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 details. For older news items published in 2019 click here, for 2018 click here, and for items published in 2015-2017, click here.
May 29, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Starman-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 programmiing 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
AQT and HQS Partner to Provide Quantum Chemistry Software Solutions
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) and HQS Quantum Simulations are partnering to combine HQS’s experience in providing computational with AQT’s know-how on ion-trap quantum computing to provide end users with access to solutions that can be used for computer-aided materials design. Since chemical reactions are government by quantum mechanical principles, the use of quantum computers for simulating these quantum mechanical processes is one of the key applications expected of quantum computers in the future. Current computational chemistry is performed by classical computers but these classical models are limited by the size of the molecules that can be simulated as well as the approximate nature of many of the algorithms that will lead to inaccuracies. Although the initial activity will be to work with small toy models to develop the techniques for modelling the chemical reactions on the AQT ion-trap device, as future machines get introduced that are larger and more powerful these techniques can be put to work on real commercially valuable problems. As part of the solutions HQS will be leveraging the partnership that AQT and Google announced last year to support Google’s Cirq software platform on the AQT quantum computer. For more, you can view the news release on AQT’s web site here.
April 2, 2020
European Commission Providing 3 Million Euro Grant for a New European Quantum Annealer Project
The AVaQus project will be coordinated by the newly created Quantum Computing Technologies group at the High Energy Physics Institute (IFAE) and is the first European-funded large-scale project on quantum annealing. The total amount of funding is 3 million Euros (about $3.25M USD) over a 3 year period. There are eight partners in this project including five research centers and three startups. The key focus of this project will be to develop quantum annealing technology that has substantially better coherence times and qubit-qubit connectivity than current quantum annealers. Click here for more.
March 31, 2020
ID Quantique (IDQ) Introduces Ultra-Small Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) Chip
IDQ’s Quantis QRNG chip is targeted for mobile, IoT and Edge applications and produces high entropy random data using shot noise of a light source captured by a CMOS image sensor. A strong source of random bits is important for generating keys for use in authentication and encryption applications. For more, you can view IDQ press release on the chip here and a related web page with additional information here.
March 29, 2020
Paycheck Protection Program May Be of Help to U.S. Based Quantum Startup Companies
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering a new program that may be of interest to small quantum companies that are under economic pressure due to the coronavirus situation. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Companies will not be required to provide a personal guarantee or collateral in order to receive the loan. Perhaps of most interest, these loans may be forgiven for those companies that maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore them afterwards. For more, click here.
March 27, 2020
DARPA Provides $8.6M Award to Team of Rigetti, NASA-Quail, and USRA for Research in Quantum Optimization
The U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) has provided an $8.6 million award over four years to a team including the Universities Space Research Assocation (USRA), Rigetti Computing, and NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL). The research will focus on advancing quantum hardware/software to help solve optimization problems such as scheduling and asset allocation. The grant is a part of the DARPA’s Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum program (ONISQ) program which has a goal of establishing that quantum information processing using NISQ devices has a quantitative advantage for solving real-world-combinatorial optimization problems. Click here for more.
March 26, 2020
NSF Awards $10M Funding for Coherent Ising Machine Research
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a team led by Stanford University with additional partners from Caltech, Cornell University, and Universities Space Research Association a $10 million award over five years for research into Coherent Ising Machines (CIMs). This award is being made as part of NSF’s Expeditions in Computing research agenda. In addition, NTT Research will be an external unfunded collaborator to the team. A CIM is an unconventional computing architecture that uses an optical storage ring format to provide massive connectivity and can potentially solve hard combinatorial optimization problems. The CIM architecture does not use the gate architectures that are used in many quantum systems. It does take advantage of certain quantum mechanical affects and could potentially provide a computational speedup over classical computers. You can find a more complete description of the CIM architecture in a paper published in Nature here. For more information about this award, you can give NSF’s announcement on their web site here and the web site set up for this project here. NTT Research has also issued a press release that provides additional details about their participation in the program here.
