Recent news items published in 2021 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 2020 click here, for 2019 click here, for 2018 click here, and for items published in 2015-2017, click here.
October 20, 2021 – News Brief
Multiverse Computing Lands a €10 Million ($11.5M USD) Seed Funding Round
Multiverse Computing is a quantum software company with headquarters in San Sebastian, Spain that specializes in providing quantum software solutions for the financial industry. Their flagship product is called Singularity that allows users to input their problem’s parameters for applications such as portfolio optimization or fraud detection into a spreadsheet and then submit the spreadsheet for solution on a quantum computer. This funding round was led by JME Ventures with additional participation from Quantonation, EASO Ventures, Inveready, CLAVE Capital (Mondragón Fondo de Promoción), Ikerlan, LKS, Penja Strategy, Seed Gipuzkoa and Ezten Venture Capital Fund. This follows an earlier pre-seed round of 1.5 Million Euro ($1.78M USD) that Multiverse received in November 2020. The company will use the funds to expand their technology and marketing efforts. In addition, they will continue their globalization strategy with increased support including offices in Toronto, Paris and Munich. The company has set a goal of reaching annual revenue close to €100 million ($116M USD) by 2027 and grow the staffing levels from the current count of 30 to about 100 people. For more information about their funding, you can view a press release they provided which is available here.
October 19, 2021
ColdQuanta Forms Quantum Research as a Service (QRaaS) as a New Division
Although the division is new, it actually has been ColdQuanta’s core business since they started and well before they decided to enter the quantum computing market. ColdQuanta has always offered a broad portfolio of quantum devices and machines for use in quantum systems and applications. These include such items as UHV glass cells, magneto-optical traps, cryogenic apparatus, high performance quantum based clocks, and other such items. Click here for more.
October 19, 2021 – News Brief
Applications Due October 22nd for a Jumpstart Workshop to Learn How to Test the Market Potential of Your Quantum Innovation
The Midwest I-Corps Node, in partnership with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Duality, is offering a Jumpstart workshop that will help teams explore the commercial viability of quantum technologies, including hardware and software solutions as well as quantum-enabling technologies. The workshop will consist of four two hour session from November 2 to December 14 that will provide guidance to teams on how they can learn customer pain points, build connections to a commercial ecosystem, assess the size of their potential market and develop a commercialization roadmap. Participants will be eligible to receive up to $950 in funding for customer discovery-related expenses. Additionally, qualifying teams may also be eligible for a $50,000 grant from the NSF I-Corps National Teams program, SBIR/STTR, and other commercialization grants. The deadline to apply to this Jumpstart workshop is Friday, October 22nd. An information session that further explains the Jumpstart Quantum Technology Commercialization Workshop will be held on October 21 and you can register to attend here. Other information is available in a blog post available here and a webpage description of the program here.
October 19, 2021 – News Brief
Berlin Quantum Alliance Launched with €25 Million ($29M USD) in Funding
The Berlin Senate is funding this effort with €25 million over a five year period. The funds will be split with €15 million to be used for basic research and €10 million to be used for applied research. The activities will focus on both quantum software including basic research and industry related applications as well as quantum hardware, in particular photonic quantum enabling technologies. The Berlin Quantum Alliance (BQA) is based upon a concept developed by the Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, Technical University of Berlin, Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (HHI). Additional information about the Berlin Quantum Alliance is available in a press release (in German) posted on the City of Berlin’s website that you can be seen here and also another press release (in English) provided by the Berlin Business Office that can be found here.
October 18, 2021 – News Brief
aQuantum Announces Subscription Plans for Its QuantumPath Software Development Platform
QuantumPath is an ecosystem of tools, services and processes that simplify the development of quantum algorithms into hybrid information systems that support gate-based, quantum annealing and simulator backends. It consists of two component types. The first are QPath Core Modules which manage agnostic quantum algorithms & solutions (gate-based, quantum annealing) assisted by general purpose tools. CORE Modules enable this hybrid (classical/quantum) computing platform to support the quantum software life cycle and engineering. The second type of components are QPath® Platform Apps that support software engineering and programming best practices adoption for developing high-quality quantum software. The software currently provides support for backends from IBM, D-Wave, Fujitsu, QuTech, AWS, and Microsoft. aQuantum is now providing four different levels of subscription plans for using this software that depend upon the size of the team and the amount of usage needed. These levels are QPath Free Developer, QPath Developer, QPath Business and QPath Enterprise. For more about aQuantum’s announcement of its subscription plans, you can read a news release posted on their website here and a webpage that provides an overview of the QuantumPath software here.
October 17, 2021 – News Brief
U.S. Government Report on International Talent in Quantum Information Science
The Economic and Security Implications of Quantum Science (ESIX) subcommittee of the U.S. National Science & Technology Council (NSTC) has issued a report with recommendations on how the U.S. can work with foreign talent to help advance the quantum industry. It is important to provide a balance between supporting an open innovation ecosystem with protecting national security. The report asserts that there is a continuing shortage of quantum trained individuals worldwide and it is important to grow this workforce in order for the U.S. to retain leadership in this technology. Key recommendations from the report including the following: 1) The United States should continue welcoming talented international researchers while implementation protections to ensure that research security concerns are mitigated; 2) U.S. federal organizations should continue close collaboration with allies and partners to ensure a vibrant and secure international QIST ecosystem; 3) The NSTC Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (SCQIS) should develop a five-year strategic plan for QIST workforce development and 4) Federal organizations that fund research, development, and acquisition of QIST should develop coordinated, comprehensive technology protection plans to safeguard intellectual capital and property, while accounting for specific mission needs. The full report is available on the Quantum.gov website and can be found here.
October 15, 2021 – News Brief
QuICS Receives Renewed Funding of $12.2 Million from NIST
The Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS) is a partnership between the University of Maryland and NIST set up to advance research and education in quantum computer science and quantum information theory. It was originally created in 2014 and now has received renewed funding of $12.2 million from NIST to cover the next five years. In addition to the $12.2 million, the University of Maryland (UMD) will also provide another $2 million over the next five years. The center will use these funds to grow its staff, research agenda and educational activities. QuICS has recently doubled its space on the UMD campus and now has additional room for the expanded activities. A news release announcing this funding can be found on the QuICS website here.
October 15, 2021
NIST Soliciting Collaborators for their Migrating to Post-Quantum Cryptography Project
The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) within the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is inviting interested parties to collaborate in their Migration to Post-Quantum Cryptography project. The purpose of this project is to develop practices to ease the migration from the current set of public-key cryptographic algorithms to post quantum cryptography (PQC) replacement algorithms that are resistant to quantum computer-based attacks. For the full article, click here.
October 15, 2021 – News Brief
D-Wave Joins the Center for Quantum Technologies Research Program as an Industry Member
The Center for Quantum Technologies (CQT) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program aimed at developing novel quantum technologies to address significant industry challenges. Its founding partners include Purdue University, Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Notre Dame, and Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). D-Wave will provide access to its hardware, software and developer tools for CQT students as well as serve on the industry advisory board. They will be joining other CQT industry members including Accenture, Cummins, Entanglement, Inc., General Atomics, IBM Quantum and Quantum Computing Inc. An announcement from D-Wave about their joining the CQT program with additional information can be found here.
October 14, 2021
Cambridge Quantum Releases “lambeq”, a Quantum Natural Language Processing Toolkit and Library
lambeq (named after mathematician Joachim Lambek) is the result of research that has gone on for 10 years by Cambridge Quantum’s (CQ) Chief Scientist Bob Coecke. The concept is that a sentence consisting of a group of words can be represented as a network and the network can be converted to a quantum circuit in an application called Quantum Natural Language Processing (QNLP). This approach can enable real-world QNLP applications, such as automated dialogue, text mining, language translation, text-to-speech, language generation and bioinformatics. It can also be used for a more general analysis of symbol sequences that can be found in genomics and proteomics. Click here for more.
October 14, 2021 – News Brief
Quantum Dice Receives £2 Million ($2.7M USD) in Pre-seed Funding
Quantum Dice is an Oxford University spinout developing a compact and continuously self-certifying quantum random number generator (QRNG) based upon a technology they call DISCTM that employs advanced silicon photonics technology to produce high-quality, certified randomness from an on-chip laser source. This technology is very high speed and was originally developed in Oxford’s world-leading Quantum Optics research group. The pre-seed fundraising consists of a £1 million venture capital investment led by Elaia Partners with additional participation from IP Group plc, and the UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) managed by Midven. An additional £1 million of non-dilutive grant funding came from the Quantum Investment Accelerator run by IP Group plc in partnership with Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency. Generating high quality, fully random numbers to use as encryption keys is very important for secure communication. Using a quantum based process can help guarantee this is the case due to the non-deterministic nature inherent in the laws of quantum mechanics. Additional information about this funding can be found in a news release available here.
October 13, 2021
New Corporate Sponsors Announced at Chicago’s Duality Quantum Accelerator and Maryland’s Quantum Startup Foundry
Two quantum startup foundries in the United States have added corporate sponsors that will provide the quantum startup cohort members with equipment, training, mentorship, financial support and other services and resources. Click here to view the full article and see which corporate entities are getting involved.
October 9, 2021
Advanced Quantum Testbed Announces Open Call for New User Project Proposals
The Advanced Quantum Testbed (AQT) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has issued an open call for new user project proposals. These proposals should be for research of non-proprietary work that will be published in the scientific literature. Non-U.S. citizens are allowed to submit proposals and there is no cost to groups with accepted proposals. AQT users will have access to AQT’s scientists and engineers for close collaboration and guidance on how to best use the hardware and software capabilities at AQT. To have a proposal considered, a prospective user should start by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) by November 5, 2021. Click here for more information about this open call for proposals.
October 8, 2021 – News Brief
BT and Toshiba to Create One of World’s First Commercial Quantum Secured Communications Network Across Metro London
This network would be one of the world’s first commercially available quantum-secured metro network in the world. It will be operated by BT and utilize quantum key distribution (QKD) hardware and key management software from Toshiba, manufactured at Toshiba’s Cambridge, UK site. The companies will offer this service to enterprise customers, such as financial and legal organizations, who require the utmost security for sensitive data such as database backups. While the companies had previously installed a point-to-point network between Bristol-based NCC (National Composites Centre) and Centre for Modelling and Simulation (CFMS), the new network will be a multi-point network across a large metropolitan area. Additional details about this announcement can be viewed in a news release located on the BT website here.
