageability and robustness for production use, and improved performance instrumentation, error-handling and reporting. Additional information can be found on the QCI web site here.
April 23, 2020
CQC Announces Collaboration with Nippon Steel, a New Release of their t|ket> Software Platform and Support for Honeywell’s and AQT’s Ion Trap Processors
It has been a busy time for Cambridge Quantum Computing with several announcements in the past few days. First, they announced a collaboration with the Japanese company Nippon Steel to provide tools that will be used to research quantum computing applications in the areas of material science and mathematical optimization. The second announcement was the release of version 0.5 of their t|ket> quantum software platform. This release provide support for AQT and Honeywell Quantum Solutions ion trap based quantum computers, and also for Microsoft’s Q# simulator and resource estimator. Click here for more.
April 22, 2020
Zapata Announcing Its Early Access Program to the Orquestra Quantum Workflow Manager
Orquestra is not just another programming language used to write programs and run on a specific quantum platform and it is not intended to replace the existing hardware or software platforms like Qiskit, Cirq, Pyquil and the others. It is both hardware and software agnostic and its purpose is to stitch the various hardware and software elements together and direct them so that different pieces can work together. This provides a capability that can more easily and flexible create an application for an end user. Zapata states the differentiators of the product are that it is extensible, hardware smart, reproducible, modular, and scalable. Orquestra is accessed through a cloud service provided by Zapata and early access release is starting now with a general release scheduled for Q3. Click here for more.
April 22, 2020
QuTech Announces Quantum Inspire, Europe’s First Public Quantum Computing Platform
QuTech, a collaboration between TU Delft and TNO is offering the Quantum Inspire system for users who want to try other types of quantum computers. Not only does Quantum Inspire include a five qubit processor named Starmon-5, but it also provides the world’s first public access to a two qubit spin qubit based processor named Spin-2. In addition, Quantum Inspire is a full stack system that provides a programming language called cQASM and can also accept third party Python-based platforms like ProjectQ and IBM’s Qiskit. Quantum Inspire also includes two different simulation platforms that can simulate up to 31 qubits. For more, click here.
April 21, 2020 – News Brief
U.S. DOE Seeking Proposals for $12 Million in Grants for Research of the Use of Quantum Technology in Fusion Energy Science
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) expects to award up to $12 Million over a 3 year period to organizations that will undertake fundamental research on how quantum information science can have an impact on fusion and discovery plasma science. They expect to make multiple awards for individual projects that will range in amounts from $50,000 to $1,000,000 and last 2 to 3 years. Potential areas of study may cover development of quantum algorithms, identification of quantum simulation capabilities, quantum sensing approaches for enhanced diagnostic capabilities, formation of novel quantum materials, use of plasma for qubit control and quantum communication, and refinement of techniques to control plasmas. The deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is May 15, 2020 and the deadline for submitting the full application is June 12, 2020. More details of the program and the award process can be found in the Funding Opportunity Announcement located on the DOE’s Office of Science web site here.
April 17, 2020 – News Brief
NSF Inviting Funding Requests for Quantum Research on Three Quantum Computing Cloud Platforms
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is soliciting supplemental funding requests not to exceed $50,000 for a one year period to support graduate student time to perform quantum computing research activities on cloud platforms including Amazon Braket, IBM Quantum Experience, or Microsoft Azure Quantum. The providers intend on making their platforms available to recipients at no financial cost. The deadline for submitting a request is June 18, 2020, but earlier submissions are encouraged. For more details, you can view NSF’s Dear Colleague Letter which you can find here.
April 15, 2020
Intel and QuTech Take Step Towards Integrating Classical Logic with Qubits on the Same Chip
Intel and QuTech released a paper today disclosing they had successfully fabricated and operated a spin qubit design that implemented two qubit gates that were operational at a temperature of 1.1 degrees Kelvin. Although this may not seem like much, it does pave the way for future integrated chips that combine classical logic with qubits on the same chip and solve the cabling issues that could have limited the ability of a quantum computer design to be scaled up. The higher operating temperature also provides an advantage in cooling requirements and significantly lowers the cost and complexity of the refrigerator needed to provide cooling for the quantum computer. Click here for more.