March 26, 2020
Quantum Benchmark Partners with Fujitsu Laboratories to Conduct Research on Quantum Algorithms that Use Error Suppression Technology
To start, Quantum Benchmark will be focusing on applying their True-Q™ error diagnostic technology on current quantum computing platforms. Fujitsu will incorporate this technology to develop more robust quantum algorithms for applications in the areas of materials science, drug development and finance. Fujitsu will also develop performance analysis technology for quantum algorithm using simulations. The initial phase of this partnership will last from April 2020 to March 2021. However it is anticipated that this work will be continued after that and expanded to pursue algorithms in other application areas. The goal will be to demonstrate applications using this research on a 100+ qubit quantum computer by 2023. For more, you can view the news release on the Fujitsu web site here.
March 25, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. Forms Partnership with Splunk, Inc.
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) is a quantum software company developing developing novel applications and solutions utilizing quantum and quantum-inspired computing to solve difficult problems in various industries. Splunk is a data analytics software company that provides that produces software they call the “Data-To-Everything Platform” for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated big data via a web-style interface. QCI will partner with Splunk to do both fundamental and applied research and develop analytics that exploit conventional large-data cybersecurity stores and dataanalytics workflows, combined with quantum-ready graph and constrained-optimization algorithms. These algorithms will initially be developed using QCI’s Mukai software platform, which enables quantum-ready algorithms to execute on classical hardware and also to run without modification on quantum hardware when ready. Once proofs of concept are completed, QCI and Splunk will develop new analytics with these algorithms in the Splunk data-analytics platform, to evaluate quantum analytics readiness on real-world data. More details are available in the news release located on the QCI web site here.
March 23, 2020
DARPA Provides $2.1 Million Grant to Team Led by Lehigh University for Quantum Optimization
The grant provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will be led by members of Lehigh’s Industry and Systems Engineering faculty and will include additional partners from IBM, Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE), Argonne National Laboratory, the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (INRIA), and the Dutch Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI). This award is a little unusual because the researchers come from an industrial and system engineering background instead of the more common physics and computer science backgrounds. For more details, you can view the news release on the Lehigh web site here.
March 19, 2020
Quantum Machines Raises $17.5 Million in Series A Funding
The investment round was led by Avigdor Willenz and Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services with the participation of previous backers TLV Partners and Battery Ventures. Tel Aviv based Quantum Machines provides a subsystem for quantum hardware developers called the Quantum Orchestration Platform that provides the necessary classical control electronics and associated software to accurately control the qubits. They also provide their own programming language called Qua for programming the system. Quantum Machines has indicated they have already provided product to several several multinational corporation and startups as well as additional academic and research organizations. Additional details on the investment can be found in their news release here.
March 12, 2020
Google Releases TensorFlow Quantum for Machine Learning and qsim/qsimh High Performance Simulators
TensorFlow Quantum is a new, open source version of Google’s TensorFlow machine learning software that incorporates an interface to Google’s Cirq quantum programming software and allows the implementation of a hybrid quantum-classical model for quantum machine learning. qsim and qsimh are open source simulators that provide a significant performance improvement over the native simulator in Cirq. Click here for more.
March 12, 2020
NSF Soliciting Research Concept Outline (RCO) Pre-proposals for Early Stage Quantum Computing Research
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested RCOs, essentially pre-proposals, for funding of quantum research in three areas. These include QSA: Quantum Computing Simulation Algorithms, QIA: Quantum Information Algorithms, and QCH: Quantum Computing Horizons. The deadline for submission of these RCOs is April 15, 2020 and promising ones will be invited to submit to submit a proposal for funding under either the Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) or the EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding programs. Invited EAGER and RAISE proposals will be due on June 15, 2020. The RAISE program can provide a maximum funding of $1 million for up to five years while the EAGER program can provide a maximum funding of $300K for up to two years. Additional details can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter posted on the NSF web site here.