October 8, 2021 – News Brief
Zapata Partners with the University of Hull to Evaluate Orquestra to Help Evaluate Biological Signatures of Life in Deep Space
Although the project will not use quantum computing directly to search for life in deep space, it can potentially help the effort by creating a data base of detectable signatures of molecules that could suggest biological activity. MIT researchers in 2016 created a list of 14,000 molecules that could indicate signs of life in extraterrestrial planets. The E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Hull will evaluate using Zapata’s Orquestra and quantum computing to create a database of detectable signatures using new computational models of molecular rotations and vibrations that will show how these molecules respond to infrared radiation from nearby stars. This evaluation will be a short one, scheduled to only last for eight weeks, but there are expected to be several follow-on projects between Zapata and the University of Hull for additional quantum astrophysics related applications. Additional information about this project can be found in a news release provided by Zapata available here.
October 8, 2021 – News Brief
Strangeworks Announces a Backstage Pass Program for Early Access to the Newest Technology
Members of the Backstage Pass program will gain access to the newest technology available from Strangeworks’ own internal development team and their Quantum Syndicate members. Oftentimes, when a quantum hardware provider develops a new machine, they won’t make it fully available to the general public immediately because there may be limits on how many users it can initially support. Rather, they may make it available only to a select group of beta customers so they can better control the usage while the provider gains initial experience and makes optimizations in operating the machine. Members of the Strangeworks program can have a better chance of being included in this select group of early users with the assistance from Strangeworks. An additional benefit of the Backstage Pass Program is that members can apply for the Strangeworks Quantum Hardware Credit Program which will provide up to $5,000 in credit on the Strangeworks platform to use on hardware systems available via Amazon Braket from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti. For additional information about this new program and to apply to become a member, you can view announcement of the program on their website here and also an FAQ page that provides additional details about it here. The program will officially start in January 2022, but users can apply to join the program right now an a webpage located here.
October 7, 2021 – News Brief
Microsoft Azure Adds Compatibility with Qiskit and Cirq SDKs
Previously, anyone wishing to use the Microsoft Azure quantum cloud service to access the Honeywell and IonQ quantum computers needed to use Microsoft’s Q# quantum programming language for writing their programs. Now Microsoft has written an API so that user’s existing Qiskit or Cirq programs can add a few lines of code and run their programs on the Honeywell or IonQ systems using the Azure cloud service. This will expand the potential user community for Microsoft and provide users with a greater choice of hardware providers for developing and testing their programs. You can view Microsoft’s announcement about this development in a blog article on their website here.
October 6, 2021
Rigetti to Go Public with SPAC Supernova II with Equity Value of $1.5 Billion
Rigetti Computing announced today that they will merge with SPAC Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II to become a public company. The transaction will include a cash infusion to Rigetti of $345 million in funds held in the trust account of Supernova II along with an additional $100 million in PIPE (Private investment in public equity) funding from investors including funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Bessemer Venture Partner, Franklin Templeton, and In-Q-Tel. Other strategic investors will include Keysight Technologies, Palantir Technologies and Ampere Computing. These funds should be sufficient to support Rigetti’s operating expenses and capital investment needs until they reach breakeven. Click here to view our full article that provides more information about this transaction.
October 5, 2021 – News Brief
Equal1 Receives Multimillion Euro Funding Round Bringing Total Funding to €10 million ($11.6M USD)
Equal1, a startup developing silicon based quantum processors based in Dublin, Ireland and Fremont, California, has received a multimillion Euro funding round from venture firm btov Industrial Technologies and previous investors Atlantic Bridge, 808 Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.. This brings the total amount of funding to the company to date of over €10 million ($11.6M USD). Dr. Christian Reitberger, partner at btov, has joined Equal1’s Board of Directors and Declan O’Mahoney has been appointed as Equal’s Non-Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors. Equal1 has been developing a quantum processor based upon spin qubit technology that operates at a relatively warm temperature of 3.7 Kelvin. The advantage of this approach is that it would eliminate the need for a large and costly dilution refrigerator and potentially allow providing the quantum computing in a desktop computer form factor. They have already create a demonstrator system called Alice and are working on a next generation system codenamed Aquarius that is expected to be completed within the next 24 months. More information about their technology is available in an article that we posted in May. Additional information about this funding can be found in a news release posted by Equal1 and available here.
October 5, 2021
D-Wave Announces Their Future Roadmap Including a New Gate Based Machine that is Under Development
At its Qubits 2021 conference today, D-Wave announced its product roadmap including several new items on both the hardware and the software fronts. These include an update to their current 5000 qubit Advantage quantum annealer, a future 7000 qubit quantum annealer they are calling Advantage 2, a future gate based, error corrected machine, and various software improvement including a new Constrained Hybrid Solver. Click here for more about this product roadmap announcement.
October 4, 2021 – News Brief
Archer Materials Receives A$15 Million ($10.9M USD) Funds in an Institutional Placement for New Shares
In addition to the new funding of A$15 million the company is seeking to raise an additional A$5 million ($3.6 million) from existing eligible shareholders who are residents of Australia or New Zealand. The funds will be used to continue development of Archer’s 12CQ quantum computing chip and lab-on-a-chip biochip technologies, infrastructure and facilities, protecting Archer’s intellectual property, establishing and strengthening commercial partnerships and general working capital. Additional information about this new share placement can be found in a news release posted on the Archer website here.
October 3, 2021
Quantum Product Placements in Europe; Qblox and Atos
A pair of product placement announcements have been recently announced. First Qblox announced that Chalmers University in Sweden has ordered their scalable and readout hardware for use with a new 20 qubit superconducting processor that Chalmers is developing. Also, Atos announced that it has delivered its Quantum Learning Machine (QLM) to the Galician Supercomputing Center (CESGA) in Spain. Click here for the full article.
October 1, 2021 – News Brief
Munich Quantum Valley Project to Receive 83.3 Million Euros ($96M USD) from the Bavarian State Government
We had reported in January about plans of the German state of Bavaria to create a Munich Quantum Valley program and have just announced this first release of funding from the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art. These funds will extend through 2024 with additional funds release anticipated in the future. Participants in the program include the Bavarian Academy of Sciences BAdW), the Fraunhofer Society, the Max Planck Society, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Goals of the project include developing an ecosystem for quantum technologies in the Munich region, set up a quantum technology park, set up a center for quantum computing and quantum technologies, and promote scientific qualification and training of a new generation of engineers and scientists. More information about this funding can be found in a news release (in German) provided by the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art that can be found here and also the website for the Munich Quantum Valley located here.
September 29, 2021 – News Brief
QC Ware Closes a $25 Million Series B Round to Fund Expansion
The round was led by corporate investors Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro who along with Samsung Ventures and Citi all represent strategic corporate investors. D.E. Shaw and Pegasus Tech Ventures also participated in the round. This new round brings the total investment that has been made in QC Ware to almost $40 million. The new funds will be used to expand the QC Ware team and support the accelerated development of Forge™, QC Ware’s software development platform. Navin Maharaj from Koch Disruptive Technologies and Sandeep Arora from Citi Sandeep will join QC Ware’s board of directors. QC Ware has been able to secure a growing number of customers including Aisin Group, Airbus, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), BMW Group, Equinor, Goldman Sachs, Total and potentially additional ones that have not yet been publicly announced. The company’s differentiator is their ability to create fine-tuned highly efficient algorithms for practical industry problems that require fewer hardware resource and allow implementation on smaller and nearer term generations of hardware. For more about this new funding, you can view an announcement provided by QC Ware that can be viewed here.
September 29, 2021 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Makes Their TKET SDK Fully Open Sourced
We reported in February that Cambridge Quantum had removed all license restrictions for the TKET Software Development Kit (SDK) so that the software was free for anyone to use. But removing licensing restrictions is not quite the same as open source because a user could find it difficult to examine the code, report issues, make their own contributions or develop extensions to the codebase. Now, with version 0.15, Cambridge Quantum has made TKET fully open sourced so users will now be able to accomplish these previous difficult or impossible tasks. TKET offers support for a large number of quantum processors while offering high-level hardware-agnostic optimization for quantum circuits with target specific compilation passes for the chosen quantum device. The company has indicated that over 100,000 people have already downloaded the TKET software development kit. More about this open-sourced announcement for TKET can be found in a news release available on the Cambridge Quantum website here.
September 29, 2021 – News Brief
France Has Added 150 Million Euros ($174M USD) to Its Quantum Research Program
Thenew program is called the Priority Research Programme and Equipment (PEPR). The research will focus on four topics including robust solid state qubits solid state, cold atoms, quantum algorithms error correction and PQC, and fundamental non-conventional quantum based approaches to computing and cryptography. The research will be driven by French organizations CNRS – Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CEA and Inria, The funding will add to a previously announced research program of €300 million to bring total funding to €450 million ($522M USD). Additional information can be found in a LinkedIn posting from Neil Abroug, head of the French National Quantum Strategy, that you can read here as well as the web page for the French National Quantum Technology Strategy located here.
September 29, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ Will Start Publicly Trading on the NYSE on October 1
The shareholders of dMY Technology Group III (the “Company” or “dMY III”) have approved the business combination with IonQ with the transaction formally closing on September 30, 2021. The merged company will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 1, 2021 under the ticker symbols under the symbols “IONQ” for the common stock and “IONQ.WS” for the warrants. As part of the deal IonQ will have $634 million in cash that will provide them with substantial funding for R&D and capital investments. For additional information about this transaction, you can view our earlier articles when the merger was first announced as well as a summary of the IonQ’s recent release on their financial results for the first half of 2021. The company’s have also issued a press release announcing that the stockholders have approved the business combination which you can find here.
September 28, 2021
QED-C Releases Assessment of Quantum Industry Hiring Needs
It is generally considered that the quantum industry will need to hire thousands of qualified scientists, engineers, technicians and other employees and the topic of workforce development has been identified as one of the key challenges that will need to be faced in order to support the projected growth. In order to provide students, university educators and administrators, policy makers, funding agencies, and quantum companies with an idea of what types of roles, skills, and educational background would be need to develop a workforce for the quantum industry, the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) undertook a survey of its members to ask these questions. The group has just published a report that shows the results of this survey with some interesting conclusions. Click here for more.
September 27, 2021 – News Brief
Dell Takes First Leap Into Quantum Utilizing an IBM Qiskit Runtime Emulator Platform
Dell Technologies has utilized IBM’s open-sourced Qiskit platform to develop a containerized hybrid emulation platform that leverages Dell’s EMC PowerEdge R740xd to execute classical-quantum code on both local and on-premise environments. The base software uses the Qiskit AER as the simulation engine, but since the code is open source other backends can be integrated with this software. Clearly, this is just an initial first step for Dell and its customers as they explore further utilization of quantum technology. We do expect additional quantum offerings in the coming years as Dell gains more experience with the technology. For additional information about this new software, you can view a blog post from John Roese, Global Chief Technology Officer for Dell Technologies, located here and the GitHub repository for the software code available here.