April 14, 2020 – News Brief
Qunnect Inc. Receives SBIR Grant of $1.5M from DOE for Development of a Quantum Memory Device
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has provided Qunnect with an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Phase II grant to continue its research on quantum communication and quantum memory devices. Qunnect had previously been awarded a Phase I grant for research in this area in April 2019. This grant will help fund the development of a Quantum Memory device and the integration of this device into a standard telecom fiberoptic infrastructure. A Quantum Memory can store, coherently manipulate, temporally synchronize, and retrieve quantum-states on-demand and be used to implement a Quantum Repeater to extend the distance of a signal being transmitted over a quantum internet connection. Currently, a major drawback of quantum internet and QKD encryption is the distance limitation due to signal losses in the cable. At this time, the maximum length a quantum photonic signal can travel over a fiberoptic cable before it must be repeated or regenerated is about 100 km. Current workarounds to this limit are either to transmit the signal over free space, perhaps using a satellite, or use a trusted node device which receives the signal, decodes it, and then re-encodes it and transmits it over the next leg. Both of these approaches have significant disadvantages. Development of a successful Quantum Repeater device could potentially replace those methods and have a large potential impact. For more, you can view Qunnect’s news release announcing the award here.
April 11, 2020 – News Brief
QC Ware Receives Award from BPIfrance for Quantum Machine Learning Research
BPIfrance, a French investment bank, organizes a Concours d’Innovation i-Nov competition for startups and SMEs to develop innovative projects. QC Ware was one of thirty-two winners of this award. QC Ware’s award was in the Deep Tech category and has a value of about $500K. The project will focus on Quantum Machine Learning, involving creating software tools for classical data scientists, with capabilities for classification, clustering and reinforcement learning. The results of this research will be incorporated as new features into Forge, QC Ware’s cloud service. For more, you can view QC Ware’s news release announcing the award here and second one in French from BPIfrance announcing the winners here.
April 10, 2020 – News Brief
Seeqc Raises $5 Million from M Ventures, the Corporate Venture Capital Arm of Merck KGaA
This round brings total venture capital funding to over $11 Million with previous seed rounds from investors including BlueYard Capital, Cambium, NewLab and the Partnership Fund for New York City. Seeqc is utilizing superconducting qubits, but is taking a different approach from some of the other superconducting based developments. They have deep expertise in creating very high speed classical superconducting circuits from their former parent Hypres and will be using this knowledge to stack a classical Josephson junction based chip over the qubit array to provide single-flux quantum (SFQ) digital patterns that control the qubits. This approach can eliminate multitude of coaxial cables used in the other superconducting qubit designs that provide the microwave pulses that control the qubits. Merck is interested in quantum technology because of the potential for great improvements in drug discovery and materials design and has several efforts underway to find ways to take advantage of quantum computing. For more information you can view the press release on the Seeqc web site here.
April 10, 2020 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Announces a Multi-year Collaboration with Total S.A. for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage
Total S.A. is a French multinational integrated oil and gas company founded in 1924 and one of the seven “Supermajor” oil companies in the world. The companies will work together to develop quantum algorithms to find advanced solutions for carbon capture, utilization and storage to help create a cleaner and greener future. This project will utilize CQC’s t|ket> quantum development platform and also their EUMEN software for quantum chemistry. For more, you can read the news release on CQC’s web site here.
April 9, 2020
ColdQuanta and Partners Awarded Up To $7.4 Million by DARPA to Develop a Cold Atom Based QC Platform
The award was made by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of their ONISQ (Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices) program to develop a scalable, cold-atom-based quantum computing hardware and software platform that can demonstrate quantum advantage of quantum-hybrid systems over classical systems for a range of difficult combinatorial optimization problems. ColdQuanta is leading the development of the hardware, control systems, and interface software using their Quantum Core™ technology which is based upon the use of lasers to cool atoms to near absolute zero. They will partner with University of Wisconsin–Madison, Raytheon Technologies, Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago, NIST Gaithersburg, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Innsbruck, and Tufts University that will supply supply a range of components, develop use cases and applications, provide expertise in quantum computation and quantum simulation, and perform benchmarking using world-class classical supercomputers. Click here for more.
April 7, 2020
PsiQuantum Raises a $150 Million Series C Round Bringing Total Funding to $215 Million
The round was led by Atomico with additional participation from M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund, Founders Fund, Blackrock, Redpoint, Baillie Gifford and others. Earlier funding rounds were led by Playground Global. PsiQuantum is working to develop a one million physical qubit quantum computer based upon a photonic technology that incorporates extensive error correction and can be manufactured in a semiconductor wafer fab. Click here for more.
April 6, 2020 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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 – News Brief
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.