March 12, 2020
Honeywell Releases a Qiskit Backend for Their Quantum Device; CQC Announces Support for the Honeywell Device with their t|ket> Software
Honeywell has released version 0.1.0 backend for IBM’s Qiskit quantum programming software. Using the software will require obtaining credentials to the Honeywell quantum device, but once a user has this they can execute a command and use the backend like any other quantum device. You can access this open source Qiskit backend on GitHub here. The Python package from Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) is called pytket_honeywell and is currently at version 0.4.6 which provides optimizations specifically for the Honeywell device. This program can take as an input original programs written in pytket, Qiskit, Cirq, Quil, or QASM. Additional enhancements for the Honeywell device will be in Pytket version 0.5 slated for release in April. For more information on this software, you can view CQC’s news release on their web site here.
March 11, 2020
IQM Expands with a New Subsidiary in Germany
IQM Finland Oy announced that the establishment of a new IQM Germany subsidiary based in Munich and headed by Professor Enrique Solano. The purpose will be to establish a co-design hub that tightens the interaction between quantum hardware and quantum software development. One of the more unique aspects of their strategy is to develop certain processor designs for specific applications. For example, they may create a certain processor architecture for financial applications and another architecture for chemistry applications. The Munich team will investigate the architectures needed for the different applications with the fabrication and testing being performed by IQM’s team in Helsinki. For more you can view IQM’s press release here and also see a blog with additional information here.
March 6, 2020
University of California at Riverside and Partners Win $3.75 Million Award to Research Ion Trap Quantum Computers Made by 3D Printing
The University of California, Riverside (UCR) will serve as a project lead with partners UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will investigate using creating ion trap qubits via 3D printing. The award is part of a University of California Multicampus-National Lab Collaborative Research and Training Award with a goal on enabling scalable quantum computing using a novel fabrication technology. Additional details are available in the new release on the UCR web site here.
March 4, 2020
Honeywell Discloses their QC Roadmap and Investments in Zapata and Cambridge Quantum Computing
In a news release and two different blog articles and technical papers, Honeywell has provided some details on their ion trap quantum architecture that they have dubbed QCCD (quantum charge coupled device). They have indicated that they will be introducing within the next 3 months a quantum computer with a Quantum Volume measure of 64 or greater which would double the current quantum volume measure recently announced by IBM in their latest quantum computer. They also announced that they would be collaborating with JP Morgan Chase to develop quantum solutions for financial applications and have made investments in both Zapata Computing and Cambridge Quantum Computing for undisclosed amounts. Click here for more.
March 3, 2020
APS March Meeting Cancelled; Virtual March Meeting Takes Its Place
The American Physical Society (APS) holds a yearly meeting in March which is a major event for physicists worldwide to discuss the latest developments in various topics in physics, including quantum computing. Due to coronavirus concerns, APS has cancelled the meeting to minimize any risk of health issues. In response, Q-CTRL with additional assistance from Rigetti, Zapata, Horizon QC, and the journal Matter has created a Virtual March Meeting site for APS ‘refugees’ who would still like to share their slide decks and recorded presentations as well as conduct live webinars with the physics community. Access to the site is free and anyone who intended to make a presentation at the APS March Meeting is encouraged to upload their presentation or a video so that others can see it. You can access the site here.
March 2, 2020
Keysight Technologies Acquires Labber Quantum
Keysight Technologies, a manufacturer of electronics test and measurement equipment and software, has acquired Labber Quantum for an undisclosed amount. Labber Quantum, a startup that came out of MIT’s EQus group, develops control solutions for experimental quantum computing. Their product provides an interface between the quantum devices and the classical electronics needed for control and manipulation. The software handles instrument control, signal generation, qubit calibration and dynamical error suppression. Keysight will combine their hardware products with Labber’s software to create a Quantum Engineering Toolkit (QET) that will be used by MIT’s EQus Group for a new 64-qubit quantum computing test bed. For more, you can view Keysights news release here.
March 2, 2020
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Announces Collaboration with CERN
CQC has announced they will be collaborating with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in a project they call QUATERNION. Two initial areas of research were disclosed as part of this project. The first is to utilize CQC’s quantum development platform, t|ket>™ with various quantum computers to improve CERN’s analysis and classification of their vast data sets. The second will be to investigate the use of CQC’s Ironbridge™ certified quantum cryptographic device to provide certified entropy for Monte Carlo simulations. The value of this collaboration was not mentioned in the announcement. For more, you can view the news release on CQC’s web site here.