September 25, 2021
UK Consortium Releases Specification for a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for Quantum Computers
One of the things that helped accelerate the usage of classical computers was the standardization of the classical computer languages Fortran (1966) and Cobol (1968). This allowed a programmer to develop a program and then run it on different machines with minimal changes. We are starting to see similar things happen in the quantum world. The latest is the release from a UK consortium led by Riverlane and the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) of a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that is designed to be portable across four leading qubit technologies including superconducting qubits, trapped-ion qubit, photonic systems and silicon-based qubits. Click here for the full article.
September 25, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ to Partner with GE Research to Study Quantum Computing Use in Risk Management
Risk is a concept that pervades today’s world in such areas as financial markets, supply chains, daily business operations, climate, and even geopolitics. Often these systems can be characterized using a large number of interacting mathematical parameters that can form extraordinarily complex relationships. By understanding the relationships between these parameters one can be able to understand the level of risks and potentially take various actions to minimize it. This is where quantum computing comes in. By using a mathematical technique called copula one can describe and model the dependence between random variables. This is an area where a quantum based approach can potentially significantly outperform classical computing and the two companies will explore how it can be implemented on IonQ’s ion trap quantum computers. A news release issued by the companies that provides additional information about this research effort can be found here.
September 25, 2021 – News Brief
Who’s News at Quantum Computing Inc., Quantum Brilliance, Rigetti, and QED-C
Quantum Computing Inc. has named William J. McGann to serve on its Board of Directors. McGann has been the Chief Technology Office since 2019 at Leidos Inc., a defense, aviation, information technology, and biomedical research company headquartered in Reston, Virginia. Quantum Brilliance, a company developing synthetic diamond based quantum accelerators, that operate at room temperature has appointed Mark Mattingley-Scott as Managing Director of Europe. Mattingley-Scott was a 31 year veteran of IBM and most recently served as IBM Quantum Ambassador for the EMEA and Asia-Pacific teams. Rigetti Computing has announced that Dr. David Pappas has joined them as Senior Principal Scientist from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he most recently led the Quantum Processing Group. Earlier this year, Rigetti had added Dr. Josh Mutus to its hardware development team as Director, Quantum Materials. Mutus was a former quantum research scientist at Google. And Dr. Jonathan Felbinger has joined the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) as Deputy Director. He previously had been with the US Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Department of Defense, and two leading microelectronics research laboratories in Europe.
September 24, 2021 – News Brief
NSF Awards QuSteam Team $5 Million to Develop Quantum Education Programs
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a consortium $5 million over a 2 years period to fund an initiative called QuSTEAM: Convergence Undergraduate Education in Quantum Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. QuSteam will be led by Ohio State University and include key partners at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The initiative will also have industrial and national laboratory collaborators including GE Research, Honda and several JPMorgan Chase, Quantum Opus, Quantum Design Inc., Toptica, qBraid and Argonne National Laboratory. In total, the initiative will be comprised of 66 faculty members who will be part of the QuSteam team. The program will start by gathering information that will help identify critical scientific and engineering practices that will be needed in a quantum-ready workforce. It will then develop single concept modules that can provide for an array of educational paths including bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, certificates and minors. Additional information about this award can be found in a news release issued by Ohio State University which can be seen here and another news release issued by the Chicago Quantum Exchange available here.
September 23, 2021 – News Brief
Infosys Will Collaborate with Amazon and Use the Braket Quantum Cloud Service
Infosys Limited is a large Indian multinational information technology company that provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services. In their fiscal 2021 year, they had revenues of over $14 billion with over 250,000 employees. Their client base exceeds 1600 organizations with a worldwide presence in presence in India, United States, China, Australia, Japan, Middle East and Europe. They will be using Amazon Braket to explore and build use cases for quantum computing in segments including logistics, finance, energy, and telecom sectors. Some specific use cases they mentioned include vehicle route optimization and fraud detection. Infosys intends to provide their quantum offerings as part of Infosys Cobalt cloud offerings. For more about this new tie-up between Infosys and Amazon Braket, you can view the news release provided by Infosys available here.
September 22, 2021
IonQ Releases Financial Results for First Six Months of 2021
In one of the very first releases of financial results in the quantum industry, IonQ has released their results for the three month period ending in June and for the first half of 2021. While these types of releases are very common in the classical computing industry, they have been very rare in the quantum industry because almost all the quantum efforts are either privately held companies or a small division in a larger corporation that doesn’t break out the specific quantum results. IonQ is doing this now because they are slated to become a public corporation in the next few weeks due to their upcoming merger with dMY Technology Group Inc. III (NYSE: DMYI). Click here for the full article.
September 21, 2021 – News Brief
UK Breaks Ground on a £93 million ($127M USD) National Quantum Computing Centre
The new facility will be a three story, 4035 square meter (43K square feet) building specifically designed to support quantum research in the UK. and is scheduled for completion in 2023. It will have special construction used to shield the ground floor from extraneous magnetic and vibration interferences which can cause issues with the fragile qubits. The facility will have enough space to hold over 120 residents and researchers from academia, industry, government, quantum partner organizations and quantum start-ups and will be located in Oxfordshire at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. The NQCC is part of UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP) which will provide funding of £1 billion ($1.36 billion USD) for quantum technologies over a ten year period from 2014 to 2024. For more, you can view a news release issued by NQCC about the groundbreaking on their web page here. Additional details about the facility itself can be found on a web page devoted to the facility available here.
September 20, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ Accepting Applications for Second Cohort of their Research Credit Program
Last May we wrote about a new Research Credit Program at IonQ that would provide up to $10,000 in computer time credits for approved projects at accredited academic institutions. Apparently, IonQ was so pleased with the result, that they have just announced they are now accepting applications for a second cohort for this program. The credits can be used to access the IonQ quantum computer directly at IonQ or through one of their cloud partners (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform). The credits can be used for such things as proof(s) of concepts, algorithms and applications research, evaluation or comparison between hardware platforms, workshops, or teaching, developing or maintaining open source software or other interesting applications such as games, art or other things. The deadline for submitting a proposal is November 16, 2021. Additional information is available in a news release located on the IonQ website here, a Call for Proposals page here, an FAQ document available here, and the application form here.
September 18, 2021 – News Brief
Wits University Receives 8 Million Rand ($543K USD) in Seed Funding for a Quantum Initiative
Wits University, also known as University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, has received this initial grant from South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) to start the implementation of Phase 1 of the South African Quantum Technology Initiative (SA QuTI). Additional phases are expected to follow in the future. The SA QuTI is a consortium of five universities in South Africa including Wits University, Stellenbosch University, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Peninsula University of Technology and University of Zululand to support quantum technology development initiatives and provide student and researchers access to IBM’s Q Network of quantum machines. Wits University is IBM’s first African partner for the IBM Q Network. For more about this grant, you can view a news release available here on the Wits University website.
September 18, 2021 – News Brief
QDevil Introduces a Very Fast, Ultra Stable Voltage Source for Control of Quantum Devices
QDevil’s new product, called QDAC-II, is a 24 channel DAC (Digital to Analog Converters) that operates with ultra-low noise at a sample rate of 1 million samples per second, a thousand times faster than its predecessor. A key benefit of this device is that it enables much faster tuning of the qubits than previously possible. It can be used to provide DC and intermediate frequency control of quantum devices including gate electrodes, flux bias coils and other purposes. Each channel is also equipped with a DC current sensor with a resolution down to a few tens of picoamps with sampling rates up to 3 kHz. for uses such as gate leakage detection. Additional information about this product is available in a news release from QDevil here, a web page for the product here and a short video here.
September 16, 2021 – News Brief
Chinese Research Group Makes Further Improvements in their Quantum Supremacy Experiment; Now at 60 Qubits with 24 Levels
We reported in June that a Chinese quantum research group had developed a superconducting based quantum computer named Zuchongzhi 2.0 and had replicated and surpassed Google’s Quantum Supremacy experiment with a circuit that used 56 qubits to calculate random circuits to a depth of 20 levels. This surpassed Google’s initial result which used a 53 qubit circuit to a depth of 20 levels. The total number of raw qubits in the Zuchongzhi system is 66, but did not use all of them in their initial experiement. After additional improvements the group has created a Zuchongzhi 2.1 machine and reran the experiment to demonstrate successful operation with 60 qubits to a depth of 24. The group claims that this larger sampling tasks is three orders of magnitude more difficult than what they previous achieved on the Zuchongzhi 2.0 and six orders of magnitude more difficult that Google’s original demonstration with their Sycamore processor. It appears that the main improvement in Zuchongzhi 2.1 is in the readout circuitry with the average readout fidelity going from 95.48% to 97.74%. A paper has been posted on arXiv with more details about this experiment and is available here.
September 15, 2021 – News Brief
IBM, AWS, Microsoft, and the University of Innsbruck Set Up a Technical Steering Committee for the OpenQASM Language
Over the past year we have reported (here and here) about IBM’s development of an enhanced quantum assembly language called OpenQASM3. Versions of OpenQASM has been used with IBM’s Qiskit from the very beginning and the new version was created for several reasons including to support the dynamic circuit feature that IBM is introducing in its latest quantum processors. In order to encourage adoption of future versions of OpenQASM, IBM is now working with representatives from AWS, Microsoft, and the University of Innsbruck and will form a Technical Steering Committee to guide the evolution of the language. Mechanisms will be created for other people to issue pull requests and join working groups to propose changes to the language to provide greater functionality and a wider of the language. More information about this new steering committee can be found in a blog post available on Medium and located here. A technical paper that describes OpenQASM3 and how it has evolved from earlier versions of OpenQASM is available on arXiv and available here.
September 14, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ and Accenture Agree to Collaborate on Quantum Computing
The companies have agreed to collaborate to help accelerate the usage of quantum computing to the business community globally. Accenture is a professional services company with over 569,000 employees and clients in over 120 countries. They provide services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations services. In particular, they may be able to help clients wishing to get involved with quantum technology by helping them formulate strategies, identify appropriate problems, develop solutions, and deploy the solutions within the client’s company. And with their large base of existing clients, they should be able to leverage these contacts and bring additional new business for IonQ’s ion trapped based quantum computers. More information on this collaboration is available in a news release issued by the companies and available here.
September 11, 2021 – News Brief
Amazon Introduces Verbatim Compilation for Quantum Circuits
When a user submits a quantum program to run on a quantum computer, the software will typically run it through an optimizing compiler that will convert the program to an execution that will achieve the same results but in a more efficient manner. The optimizing compiler may reduce the number of circuit levels, reorder the operations, reallocate which qubits are used or change the specific gates used. Normally, this is a good thing but it can result in more accurate results from the program with fewer errors. But for users who are trying to benchmark a quantum processor or develop error mitigation protocols this optimization process can get in the way. In order to help users who are trying to do this, Amazon has introduces a “Verbatim Compilation” capability in their Braket software that will turn off some of the optimization functions and provide users with direct control over what is executed on the hardware. This feature is currently available for use with the Rigetti superconducting quantum processor available on the Braket service. Additional information about this new capability can be found in a blog post on the Amazon website here.