March 2, 2020
Rigetti Receives $71 Million in a New Round of Funding
Rigetti has sold $71.0 Million in an offering amount of up to $83.8 Million leaving $12.8 million remaining to be sold. The $71 Million includes the conversion of $23,8 Million of convertible securities. The names of the investors have not yet been disclosed, but they did report that a total of 65 investors participated in the offering. Additional details can be found in the SEC Form D filing here.
February 29, 2020
Application Deadline for Creative Destruction Lab’s (CDL) Quantum Incubator Stream is March 15, 2020
The Quantum Stream at CDL-Toronto brings together entrepreneurs, investors, leading scientists in quantum technologies and quantum hardware vendors to build ventures in the nascent domain of quantum computing, machine learning, optimization, sensing and other applications of quantum technologies. Participants are eligible to receive pre-seed investment from a prominent venture capital firm, office space in downtown Toronto, and an intensive 4-week technical quantum bootcamp in Toronto from industry and academic leaders in quantum computing and machine learning. The program is now in its third year and has been very successful in creating several well-known quantum startups. There is no fee to participate for those accepted. Participants receive access to seed capital, access to quantum hardware resources, technical education, business support from top students and faculty of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and mentorship from quantum computing executives, active angel and venture capital investors, and other leading business professionals and academics. Click here to see more details on the CDL Quantum Incubator Stream. To apply to participate in the program you can visit the Application Page on the CDL web site here.
February 28, 2020
D-Wave Announces Leap 2 Quantum Computing Cloud Platform
Leap 2 is the follow-on to D-Wave’s Leap platform announced in 2018. It includes several new features that allow users to more easily program the D-Wave quantum computers, particularly for those solutions that require a combination classical/quantum environment. The first feature includes a hybrid solver service that will automatically find the best way to solve a problem containing up to 10,000 variables using both classical and quantum resources. A second feature is a pre-built Integrated Developer Environment (IDE) that has immediate access to D-Wave’s tools, GitHub libraries and examples without a complicated setup. And finally, a Problem Inspector for advanced users that shows how the user’s problem maps onto the quantum processing unit (QPU) and shows both the logical and physical structure of the problem. D-Wave is offering free trial access to users that includes 1 minute of QPU time, enough for 400-4000 problems, and 20 minutes of time of access time to the hybrid quantum-classical solvers. Beyond that, D-Wave offers a few different paid access plans with approximate pricing of $2000/hour for QPU access and $100/hour for hybrid solver access. For more information about Leap 2, you can view D-Wave’s press release here, a Medium article that describes it in a little more detail here, a page that contains a short Leap 2 video here and a page where you can sign up for an account here.
February 27, 2020
Q-CTRL Releases Beta of Professional Grade BOULDER OPAL Quantum Control Software
BOULDER OPAL is a Python-based toolkit that allows researchers to provide advanced control of quantum hardware to improve performance. The software is hardware agnostic and can be integrated with other Python based platforms including IBM’s Qiskit, Rigetti’s Pyquil, and Google’s Cirq. Q-CTRL states that the software can improve quantum computing hardware by 10 to 100 times for key metrics of error reduction, variability across devices, hardware stability, and reduction of error correlations. For more details, you can view Q-CTRL’s news release here, a detailed technical paper on arXiv here, and you can register for a free 30 day trial here.
February 26, 2020
Videos Posted from Rigetti Advantage 2000 Event
Rigetti held an Advantage 2020 event earlier this month and intends to continue holding these on an annual basis. It is a showcase for Rigetti, its developers and partners to discuss their latest capabilities and provide a technology roadmap for Rigetti quantum systems. They have posted 21 videos of the presentations from Rigetti and its partners and you can find them on the Rigetti YouTube channel here.