September 10, 2021 – News Brief
Arqit Starts Trading on the NASDAQ
Arqit, a UK-based quantum encryption company, has started trading on the NASDAQ this week as part of their business combination with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Centricus Acquisition Corporation which closed on September 3, 2021. The company now has outstanding shares of 140.3 million with a market cap currently exceeding $2 billion. Although the company has had minimal revenue to date, it recently released its QuantumCloud Release 1.0 and is now shipping it to twenty enterprise and governmental customers for integration and testing which will provide revenues starting in December 2021. The company indicates they already have signed contracts totaling $130 million which will provide revenue in the coming years. The company’s technology involves the secure distribution of symmetric encryption keys without using the public key infrastructure (PKI) in use today that will become vulnerable when large quantum computers are available. Their current product uses terrestrial distribution, but they plan on extending that to use satellites starting in 2023. For more about Arqit, you can view previous articles we have written about the company here, here, and here. And for more about the merger between Arqit and Centricus, you can read the press release announcing the closing of the transaction here.
September 9, 2021 – News Brief
University of Maryland and IonQ Partner to Create a National Quantum Lab (Q-Lab) with $20 Million in Funding
The Q-Lab will be located in College Park, Maryland next to IonQ’s headquarters and will be funded with $20 million from the university. It will be user facility that will provide researchers with access to IonQ’s quantum hardware. The University of Maryland’s students, faculty, staff and partners will be able to gain experience and training in quantum technology and also have the opportunity to collaborate with IonQ’s scientists and engineers. For more about this new lab, you can read a news release posted on the University of Maryland’s web site here.
September 9, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ Forecasts 2021 Contract Bookings to be $15 Million
IonQ stated that this amount triples their initial target for 2021 bookings which was originally $5 million. These bookings are expected are for deliverables that would be provided over the next 36 months. It certainly an optimistic sign that the bookings levels are increasing but IonQ still has a long way to go in order to hit its financial forecast. In an investor presentation made by the IonQ and dMY management in February 2021, they forecasted billings revenue to be about $5 million in 2021, $15 million in 2022 and $34 million in 2023. So not only will they need more bookings to continue, but also they need to make sure that the $15 million bookings turns into revenue. The merger between IonQ and dMY is expected to be completed very soon. In the meantime, IonQ has busy announcing several significant developments this year including a new reconfigurable multicore architecture, support from the Project Q, Qiskit, Pennylane, and Cirq software development platforms, availability on the Google cloud, a free research credit program for academic institutions, and an investment and partnership with Softbank. For more about this latest bookings announcement, you can see a news release provided by IonQ available here.
September 6, 2021
Quantum Machines Raises $50 Million in Series B Funding
This is the largest funding that has occurred so far for non-full stack companies (i.e. companies that don’t build a full quantum computer) in the quantum space. Along with previous seed and Series A rounds this brings total funding for Quantum Machines to about $73 million. This round was led by Red Dot Capital Partners with the participation of Exor, Claridge Israel, Samsung NEXT, Valor Equity Partners, Atreides Management LP, and joined by TLV Partners, Battery Ventures, Altshuler Shaham as well as other existing investors. Yaniv Stern, Managing Partner at Red Dot Capital Partners, will join Quantum Machines’ board of directors. Click here for the full article.
September 4, 2021 – News Brief
E.On is Working with IBM to Find Quantum Solutions for Energy Grid Optimization
As we’ve seen recently with hurricane Ida in Louisiana, it is becoming increasingly important to optimize the performance and reliability of our energy grids. And with the increasing use of solar panels and electric cars, the energy grid is becoming more decentralized making it more of a challenge to find the best strategy to control the flow of energy in the grids. For example, energy can flow from the grid to an electric car for charging batteries, but when the car is not in use, it is also possible to flow energy from the car’s battery back to the grid to help out in periods of high electrical demand. Figuring out the best way to control all this is a computationally complex problem which is getting beyond the capabilities of traditional classical computing solutions, but can be very suitable for optimization using quantum computing. E.On is one of the world’s largest investor-owned electric utility service providers serving over 33 million customers in 30 different countries and employing over 78,000 people. They will be working with IBM’s Quantum Technical Services team and utilize the IBM quantum cloud, Qiskit, and other resources to study this problem and work to develop quantum enabled solutions for this important problem. For more about this work, you can view a press release provided by E.On and located on their website here.
September 4, 2021
New Software Releases: TensorFlow Quantum v2, Quantify-Core 0.5, and Cirq 1.0 Roadmap
A few new software announcements have been made recently. A new version of TensorFlow Quantum has been released for use in quantum machine learning applications, a new version of Quantum-Core has been released for controlling data acquisition and measurement in quantum computing and various physics experiments, and Google has published a roadmap that describes what features they are working on for release 1.0 of their Cirq quantum development platform. Click here for the full article.
September 3, 2021
Quantum Strategic Industry Alliance for Revolution (Q-STAR) Formed in Japan
We reported in June that several companies in Japan were in the process of establishing a new council to encourage the development of quantum technology in Japan and strengthen international competitiveness. They have now formally established a council with the name Quantum Strategic Industry Alliance for Revolution (Q-STAR). The current membership consists of 24 companies with an inaugural steering committee consisting of executives from Toshiba, Toyota, NEC, NTT, Hitachi, Fujitsu, and Mitsubishi Chemical. The group held their first general meeting on September 1, 2021. Click here for additional details and the full article.
September 3, 2021
NSF Announces Two Additional Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes with Funding of $25 Million for Each
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is adding two additional Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes to join the three institutes previously announced last year. The first is the Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Robust Quantum Simulation led by the University of Maryland with collaborators from historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) Morgan State University and North Carolina Central University. This institute will develop theoretical concepts, design innovative hardware, and provide education and training for a suite of novel simulation devices that can predict and understand quantum phenomena. The second institute is the Quantum Leap Challenge Institute in Biophysics and Bioengineering led by the University of Chicago and will partner with researchers from Chicago State University, University of Illinois at Chicago and Harvard University. This institute will have a dual mission. The first will be to identify novel biological quantum sensing systems and develop next-generation tools for observation and discovery. The second will be to partner with Chicago Public Schools to establish a Quantum Academy (for K-12) and Quantum Institute (post-secondary workforce training) programs that provide students the opportunities to learn the foundations of quantum science from the institute’s lead researchers. For additional information about this NSF announcement, click here to read the full article.
September 3, 2021 – News Brief
Who’s News – Management Changes at ColdQuanta and D-Wave
ColdQuanta has announced Scott Faris as the new CEO and will also be restructuring the company into three division. Faris takes over from Dan Caruso who served as Executive Chairman and Interim CEO. Previously, Faris was the Chief Business Office at Luminar Technologies, Inc. In addition, ColdQuanta announced it is restructuring the company into three division with Paul Lipman leading the Quantum Computing division, Max Perez leading the Quantum Research as a Service (QRaaS) division, and Sandi Mays serving as acting general manager of the ColdAtom Technologies division. D-Wave has named John Markovich as the Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining D-Wave, Markovich was the CFO of Xant, Inc., and previously held CFO positions at OmniGuide Holdings, Veritone, NanoH2O, EMCORE Corporation, Optical Coating Laboratories., and Tickets.com. Additional information about these new management appointments can be found in press releases published by ColdQuanta here and by D-Wave here.
September 2, 2021
sureCore is Developing Cryo-CMOS IP for Quantum Control Chips
sureCore is a company in Sheffield, UK that specializes in providing very low power CMOS IP and design services for SoC developers requiring these capabilities. They have decided to enter the quantum computing market by developing low power cryo-CMOS IP that runs at a temperature of 4 degrees Kelvin (-269C) for use inside a dilution refrigerator. They will work with foundry partners to characterize the transistors and industry partners to develop control chips that operate at this low temperature. Click here for the full story.
August 31, 2021 – News Brief
France and The Netherlands are Joining Forces for Development of Quantum Technology
As part of an overall declaration between the governments of France and The Netherlands to deepen and strengthen their bilateral relationship in a number of areas, the two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen bilateral cooperation in quantum technologies. Both countries already have significant efforts ongoing in quantum research, but by joining forces they can make the efforts have an even large impact. The governments had previously budgeted €1.8 billion in France and €615 million in the Netherlands for quantum research. The partnership will also make their European efforts more competitive against the large investments in quantum development being made in both China and the U.S. The agreement was signed in Paris by Cédric O, the French Secretary of State for Digital and Electronic Communications and Mona Keijzer, the Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. In addition, In addition four commercial organizations working on quantum technology were present at the signing ceremony including Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML, Dutch quantum start-up Qu & Co, French venture capital company Quantonation and the French IT company Atos. Additional information about the collaborations between the two countries can be found in a press release that you can view here and a news article (in Dutch) printed in the Dutch newspaper Fd that you can see here.
August 30, 2021
U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Releases FAQ Document Discouraging the Use of QKD
The NSA has released an FAQ document that answers questions related to quantum computing and post-quantum cryptography. In particular it contains advice for users of National Security Systems (NSS) that communicate classified or otherwise sensitive military or intelligence information which use public key cryptography as a critical component to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of national security information. The FAQ document contains their recommendations for the Commercial National Security Algorithm Suite (CNSA) for which algorithms these users should use in different applications. They indicated that the CNSA suite will be updated to include appropriate Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithms after NIST completes their selections in Round 3 of the PQC effort. The document also covers Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology and includes a recommendation that NSS owners should not be using or researching QKD technology without direct consultation with the NSA. Click here for more.
August 25, 2021 – News Brief
U.S. Department of Energy Awards $61 Million for Quantum Research
The awards were made pursuant to three funding opportunity announcements released earlier this year. These include Quantum Information Science and Research Infrastructure, Entanglement Management and Control in Transparent Optical Quantum Networks and Quantum Internet to Accelerate Scientific Discovery. Awards totaling $30 million were made to five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRC) to enable new discoveries and development of nanotechnologies and advance QIS, chemistry, materials, and clean energy. Awards of $6 million were made to create new devices which could form the building blocks of a quantum internet. And another $25 million in awards were made to support the research, design, development, and demonstration of regional-scale quantum network testbeds. Additional information about these awards can be viewed in a news release from the Department of Energy available here.
August 25, 2021
IonQ Reveals a New Reconfigurable Multicore Quantum Architecture (RMQA)
The Reconfigurable Multicore Quantum Architecture (RMQA) will allow IonQ to expand the number of qubits to hundreds per chip without any degradation in the qubit stability and performance as the number of qubits expands. The first demonstration of this consists of a configuration that IonQ calls 4×16 which consists of four chains of qubits with each chain containing 16 ions. The chains are built using an Evaporated Glass Trap (EGT) platform. The chains can be dynamically moved around and neighboring chains combined to create reconfigurable 32 ion chains. Click here for more.
August 25, 2021 – News Brief
Quantum Brilliance Receives $9.7 Million USD in Seed Funding
The funding round was led by Main Sequence Ventures and a consortium of former QxBranch founders. (QxBranch was sold to Rigetti Computing in 2019). Additional funding participation came from from CP Ventures, Investible, Jelix Ventures, MA Financial (formerly Moelis Australia) Growth Ventures Fund, R3I Ventures, and Ultratech Capital Partners. Quantum Brilliance is developing a quantum computing platform based on atomic-scale defects in diamond (nitrogen-vacancy centers) that will run at room temperature. Their goal is to provide a quantum accelerator with about 50 qubits in a device the size of a lunchbox by 2025. Quantum Brilliance is a spinout of the diamond quantum program at Australian National University and are located in Canberra, Australia. Earlier this year, they announced collaborations with the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and also Quantum South to test out their technology. More information is available in a news release provided by Quantum Brilliance available here.
August 17, 2021 – News Brief
Xanadu Partners with Imec for Fabrication of Xanadu’s Photonic Quantum Chips
Xanadu, a full-stack quantum startup developing photonics-based quantum hardware, will use imec to build their chips. Imec (Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre), located in Leuven, Belgium, is a non-profit research and development organization active in nanoelectronics and digital technologies with significant semiconductor processing capabilities. The processing will occur on one of imec’s 200mm or 300mm fabrication lines and will use an ultra-low loss silicon nitride (SiN) waveguide technology to generate squeezed states for synthesizing qubits. Xanadu is the second photonics based quantum company announcing a partnerships with a semiconductor foundry to build its chips. Earlier this year, PsiQuantum announced it will be using GlobalFoundries to manufacture its chips. Like PsiQuantum, Xanadu believes their technology will have the potential to scale to 1 million qubits through the use of optical networking. Photonics technology also has the capability to run at room temperatures and not require expensive dilution refrigerators like those required with superconducting based systems. Additional information can be found in a press release provided by Xanadu which can be found here.
August 17, 2021 – News Brief
University of California Riverside Receives a $2 Million Research Grant from the National Science Foundation
UC Riverside will research combining organic molecules with silicon quantum dots to create qubits that can operate at room temperature. They will partner with researchers from the University of Utah, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Colorado Boulder. Currently quantum dot technology needs to run at low temperatures using cryogenic cooling so developing something that can run at room temperatures would be a big advantage. Additional information about this project can be seen in a news release from UC Riverside located here.
August 17, 2021 – News Brief
Who’s News – Additions at Quantum Machines, Q-CTRL and Rigetti
Quantum Machines has named Per Nyberg as Vice President of Strategic Markets and Alliances, Avi Gabay as Vice President of Finance and Dotan Sokolov as Vice President of R&D. Q-CTRL has formed a Technical Advisory Board consisting of Pieter Abbeel, Professor at UC Berkeley, Jason Cong, Professor at UCLA, Richard Murray, Professor at Caltech, Daniela Rus, Professor at MIT, and Birgitta Whaley, Professor at UC Berkeley. Rigetti Computing has named Brian Sereda as Chief Financial Officer and Jackie Kaweck as Senior Vice President, Human Resources. You can view the announcements from Quantum Machines here, from Q-CTRL here, and from Rigetti Computing here.
August 16, 2021 – News Brief
Super.Tech Announces SuperstaQ, a Hardware Agnostic Software Platform
The SuperstaQ platform is what we would call a translator and optimizer. It takes as input quantum programs written in either the Cirq or Qiskit or OpenApi formats and outputs optimized code targeted for quantum backends from IBM, IonQ, Rigetti, or Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Quantum Testbed. As part of this process, SuperstaQ implements a large array of full-stack optimization techniques including dynamical decoupling, excited state promotion, zero noise extrapolation and others to be used with the targeted backend’s pulse-level native gates. The goal would be to arrive at an optimized program that has a minimized gate depth and best possible gate fidelity to achieve the best results for the given program. Super.Tech already has beta users working with the program including the EPiQC collaboration led by the University of Chicago, Berkeley’s Advanced Quantum Testbed and the Morningstar financial services firm. Additional information about SuperstaQ can be found in a news announcement here and also the web page for the product here.
August 16, 2021 – News Brief
Cirq v0.12.0 Released with Support for Rigetti Quantum Computers
The latest release of Cirq now supports the Rigetti Quantum Virtual Machine (QVM) and the Rigetti Quantum Computing Service. This support joins support for other supported quantum backends from AQT, Pasqal, and IonQ as well as Google’s own quantum computers. Other enhancements include two-qubit unitary decomposition for (inverse) sqrt-iSWAP, Typescript development and 3D Circuits along with other minor enhancements. Additional details are available in the release notes available on the Cirq GitHub site here.
August 12, 2021 – News Brief
Riverlane Awarded Contract from UK’s National Quantum Computing Centre
The contract given to Riverlane will be for benchmarking software to compare the performance of different quantum computers. This can provide insights into the characteristics of different hardware architectures, latency, and other factors. This contract is the first quantum software award made by National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC). Riverlane is a quantum software startup located in Cambridge, UK and among other projects is leading a consortium to build Deltaflow.OS; a new operating system for quantum computers. NQCC’s mission vision is to lead the development, application and commercialization of quantum computing and accelerate the growth of UK business and the quantum supply chain. Among its projects, it has a goal of constructing a 100+ qubit quantum computer by 2025. For more about this contract, you can view a news release posted on the Riverlane website here.
August 10, 2021- News Brief
Quix Sells a 12 Mode Quantum Photonic Processor to Paderborn University
Netherlands-based Quix has made its third announcement this year of a sale of its 12 mode quantum photonic processor. This latest sale has gone to the Institute for Photonic Quantum Systems (PhoQS) at Paderborn University in Germany which specializes in researching photonic quantum technologies. Previously, Quix had announced sales of this processor to UK-based Qontrol and French company Quandela. You can read the full announcement of this sale in a news release from Quix available on their website here.
August 10, 2021 – News Brief
HQS Announces Support for AQT’s Quantum Computers with their Open Source Quantum Computing Library
HQS Quantum Simulations has created a backend for their qoqo quantum circuit representation library that connects the software to a ion trap quantum computer simulator from AQT. This is a stepping stone for a future implementation that will allow qoqo to be used with AQT’s ion trap quantum computer. HQS specializes in providing quantum simulation software for use in material discovery for customers in the chemical industry and academia. HQS’s qoqo platform joins several other software platforms that also support the AQT architecture including Google’s Cirq, IBM’s Qiskit, Xanadu’s Pennylane, CQC’s Pytket, ProjectQ, and Quest. Additional details are available in a news release from HQS and AQT located here.
August 10, 2021 – News Brief
POLARISqb Announces Seed Investment of $2.1 Million
POLARISqb, a Durham, North Carolina company developing a drug discovery platform using a quantum computer has raised a seed round of $2.1 million from investors OurCrowd and Infinity Medical. The POLARISqb software is designed to quickly screen through a billions of potential drug molecules to identify lead candidates for clinical trials and significantly improve drug discovery times. They indicate that their technology which combines cloud, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies can operate up to 10,000 times faster than alternative solutions. Additional details about this investment are available in a news release from POLARISqb available here.
August 9, 2021 – News Brief
Qu & Co Completes a New Round of Funding
The investment round was led by Quantonation with additional participation from Runa Capital and SPInvest. The amount of the investment has not yet been made public. Qu & Co is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands and provides quantum software for chemistry and materials simulation, multi-physics simulation and computational finance. Their lead product, introduced in March is called QUBEC and is integrated with Schrödinger’s Maestro chemical modelling interface. The company earlier this year announced collaborations to use its quantum software with both Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and also LG Electronics for applications in drug discovery and multi-physics simulations, respectively. Additional information about this investment is available here on the Qu & Co website.
August 7, 2021 – News Brief
Ernst & Young Signs On as a Founding Member of University of Maryland’s Quantum Startup Foundry
We reported in April about the University of Maryland’s (UMD) establishment of a Quantum Startup Foundry to help incubate quantum technology startups. This week they announced that professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) has joined as the first founding partner. As part of their activities, EY will support programs that connect the virtual and physical resources needed to support quantum entrepreneurs and startups as well as provide insight, mentorship, customer and investor introductions and other services to companies associated with the Quantum Startup Foundry. Additional information about this is available in a news release published by the University of Maryland and located here.
August 6, 2021
Quantum Computing Inc. Announces QUBT University to Teach Qualified Students about Quantum Optimization
The program will leverage Quantum Computing Inc’s (QCI) Qatalyst software that lets users construct and solve optimization problems on both classical and quantum computers. It will consist of tutorial video lectures, three increasingly challenging sample problems that students will be challenged to solve, and on-going webinar meetings to encourage students to continue to sharpen their skills. For the three sample problems, the students will solve the first two using quantum-inspired classical computing based simulation and the third one will require submitting a problem to a quantum computer to compute the solution. For more details about this program, click here for our full article.
August 5, 2021 – News Brief
QuSecure Receives a $1.9 Million Seed Round
QuSecure, a San Mateo, California company developing what they call Post Quantum Network Orchestration technology has closed on a $1.9 million seed round. Their technology uses Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithms but also can orchestrate the communications over existing network infrastructure and includes self-authentication and quantum key striping features. The company has recently joined the Techstars Space Accelerator Class of 2021 and was recently named as one of 28 high-momentum cybersecurity startups on the CB Insights Cyber Defenders 2021 list. QuSecure has a number of Proof-of-Concept (PoC) demonstrations in process including subprime status on a Navy Seaport Project.
August 5, 2021
Multiverse Computing Releases their Singularity SDK to Enable Inputting QC Problems from an Excel Spreadsheet
A few months ago we published an article titled Quantum Software for Those Who Don’t Want to Learn Quantum. We now have to add Multiverse Computing to the list of companies pursuing this approach. Multiverse has introduced their Singularity program that allow one to create a problem though an intuitive Excel front end and then submit it for solution to a quantum computer. The resulting program will take advantage of the powerful quantum optimization algorithms that Multiverse has been developing for several years. It will allow an end user to take advantage of quantum computing without any prior knowledge of quantum mechanics or quantum computing programming. Click here for the full article.