February 18, 2020
Intel/QuTech Provide Details of their Cryo-CMOS Chip at ISSCC
We had previously reported about efforts by Intel, Microsoft, and Google to develop cryo-CMOS quantum control chips to help minimize the tangle of cables that are needed in the current generation of quantum computers. Today, Intel and QuTech revealed additional details of their chip, code-named “Horse Ridge”, at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). In a paper titled “A Scalable Cryo-CMOS 2-to-20GHz Digitally Intensive Controller for 4×32 Frequency Multiplexed Spin Qubits/Transmons in 22nm FinFET Technology for Quantum Computers” they describe a chip that can provide the requisite microwave control signals for up to 128 qubits with a wide frequency range from 2-20 Ghz that can support both superconducting (transmons) as well as spin qubits. For more, click here.
February 17, 2020
IQT New York Startup Conference Pitch Competition Application Deadline is February 25, 2020
At the Inside Quantum Technology (IQT) New York conference, they will be holding a startup forum competition on April 2, 2020. It will provide the opportunity for seed stage quantum technology organizations or academic based groups to pitch their respective start ups to an audience of industry executives, quantum tech companies, VCs and investors. There is no charge for participants and Asimov Ventures will be providing a $15,000 SAFE note to the winning startup by a panel of the judges. The deadline to apply to participate in this competition is February 25th and you can view the rules and apply to participate by clicking here.
February 14, 2020
FOSDEM 2020 Videos Now Available Online
FOSDEM 2020, a conference devoted to discussion of Open Source software held a track on quantum computing on Saturday, February 1, 2020. They have posted 13 video presentations covering a variety of different open source quantum related programs and you can find them here.
February 12, 2020
White House National Quantum Coordination Office Releases “A Strategic Vision for America’s Quantum Networks”
The document’s goal is to help focus America’s R&D efforts on advancing the development of foundations for the quantum internet. It establishes quantum community goals for quantum networking and recommends six specific technical areas for focused research activity. The activities are intended to support a five year goal to demonstrate the foundational science and key technologies to enable quantum networks and to identify both the applications and the impact that would benefit from the use of these technologies. Afterwards, the intent over the next 20 years will be to leverage the networked quantum devices to enable new capabilities not possible with classical technology. For more information about the contents of this document, click here.
February 12, 2020
Q2B Videos and Presentations Are Now Available Online
Most of the presentations and videos from the Q2B 2019 conference held last December in San Jose, California are now available. Click here to access them.
February 11, 2020
IBM Makes an Investment in Cambridge Quantum Computing
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) has announced that IBM has become a strategic investor. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. IBM and CQC have been working together for some time already since CQC was one of the first startups to join the IBM Q Network in 2018. IBM is the second strategic investor in CQC that we are aware of. In 2018, Japanese materials supplier JSR Corporation purchased a stake in CQC and increased their ownership to about 5.5% (at that time) with a second investment in August 2018. For additional details on the IBM investment, you can view the news release on the CQC website here.
February 3, 2020
India’s Government Proposes 80 Billion Rupee ($1.12 Billion USD) Program for Research on Quantum Technologies
In a recent budget announcement from India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, she proposed allocating funds for a National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Application. The funding would be for a five year period and bring India’s level of funding at levels similar to the U.S.’s National Quantum Initiative Act and the European Union’s Quantum Flagship. Although India’s activity in quantum computing has been relatively small up until now, this new investment is intended to make India a significant player. Recently, one of India’s major technology companies, Infosys, has indicated they are starting look at potential quantum offerings. For more you can view an article on the web site of India’s Economic Times here.
January 31, 2020
Quantum Information Edge and Maryland Quantum Alliance Consortiums Being Formed in the United States
Taking a page from the Chicago Quantum Alliance that was formed about a year and a half ago, two additional alliances have been formed with members from the academic, government lab, and commercial sectors. Although it does not seem that these alliances will obtain any new funding or even build new facilities, they will help researchers working on quantum technology by increasing cooperation between organizations, exchanging personnel, holding seminars and improving communications. Additional benefits these alliances will work to achieve is to help accelerate the deployment of quantum research into commercial markets and also to strengthen the creation of a quantum ready workforce. The first alliance is called the Quantum Information Edge and was announced last December. It will be led by the U.S. government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratory. Other participants include researchers from the University of Maryland, Duke University, Harvard University, University of Colorado Boulder, UC Berkeley, Caltech, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of New Mexico. The second alliance is called the Maryland Quantum Alliance and will be led by the University of Maryland in College Park. Other participating organizations include University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Morgan State University, Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, MITRE, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, CCDC Army Research Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, IonQ, Qrypt, Booz Allen Hamilton and Amazon Web Services. For more information on these two new alliances, you can view the Quantum Information Edge news release on the Berkeley Lab web site here and the news release on the Maryland Quantum Alliance on the University of Maryland web site here.