August 2, 2021 – News Brief
National University of Singapore to Collaborate with AWS
The National University of Singapore (NUS) will collaborate with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to research quantum communication and quantum computing technologies and also to explore potential industry applications of quantum capabilities. The collaboration will be led by Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) which is hosted at NUS. The collaboration will consist of AWS’ support for QEP’s quantum computing research and projects and will also include an AWS connection to Singapore’s National Quantum Safe Network for quantum communications. Additional details can be found in a news release located on the NUS website here
July 31, 2021 – News Brief
Multiverse Computing Joins the Strangeworks Quantum Syndicate
Multiverse Computing is a quantum software company with headquarters in headquartered in San Sebastian, Spain and offices in Toronto, Canada and Paris, France. They specialize in providing software and consulting services to financial institutions for problems include portfolio optimization, pricing of derivatives, financial crash forecasting, and tax fraud. They will partner with Strangeworks to gain access to exclusive quantum computing hardware and novel quantum architectures to conduct algorithms research and deliver new insights to its customers. Strangeworks’s goal is to humanize quantum computing, cut through the confusion of quantum computing and make it accessible to everyone. As part of this effort they have collected a large Strangeworks Quantum Syndicate of organizations that currently includes eleven hardware and cloud services partners, ten software and consulting services partners, and five education and resources partners. Additional information about Multiverse joining the Strangeworks Syndicate and be found in a news release available on the Strangeworks’ website here as well as the Multiverse website here.
July 30, 2021 – News Brief
Chicago Quantum Exchange Adds Ohio State University and the Weizmann Institute as Partners
Ohio State will be the Chicago Quantum Exchange’s first regional academic partner and the Weizmann Institute of Science will be its first international academic partner. Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio, is the lead member institution in the multi-institutional quantum education initiative QuSTEAM, the university is dedicated to preparing a quantum-ready workforce. The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, performs research on trapped ion qubits, superconducting qubits, neutral atom simulators and photon-based computation. Its theoretical groups have expertise in topological quantum states of matter and topological quantum computation. A news release from the Chicago Quantum Exchange announcing these new partners is available here.
July 30, 2021
Who’s News – Additions at Zapata, Ionq, and Classiq
Zapata Computing has announced that Jeff Huber will be joining its Board of Directors. Jeff is the founding CEO of GRAIL, a breakthrough cancer screening company and was previously a Senior Vice President at Google. Ionq announced that Tom Jones has joined as Chief People Office, Jordan Shapiro as Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, Mark Solomon as Director of Sales and Kevin Caimi as Controller. These gentlemen have a variety of experience at companies including Blue Origin, Microsoft, Honeywell, RoundGlass, IBM, and Caliburn International. And Classiq Technologies has announced that Professor Tal Mor and Professor Robert Willie have joined its Technical Advisory Board. Professor Mor is a Professor of Computer Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and a member of the Executive committee of the Technion’s Helen Diller Quantum Center. Professor Willie is at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, where he is the head of the Institute for Integrated Circuits.
July 29, 2021
Quantum Machines to Work with European Institutions to Develop Schrödinger Cat State Error Correction
Quantum Machines has announced that it is joining researchers at the University of Innsbruck, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Mines ParisTech, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation and Romanian National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies on a three year project called QuCoS (Quantum Computation with Schödinger cat states) funded by the QuantERA consortium. The significance of an error correction scheme based upon the Schrödinger cat state approach is that it potentially can be more efficient than other alternatives, such as the surface code. Click here for more.
July 27, 2021 – News Brief
IBM Installs a Quantum System One in Japan
The machine has been installed at IBM Research’s Shin-Kawasaki facility is located at NANOBIC, a joint research facility operated by industry, academia and government and hosted by Kawasaki City of Japan. The is the second IBM quantum computer installed outside the United States with the first being installed in Germany last April. It will be managed with the University of Tokyo as part of the Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium (QIIC) to facilitate collaboration on quantum computing between industry, academia, and government in Japan. Other members of the QIIC include DIC, Hitachi, JSR, Keio University, Mitsubishi Chemical, Mizuho, MUFG, Sony, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Toshiba, Toyota, and Yokogawa. Additional information about this new quantum computer installation is available in a news release from IBM which can be found here. IBM has also posted a nice video on YouTube that shows the arrival, assembly, and installation of the machine at IBM’s Kawasaki facility.
July 27, 2021
PsiQuantum Raises $450 Million in Series D Funding
The round was led by funds and accounts managed by Blackrock with participation from existing investors Baillie Gifford and M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund) along with new investors Blackbird Ventures and Temasek. This brings the total amount of funding to date to $665 million with a reported company valuation of $3.15 billion. Click here for the full article.
July 26, 2021 – News Brief
Super.tech Labs Receives a $256,000 Award from the NSF for Research Into Quantum Compilation Methods
The award for Super.tech came from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and will cover a nine month period extending from August 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. The research will cover compilation methods for dense graph optimization problems, mixed binary problems where variables can be either binary or continuous, and constrained optimization applications like maximal independent set. Super.tech is a quantum software startup based in Chicago that came out of the EPiQC collaboration led by the University of Chicago. They were recently named to be one of the six startups to participate as part of the inaugural cohort for the Duality Quantum Accelerator which started in July. Additional information about this grant can be found in a press release that you can find here.
July 24, 2021 – News Brief
U.S. Department of Energy Awards $73 Million to 29 Projects for Quantum Information Science Research
The awards from the Department of Energy (DOE) will study the materials and chemical processes needed to develop the next generation of quantum smart devices and quantum computing technology. The projects will last up to 3 years and will perform fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels. Twenty-two of the awards were made to universities and seven were made to one of the DOE’s national laboratories. A news release announcing the awards can be found on the DOE website here and a list of the 29 awards can be found here.
July 24, 2021 – News Brief
Quantum Algorithms Institute Receives $2.21 million CAD ($1.76M USD) from the Canadian Government to Get Started
The Quantum Algorithms Institute has been recently established on the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada to bring industry, academia, and government together to accelerate the innovation and commercialization of quantum technologies. These funds were provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada to harness British Columbia’s growing global reputation as a leader in quantum computing. The institute will use the funds to create a state-of-the-art physical hub to facilitate engagement activities such as hosting collaborative events between local and international players from industry and academia, promote collaboration between existing quantum companies and potential new customers and help the institute train and grow a world-leading talent pool for this emerging industry. Additional information is available in news releases from Western Economic Diversification Canada and also Simon Fraser University which can be found here and here.
July 23, 2021
ImpaQT Project Receives €600 Thousand ($706K USD) in Funding to Create a Quantum Computer Kit
We reported last January on the formation of the ImpaQT consortium. This is a group of Dutch companies involved with quantum technology that were putting together a kit of components that work together to form a quantum computer. A few changes have occurred since our last report. QuantWare and Demcon have joined the consortium along with original members Qu&Co, OrangeQS, Qblox, and Delft Circuits. Also, the group has received € 600,000 in funding from MRDH (Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam and The Hague) and Quantum Delta NL. For more about the new developments with the ImpaQT consortium, click here.
July 23, 2021
Honeywell Improves Their H1 QPU to Achieve a Quantum Volume of 1024; Google Improves Sycamore Too
The Honeywell Model H1 was introduced in September 2020 with a Quantum Volume measure of 128. In March, they improved the Quantum Volume to 512 and this month they have reached 1024. Google has also improved their Sycamore processor to significantly improve readout time, implement a Controlled-Z gate, provide a multi-level reset capability and implement mid-circuit measurement capabilities. It appears that all of these changes were implemented with improved qubit control firmware and algorithms and did not require any significant changes in the underlying hardware. Click here for more details.
July 22, 2021
Quantum Computing Inc. Partners with IPQ Analytics for Healthcare Data Analytics and Completes Listing on NASDAQ
IPQ Analytics is a company formed in 2012 to provide the healthcare industry with decision support solutions that can analyze complex networks of data to help organizations enhance their decision making, improve outcomes and achieve higher return on investments. Now, they are partnering with Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) to utilize QCI’s QGraph and Qatalyst software to see if quantum and quantum-inspire tools offered by QCI can improve upon IPQ’s existing classical computing solutions. In other QCI news, we reported last January that QCI had applied for up listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The also announced that this has finally been completed and trading of their stock started on July 15th under the ticker symbol QUBT. For more details about these announcements you can view our full article that covers both of them here.
July 21, 2021
Aliro Quantum Receives Funding from the U.S. Air Force for Two Quantum Networking Projects
Aliro Quantum has received contracts for research on two projects through the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program. The first is for secure communications to create and simulate models of physical components of small-scale hybrid quantum networks that include photon-trapped-ion and photon-superconducting interfaces. The second involves the developing a design and implementing a control plane for the management of quantum protocols and quantum software that can manage clusters of interconnected quantum processing units (QPUs). Click here for more.
July 21, 2021
Atom Computing Gains a CEO, a $15 Million Series A Funding and Membership to the 100 Qubit Club
Atom Computing, a Berkeley, California quantum hardware startup founded in 2018 has been working in stealth mode for the past three years, but has just announced a trio of disclosures that will encourage people to get to know it a lot better. Rob Hays has joined the company as CEO, the company has completed a $15 million Series A funding, and it disclosed that it has developed a new quantum computer, codenamed Phoenix, based upon its optically trapped neutral atom technology. For full details, click here to read our full article.
July 20, 2021 – News Brief
Xanadu Wins DARPA Grant to Develop a “Circuit Cutting” Quantum Compiler
The problem with many quantum programs right now is that the programs require more qubits than are available in the current hardware. To help improve upon the situation, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Xanadu with a grant to develop a compiler that can cut up the program and run it in pieces on smaller quantum hardware or classical simulators that are limited in the number of qubits they can simulate. The compiler will attempt to automatically break down a circuit into a multi-circuit hybrid model and leverage both classical and quantum computing resources for execution. There are challenges in developing such a compiler including determining ways to stitch back together the individual piece-wise simulations as well as ensuring there is a minimum loss of solution accuracy with this approach. The research for this development will be funded over a 24 month period by the grant. Additional details are available in a news release from Xanadu which can be found here.
July 17, 2021 – News Brief
European Commission’s Horizon Europe and Canada’s NSERC Team to Issue a Call for Proposals with an €8 Million ($11.9M CAD, $9.4M USD) Budget
The European Commission’s Horizon Europe and Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) are partnering to issue a call for joint EU-CAN proposals for research on quantum technologies. Each one will provide funding of up to €4 Million (about $6M CAD or $4.7M USD) for projects related to quantum communication, quantum computing, quantum simulation or quantum sensing. The expected award to each selected EU-Canada consortium is about €1.33 Million (about $2M CAD or $1.57M USD) for projects expect to range from 36 to 60 months in duration. The EC will pay their funds to the European participants and the NSERC will pay their funds to the Canadian participants. Additional information about this joint call for proposals is available in a brief news release and also a program description available on the NSERC website.
July 17, 2021
IBM Opens Up Pulse Gate Capability to Everyone and also Sponsors an IEEE SERVICES Hackathon
IBM had announced in late 2019 a new capability called OpenPulse that would allow programmers to program their quantum computers at the pulse level in addition to the gate level. It previously had limited availability for only a select machines or select researchers. Now, IBM has announced that this feature, which they now call pulse gates, has been made available to all users on all of their machines. IBM also announced they are sponsoring an IEEE SERVICES Hackathon 2021 to challenge participants to design a quantum cloud service using Qiskit Runtime to encourage people to explore this new capability. Click here for the full article to see more information about both of these announcements.
July 16, 2021 – News Brief
Quantum Delta NL Creates €2 Million ($2.36M USD) Fund Pre-Seed Fund for Quantum Startups
We reported in May on an initiative from Dutch-based Quantum Delta NL called Lightspeed to support Dutch based quantum startup with raising capital from potential investors in Europe and the United States. They have now added on to this effort by creating their own micro-fund called “Lightspeed Fund 1” which will provide pre-seed funding to startups of up to 50,000 euros ($59K USD) in the form of a SAFE note (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) to allow early stage quantum startups to get started. Quantum Delta NL intends to make 5 to 15 awards in fiscal year 2021/2022 and 35 to 40 awards over the total period. There are currently seven quantum startups based in the Netherlands and Quantum Delta NL would like to increase this number to 100 by 2027. One of the first recipient of one of these awards is QuantWare as part of the €1.15 Million ($1.36M USD) pre-seed round they just announced. Additional information about this new micro-fund can be found in a new release posted on Quanta Delta NL’s website here.
July 16, 2021
QuantWare Starts Selling Off-the-Shelf QPUs and Raises €1.15 Million ($1.36M USD) in a Pre-Seed Round
QuantWare was founded in 2020 as a spinoff of QuTech has announced their first products including a 5-qubit quantum processing unit (QPU) and a low noise travelling wave parametric amplifier (TWPA). They will iniitally sell these components to research institutions and universities that want to build their own quantum computers. They also announced a pre-seed investment of 1.15 million euros which they will use to expand their team, their product line, and their available resources. For more, click here to read the full article.
July 15, 2021
Duality Quantum Accelerator Names the Initial Members of Its First Cohort
Last April, we reported on the creation of a new Duality Quantum Accelerator in Chicago led by the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and the Chicago Quantum Exchange with additional participation from founding partners, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, and Chicago innovation promotion organization P33. At that time, startup teams were invited to apply to participate in the initial cohort sessions which are now starting this month. The Duality Governing Board has now approved the first six startups that will become members of this inaugural cohort and the first sessions will start this week. Click here to see which companies Duality has selected to become members of its first cohort group.
July 13, 2021
BMW Sets Out a Quantum Computing Challenge in Collaboration with AWS
Sometimes a real world challenge can help quantum application developers advance their skills and technologies in ways that might not be the same as when they are only looking at various theoretical problems. With that in mind, BMW has issued a quantum computing challenge contest that is four specific problems they see in their automotive business. BMW will be collaborating with Amazon AWS to have contestants propose solutions for these problems and develop proof-of-concept solutions using the resources of AWS Braket. The challenge will go through two rounds with a winner announced at the Q2B conference in Silicon Valley on December 7-9, 2021, For more about this challenge click here to view our full article.
July 13, 2021 – News Brief
Riverlane, Rigetti, and Astex Pharmaceuticals Partner to Explore Drug Discovery Applications
The three companies have been provided a grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to research possible applications of quantum computing in drug discovery. Riverlane will lead the 18 month program which will develop an integrated application for simulating molecular systems using Rigetti Quantum Cloud Services. As part of the research, the team will also develop error mitigation software to help optimize the performance of the hardware architecture to improve both error rates and run times. Drug discovery remains one of the highest potential applications for quantum computing because pharmaceutical companies typically spend a billion dollars or more over a ten or more year period to develop a new drug. Although some companies are using various forms of classical computing to help perform computational chemistry simulations, the results are limited because the complexity of the calculations increase exponentially with the size of the molecule so the simulations will either take too long to complete or else require approximations which reduces the accuracy of the result. Additional information about this program can be found in a news release from Rigetti available here and another news release from Riverlane available here.
July 10, 2021
Microsoft Announces Credits, Python SDK Support, and New Development Capabilities for Azure Quantum
In a new blog post, Microsoft has announced several new features and other incentives for users of its Azure Quantum cloud platform. This include Quantum Credits of up to $10,000, direct connection to Quantum Python SDKs, Jupyter Notebooks, and several new simulators for larger and more complex simulation tasks. As the quantum computing market continues to grow, it will become increasingly competitive and we expect to see more development like these going forward which are intended to make it easier for new users to get started or existing users who are using a competitor’s platform try out a different platform to see if the new one is any better. Click here for the full article.
July 10, 2021
Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms Creates a 256 Qubit Quantum Simulator
A quantum simulator is not quite the same thing as a gate-based or annealing-based quantum computer, but it still may provide valuable in certain applications. A quantum simulator can be used to model a larger quantum mechanical system using the same quantum mechanical rules. As an analogy, think of how airplane designers will put a model airplane in a wind tunnel to gain knowledge of how the real airplane will perform once it is built. The team at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms has been developing such systems for a while. In 2017, they created a 51 qubit quantum simulator using rubidium atoms lined up in a 1D array. And now, they have created a larger 256 qubit system using atoms that can be arranged in a 2D array. For more about this development, click here to view our full article.
July 9, 2021
Strangeworks Providing Early Preview Access to IBM’s Qiskit Runtime
IBM’s Qiskit Runtime is a containerized service for quantum computers that significantly reduces latencies for running quantum programs, particularly for hybrid algorithms such as VQE and QAOA where data flows back and forth between a quantum computing and a classical computer many times. Now, this capability is being more made more widely available in an arrangement with Strangeworks which will become the first IBM partner to offer early preview access to Qiskit Runtime for a much larger user base through the Strangeworks ecosystem and Strangeworks’ family of products including both the Strangeworks QC™ community platform as well as the Strangeworks EQ™ enterprise platform. In addition, IBM is providing a dedicated 7-qubit quantum computer for users to work with this new technology. Click here for details about this announcement.
July 8, 2021 – News Brief
Oxford Quantum Circuits To Set Up the First Quantum Cloud Service in the UK
Oxford Quantum Circuits is setting up the first Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) in the United Kingdom. They will create a private cloud for strategic partners and customers who want to experiment with their quantum computer. The initial offering will be using their Sophia quantum computer which has four qubits, but OQC is working on more advanced machines which we expect to be also available on their service in the not too distant future. In addition, clients of the service will also be able to access Cambridge Quantum Computing’s Ironbridge quantum random number generation which produces verifiable quantum randomness for cybersecurity applications. The company is now accepting registrations of interest for those who wish to be included in the beta list of clients that can access OQC’s cloud service. For additional details about this service, you can view a news release posted on the OQC website here.
July 7, 2021 – News Brief
Three Australian Universities Receive $6 Million AUS ($4.49M USD) to Research Error Tolerant Quantum Computers
The funds are being provided by the Australia Department of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) which will provide $2 million AUS each to Griffith University, the University of Technology Sydney, and the University of New South Wales. The funding will occur over a two years period and will expand the work that has been performed under the Australia—US Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (AUSMURI) program to enable error-tolerant quantum computers. The title of the project is “Quantum Control Based on Real-Time Environment Analysis by Spectator Qubits” with a goal to assess and experimentally implement a novel paradigm using spectator quantum systems for better control of qubits. Additional information is available in a news release from issued by Griffith University located here and also an article available on Australian Defence Magazine located here.
July 7, 2021
ColdQuanta Announces a 100 Qubit Processor with Customer Availability Later this Year
The processor, codenamed “Hilbert” will be based upon ColdQuanta’s cold atom technology. This technology utilizes Cesium atoms arranged in a 2D 11×11 grid that are supercooled to microkelvin temperatures using lasers. The initial Hilbert machine will be installed at ColdQuanta headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and accessible to customers over the cloud. Hilbert can be programmed using IBM’s open source Qiskit software platform with a backend module that can interface it to Hilbert. ColdQuanta is investigating additional options for both cloud access and software platforms. Click here for the full article.
July 6, 2021 – News Brief
Australian Government Awards Q-CTRL $4.5 Million AUS ($3.37M USD) for Development of Quantum Sensors for Space Payloads
The Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology will fund Q-CTRL with $4.5 million AUS over a 2.5 year period to expand the manufacture of novel remote sensing payloads for space deployment. The funding will come from the Australian government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI). Q-CTRL has been expanding its potential market by pursuing sensing applications that can use its BOULDER OPAL quantum control software and other Q-CTRL technology. These applications including quantum gravimetry, quantum magnetometry, quantum enhanced position, navigation and timing (PNT), and ultra-stable quantum clocks. Earlier this year, Q-CTRL announced it will be collaborating with the Australian SEVEN SISTERS consortium to help create small form factor sensors that can be used in space applications. Additional information is available in a news release from the Australian Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, an overview of Q-CTRL’s quantum sensing solutions located on its website and a blog posting about Q-CTRL’s activities in quantum sensors.
July 5, 2021 – News Brief
Rohde & Schwarz Acquires Zurich Instruments
Rohde & Schwarz is an electronics company headquartered in Munich, Germany with products for the electronic test equipment, broadcast & media, cybersecurity, radio monitoring and radiolocation, and radiocommunication markets. For their fiscal 2019/2020 year they achieved revenue of €2.58 Billion ($3.06 Billion USD) and have over 12,000 employees in over 70 countries. Zurich Instruments was founded in 2008 , has over 100 employees and is based in Zurich, Switzerland. The company’s initial products were aimed for the lock-in amplifier market, but recently the company has expanded its product offerings to include electronic instrumentation for quantum computers. In March of this year, the company announced a new generation of signal generators for quantum computers called SHFSG. Zurich Instruments will operate as an independent subsidiary of Rohde & Schwarz, but will have the financial backing of a much larger company to continue its developments in the quantum computing and other markets. For more, you can view post available on the Zurich Instruments website here and a press release available on the Rohde & Schwarz website here.
July 2, 2021
IQM Sets Up a Subsidiary in Spain as a Quantum Finance Co-Design Hub
The new subsidiary in Bilboa, Spain is being created with the support of the Basque local administration via Provincial Council of Bizkaia and the Bilbao City Hall and will also be able to leverage quantum expertise available at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EUU) in Bilbao. The subsidiary will work as a co-design hub for quantum finance applications and will work closely with IQM’s headquarters in Helsinki and also IQM’s German subsidiary in Munich. Click here for the full article.