January 31, 2020
Qubitekk Acquires 57 Patent Filings, a Foundation Grant, and a Development Partner
Qubitekk, one of the leading U.S. based developers of QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) technologies has acquired 57 patent filings across 17 families for quantum related technologies from QinetiQ, a British multinational defense technology company. One of the focus technologies in the portfolio allows QKD to be used across long distances without requiring a quantum repeater or a satellite. Together with Qubitekk’s internally developed quantum patents, this will make Qubitekk one of the largest U.S. holders of quantum communications related patents. You can view Qubitekk’s press announcement here. And in a separate announcement, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation announced that it has provided Qubitekk along with its development partner, Israel based Raicol Crystals, a grant to develop an efficient miniaturized entangled photon source for quantum computing. Raicol specializes in supplying nonlinear optical crystals and electro-optic devices. BIRD grants will cover up to 50% of development costs with a maximum of $1 million in funding per project. Repayments are only due if commercial revenues are generated as a direct result of the project. For more details about the BIRD grants, you can view the recent press release announcing the Qubitek/Raicol and other awards here.
January 31, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) Releases the Mukai Application Development Platform
Mukai is a software stack designed to solve quadratic unconstrained binary operations (QUBO). The software has been designed so that problems can be run on classical computers now and then run on quantum computers later on when quantum can provide some performance advances. The Mukai package includes two major components. The first is the NetworkX graph-analysis package that exploits that capability for graph problems. And the second is a qbsolv package that implements a state-of-the-art, high-performance optimization capability for QUBO problems. D-Wave had previously announced a program called qbsolv in 2017 and QCI indicates that their qbsolv is derived from and compatible with D-Wave’s open sourced version. QCI has added many improvements and says their version is much faster and can solve a more diverse set of problems and with a greater accuracy. For more information on QCI’s announcement you can read their press release here.
January 23, 2020
University of Chicago to Offer Quantum Engineering and Technology Certificates Program
To help speed the development of a quantum workforce, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago will be holding a four day course to educate scientists and engineers on the key principles of quantum technology and practical applications. Approximately 25 to 30 students will be accepted into program which will be taught by faculty members from across institutions within the Chicago Quantum Exchange. This four-day in-person course is slated to take place April 27-April 30, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois, but may change due to the COVID-19 situation. Scientists and engineers with advanced degrees in physics, engineering, and materials science with an interest in quantum technologies are encouraged to apply. For additional background information about the need to help develop a quantum workforce you can see the press release announcing the program on the University of Chicago’s web site here. And for additional details about this program and to register, click here.
January 18, 2020
Call for Papers – Quantum Engineering Special Issue in the Journal of Mechatronic Systems & Control
The Journal of Mechatronic Systems & Control is planning to publish a special issue later this year focusing on the interface of quantum technologies for engineering applications, including but not limited to, automation, control, and robotics applications, as well as advanced techniques in experimental quantum entanglement and cryptography which can potentially be used in engineering systems. Additional information about this special issue and the types of papers being sought can be found here. The submission deadline is February 15, 2020 and submissions can be made at https://www.editorialmanager.com/msc/default.aspx.
January 17, 2020
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Requesting White Papers for $49.9 Million Quantum Information Sciences Program
AFRL has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) requesting presolicitation white papers for a Quantum Information Sciences Program that will run for five years with funding of about $10 Million each year. Their expectation is they will make multiple awards of $0.5-$2.0 Million each with each award running for a 36 month period. They are looking for proposals to provide research, design, development, concept testing, experimentation, integration, evaluation, and delivery of technologies/techniques to support AFRL’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) mission. The BAA describes five focus areas in which they are seeking proposals including:
- Quantum Algorithm and Computation
- Quantum Information Processing
- Memory-Node-Based Quantum Networking
- Superconducting Hybrid Quantum Platforms
- Quantum Information Sciences
For those interested in submitting a proposal for FY20 funding, the submission deadline is January 31, 2020. After review of the white papers, the AFRL will invite selected proposers to submit a formal proposal. A summary of this BAA is available on the government’s contract opportunity site here and the full text announcement of the BAA can be viewed here.
January 16, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) Launches Its First Software Product, a Quantum Asset Allocator
The Quantum Asset Allocator is a tool that financial institutions can use implement portfolio optimization to provide the best mix of return and risk for a potential portfolio of assets. The classical approach for this is to use a Monte Carlo simulation which requires significant computer resources and takes a lot of time. It is expected that portfolio optimization will be one of the very first quantum applications that will be used in the finance community and a number of companies are working on this. QCI states that they are already working with beta clients to implement this software and early tests have already demonstrated superior results to traditional portfolio management techniques. The Quantum Asset Allocator is available both as a cloud based software service and also as an on premises software + hardware system. You can view QCI’s press release announcement of this product here.
January 16, 2020
Xanadu Receives $4.4M CAD ($3.4M USD) Investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)
The investment will help fund the development of Xanadu’s photonic quantum computers which Xanadu intends on making available over the cloud. SDTC is a foundation created by the Government of Canada to advance clean technology innovation in Canada by funding and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises developing and demonstrating clean technology solutions. One benefit of quantum computing is that is can potentially provide much higher energy efficiency versus large classical computer installations in solving computationally complex problems. And in particular, Xanadu’s photonic approach may be able to provide additional energy benefits because it does not require the power hungry and expensive dilution refrigerators that are needed with other quantum technology. For more details on this investment, you can view Xanadu’s press release here.
January 14, 2020
U.S. Air Force Soliciting Proposals for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants
The STTR program is a U.S. government program to provide funding for private/public sector partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The Air Force is seeking proposals on four different quantum related topics that will provide a Phase 1 funding of a maximum of $156,000 for a five month program and a Phase 2 funding for a maximum of $1.5 million for an 18 month program. The expectation is that the proposals will be specifically aimed at later stage development rather than earlier stage basic science and research. Proposers will need to provide preliminary information by February 12, 2020 and then attend a Pitch Day event in New York in May. Additional information on each of the four topics can be found by clicking on the links below:
- Topic AF20A-T001: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Timing
- Topic AF20A-T002: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Sensing
- Topic AF20A-T003: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Information Processing and Computing
- Topic AF20A-T004: Pitch Day for Quantum Enabling Technologies Quantum Communication and Networking
January 14, 2020
U.S. Senators Introduce Industries of the Future Bill with a Potential $10 Billion in Spending
Although the U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act has just gotten started, the U.S. Congress has already introduced a bill for consideration that could substantially increase the U.S. government funding for quantum information science and several other advanced technologies. The Industries of the Future Act of 2020 has been proposed to advance U.S. global leadership in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum information science, synthetic biology, and next generation wireless networks and infrastructure. The bill would require a doubling of investments in these industries by 2022 and require a plan to increase civilian spending on these industries to $10 Billion by fiscal 2025. The bill is in its very early stages and if it is passed it will likely take many months and probably undergo substantial modifications before it becomes law. For more, you can view the press release announcing the bill from the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee here and read the full bill here.
January 11, 2020
U.S. DOE Seeking Applications to Establish Several National Quantum Information Science Research Centers with Funding Up to $625M
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is planning to fund 2-5 multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary National Quantum Information Science Research Centers with plans to fund each center with $10-$25 million per year for a period of five years. The total funding could reach as high as $625 million. The purpose of the centers will be to accelerate the transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based technology needed to assure continued U.S. leadership in quantum information science, consistent with the National Quantum Initiative. The centers will be expected to push the current state-of-the-art science and technology toward realizing the full potential of quantum-based applications, from computing, to communication, to sensing. DOE has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and is requiring that all applications must consist of multi-institution collaborations. The lead applicant must be a domestic institution. Non-domestic institutions may be eligible as a sub-awardee if they possess skills or abilities that are not available with potential domestic institutions. The deadline to submit a pre-application is February 10, 2020 with a response from DOE encouraging or discouraging the submission of a full application sent out by March 10, 2020. The deadline for submission of the full application with be April 10, 2020. You can view the full details of this Funding Opportunity Announcement on the web site of DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) here.
January 11, 2020
France Unveils Proposed 1.4 Billion Euro National Strategy for Quantum Technologies
After several months of hearings in 2019, French Parliament member Paula Forteza has presented a plan to structure a national strategy for quantum technologies. In reviewing the significant investments that have already been started in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Canada, Australia and other countries, France does not want to be left behind. The 68 page plan, with the title “Quantum: the technological turn that France will not miss”, calls for an investment of 1.4 billion Euros over five years from sources including the public sector, private sector, local governments, and European Union support. Click here for the full article.
January 10, 2020
Qunnect Closes Seed Round Financing of $800,000
Qunnect, LLC, a Long Island, New York company developing a suite of room temperature devices to enable long-distance quantum-secured communications, announced it has closed a seed round of $800,000. Investors include Quantonation, the Accelerate NY Seed Fund, and several private investors. Qunnect is commercializing these technologies developed at the Quantum Information Technology Lab at Stony Brook University. For more details, you can view Qunnect’s news release here.
January 8, 2020
IBM Discusses Quantum Computing Applications and Customers at CES
In a large presentation at today’s CES show, IBM described how they are making progress in acquiring customers and working with them to develop applications that will take advantage of quantum computing.Although the current generation of machines may not be quite powerful enough to provide an advantage over the use of a classical computer for commercial applications, it is clear that they are confident they will have more powerful generations of quantum computers in the years ahead that will be able to demonstrate a quantum advantage. So they are taking steps right now to prepare as many customers as possible to utilize quantum computers. Click here for more details.
January 8, 2020
IBM Doubles Their Quantum Volume Performance Metric to 32
We had previously reported on IBM’s Quantum Volume metric and their goal of achieving a doubling of this measure every year. This factor takes into account a number of factors including qubit count, qubit quality, qubit connectivity, crosstalk considerations and a number of other factors to provide a relative figure of merit for a quantum computer design. Now, they have announced they have doubled this once again to 32 with a new 28 qubit design called Raleigh. This design combines the lattice structure of the 53 qubit design (the 28 qubit would appear to look roughly like half of the 53 qubit design) that they introduced last year with additional upgrades implemented in some of the latter versions of the 20 qubit design. For more, click here.
January 7, 2020
Quantum Machines Announces its Quantum Orchestration Platform
Building a quantum computer requires assembling a lot of different pieces. This includes the quantum chip, the control electronics and control firmware, mechanical packaging, software, libraries, etc. The complexity of assembling all these pieces can be a big challenge. This is where Quantum Machines’ Quantum Orchestration Platform fits in. Although there are many efforts to build quantum chips, the complexity of providing the necessary control electronics and control firmware and software to control the chips can be just as difficult and the expertise to do this may not be as readily available. The Quantum Orchestration Platform provides a solution for those teams that want to bring in this capability from the outside instead of designing it themselves. Click here for more.
January 4, 2020
LANL Summer School Applications are Now Open
Applications for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Quantum Computing Summer School are open until January 17, 2020. This ten week program is designed for upper division undergraduates to early graduate students. It consists of an initial two week lecture period given by world leading experts in quantum computing research followed by an eight week period where students will work on a quantum computing research project. Successful applicants will receive a fellowship to attend that will cover travel, living expenses and a salary. Click here for more information on the program and instructions on how to apply.
January 3, 2020
DARPA Issues RFI for Possible Quantum Hardware Collaboration Effort
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to see whether to find out if any companies would be willing to enter into quantum research consortium with DARPA and other quantum research leaders to collaborate across and provide access to quantum hardware. DARPA is interested in obtaining feedback on interest level, pricing, intellectual property concerns and other details. The deadline for responding to this RFI is January 24, 2020 and for more details you can view the DARPA’s RFI posting here.