July 1, 2021 – News Brief
Another Regional Quantum Coalition Being Formed in Indiana
A new Center for Quantum Technologies is being established in Indiana with Purdue University as the lead institution and additional members including Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Notre Dame, and Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). It is being established through the NSF’s Industry-University Cooperative Research program. Purdue already has the Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute, which has over 50 scientists and engineers and the Center for Quantum Technologies will leverage this resource. Besides researching and developing industry-friendly quantum devices, systems, and algorithms, the center will have a mission of helping to train a robust quantum workforce. The center is currently recruiting industry partners and will be adding these in the future. For more about this new coalition you can visit a press release available on the Purdue University website here and also the website for the Center for Quantum Technologies here.
June 30, 2021
Chinese Group Claims to Have Replicated and Surpassed Google’s Quantum Supremacy Experiment
In a new article posted on arXiv, a Chinese group from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), QuantumCTek, and the Chinese Academy of Science has described a 66 qubit superconducting based machine called Zuchongzhi that they have developed and ran the random quantum circuit benchmark algorithm that Google described in their Quantum Supremacy experiment in 2019. Whereas Google had developed a 54 qubit chip called Sycamore and used 53 qubits to calculate random circuits to a depth of 20 levels, the China team developed a 66 qubit chip and used 56 qubits to calculate random circuits to a depth of 20 levels. Click here for the full article.
June 29, 2021 – News Brief
University of Nevada, Reno Receives $2.493 Million DOE Grant for QC Research
The grant provided to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) is for research into building stable controllable spin systems for quantum information sciences and quantum computing. It was provided by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) under the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program which is intended to improve the geographic distribution of federal R&D funding. A short announcement about this grant is available on the website of U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen here.
June 29, 2021 – News Brief
Rigetti Previews 80 Qubit Multi-Chip Quantum Processor
Rigetti has announced that it has developed multi-chip architecture for scaling its quantum processors and will be making available an 80 qubit quantum processor on its Quantum Cloud Services platform later this year. In a paper posted on arXiv earlier this year, Rigetti described their approach to create a multi-chip quantum processor. The device is constructed with four nominally identical dice which contain that qubits which are then flip-chip bonded to a larger carrier chip which provides microwave shielding, signal routing and interfaces to the individual qubit die. The benefits of this approach is that it can allow for providing larger systems without a degradation in die yield or qubit quality that might occur if one were to fabricate it as one large die. Additional information is available in a news release from Rigetti which can be found here.
June 28, 2021 – News Brief
Bose Quantum Receives 10’s of Millions of Yuan (>$3M USD) in Seed Financing
Beijing based Bose Quantum (「玻色量子」) has received the investment to develop a Coherent Ising Machine (CIM) based quantum computer using optical fiber loops. NTT Research is also collaborating with CalTech on a CIM project as we reported earlier this year. The investment was led by Light by Bourne Capital. Although the amount of the investment was only specified as 10’s of millions of Yuan, this would imply it was at least as large as $3 million USD. Bose Quantum has a first goal of developing a 1000 qubit machine with an eventual expansion to over 1 million qubits. The founding team has studied at Stanford, Tsinghua University, Chinese Academy of Sciences and other well-known institutions. For more, you can view a news article (in Chinese) posted on the 36Kr website here.
June 26, 2021
Honeywell/CQC Collaborate with Nippon Steel to Investigate Quantum Optimization for Manufacturing Scheduling Optimization
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) had previously announced in April 2020 they were working with Nippon Steel in the areas of material science and optimization. The specific problem that they have been working on is to optimize the scheduling for intermediate products used during the steel manufacturing process. There are numerous considerations and constraints that must be taken into account including orders, deadlines, raw material availability, specifications, cost, etc. CQC was able to demonstrate the ability to perform this optimization on a representative problem using the Honeywell H1 quantum computer. Click here for more.
June 26, 2021 – News Brief
ProjectQ Releases Support for IonQ, AWS Braket, and AQT Quantum Platforms
ProjectQ is an open-source, hardware-agnostic software framework for quantum computing started at ETH Zurich based upon Python. It was initially created in 2016 and previously supported creating and simulating quantum programs on its own simulation platform as well as IBM’s Qiskit. Most recently with version 0.6 they have added support for IonQ’s and AQT’s ion trap based hardware as well as Amazon Braket for the Rigetti and IonQ gate-based quantum computers as well as Amazon’s SV1 simulator. For more information about ProjectQ and its expanded support for the additional quantum platforms, you can visit main GitHub page here, a post on IonQ’s website titled Get started with ProjectQ on IonQ Hardware located here, and an overview of ProjectQ on their website here.
June 25, 2021 – News Brief
Amazon AWS Announces Collaboration with the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN)
Amazon AWS is providing access to Amazon Braket quantum computing capabilities for the INFN’s community, which includes associate researchers from up to 26 universities throughout Italy. The National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) is the Italian research institute dedicated to the study of fundamental particles and interactions; with a long history of science breakthroughs. They are also a partner of the Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMS) based at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Laboratory. The collaboration will including providing the INFN community with access to Amazon’s quantum computing capabilities to help identify potential quantum computing applications in high-energy physics and fundamental physics. It will be supported through the AWS Cloud Credit for Research program. For more information, you can view a press release available on the INFN website here.
June 25, 2021 – News Brief
Comstock Mining Invests in a $15 Million Seed Round in a New Stealth Quantum Company
Comstock Mining is an emerging leader in the sustainable extraction, valorization, and production of innovation-based, clean, renewable natural resources. They have invested $15 million in cash and stock in a newly formed quantum company called Quantum Generative Materials LLC (“GenMat”) with an additional $35 million upon GenMat’s realization of key development milestones. Upon completion of the additional funding, Comstock will own about half of Genmat. Not much is known about Genmat except that they were incorporated in May 2021 in Cheyenne, Wyoming and they are working to commercialize new quantum computing technologies to accelerate material science discovery and development. They are developing a proprietary quantum operating system to develop breakthrough new materials for use in high-impact applications, including batteries, mining and carbon capture and utilization. Comstock has believes that use of the Genmat technology will enhance their lithium-ion battery operations by helping them enhance their lithium extraction and refining operations as well as helping to design better battery components. For additional information, you can view a news release located on the Comstock website here.
June 24, 2021
QC Ware Adds Linear Algebra API’s to their Forge Software
QC Ware has added API’s to perform linear algebra library modules to their Forge software. These routines include matrix multiplication and distance estimationand can be used with the data loader library module that we reported on last year. These modules are all useful for implementation of quantum machine learning applications. Click here for more.
June 23, 2021
Who’s News – Management Additions at Duality, Zapata, and the Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC)
The recently formed Duality Accelerator in Chicago and the European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC) have named their inaugural directors. And Zapata has added a new board member. Click here for the full article.
June 23, 2021 – News Brief
Austrian Government to Provide Funding of €107 Million ($127M USD) for Quantum R&D
The program, called Quantum Austria, will be funded by Austria’s Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and will be administered by the Research Promotion Agency FFG (in German: Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft) and the Science Fund FWF (in German: Fonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung). The program will run until 2026 and proposals will be accepted in three tendering intervals starting this year. Austria is currently the home of two quantum startup companies, Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) and ParityQC, both based in Innsbruck. Three Austrian academic institutions have quantum activity including the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Unniversity of Innsbruck, and the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology. Additional information about Quantum Austria is available in a news release (in German) on the FWF website here.
June 18, 2021
Quantum Computing Inc. Begins a 3 Year CRADA Program with the Los Alamos National Laboratory
The CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Quantum Circuits Inc. will involve in looking at various applications to see how QCI’s Qatalyst and Qgraph software can improve the calculations in both time to solution as well as solution accuracy and solution precision. Optimization algorithns have been well studied in the classical world and some very good algorithms are already available. The goal of this CRADA program will be to find ways to beat out pure classical optimizers and these will set the baseline that the quantum solutions will be compared against. Click here for more.
June 18, 2021
Collaborations: Zapata/BBVA, Seeqc/Riverlane, and IBM/Fraunhofer
Several announcements of quantum computing collaborations were made in the past few days. Zapata and BBVA have developed new algorithms to speed up Monte Carlo simulations used for Credit Valuation Adjustments (CVA) and derivative pricing. Seeqc has demonstrated the operation of Riverlane’s Deltaflow.OS operation system on one of their quantum chips. And IBM and Fraunhofer held an offical unveiling event celebrating the installation of an IBM Quantum System One at Fraunhofer. Click here for the full details.
June 17, 2021 – News Brief
IQM Releases an Open Source Superconducting Quantum Chip Design Tool
The tool, called KQCircuits is an open source Python library jointly developed by Aalto University and IQM that provides a graphics based tool that helps one to design their own quantum processing chip. It appears to be similar to a tool that IBM announced called Qiskit Metal that we described in an article last March. The program allows a user to create their own circuit elements, assemble the circuit elements into a complete design, generate mask layouts, and export files so the design can be simulated either in SPICE (an analog electronic circuit simulator) or finite element modelling (FEM) software such as Ansyss HFSS, Anyss Q3D, and Sonnet. Additional information about KQCircuits can be found in a press release here, a overview web page here, a documentation package here, and a demonstration video here.
June 17, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ’s Ion Trap Quantum Computer Now Available on the Google Cloud
IonQ’s 11 qubit ion trap quantum computer is now available to the public on the Google Cloud beating out Google’s own superconducting quantum computer which is still in a private beta mode. Current Google Cloud customers will be able to access the IonQ machine through the Google Cloud Marketplace using their existing accounts. We had described a week ago how IonQ’s ion trap architecture was being supported by Google’s Cirq and now we have a better idea of why. It also may be interesting to note that one of IonQ’s early investors was GV, Google’s venture capital arm. IonQ’s machine can also be programmed with IBM’s Qiskit, Xanadu’s Penny Lane, and CQC’s tket. Their 11 qubit machine is now available through three of the major cloud vendors including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Braket, and now Google Cloud as well as through direct API access. IonQ has also developed a larger 32 qubit machine and we expect they will make this available to their cloud partners later this year. For more details on this announcement, you can read a news release posted on the IonQ website here and a Getting Started Guide here.
June 16, 2021 – News Brief
University of Texas at Arlington Team Awarded $998K Grant to Develop a Program for Teaching High School Students Quantum Physics
The award for $998,448 has been awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to principal investigators Karen Jo Matsler and Ramon Lopez of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) for development of a training program that trains high school teachers how to incorporate quantum physics into their math, science and engineering curricula. The project will include partners from the University of Pittsburgh and Brigham Young University. The building up of a quantum workforce is a universal concern within the quantum industry because if they cannot hire enough qualified people, it could hinder the industry’s growth. In recent years many programs have been started at the university level to educate college students on quantum technology, but curricula that covers this at the high school level or even younger levels are still very rare. This program will be a step to improve this situation. For more about this award, you can view a news release available on the UTA website here.
June 15, 2021 – News Brief
Arqit Announces Collaborations to Develop a Federated Quantum System for Satellite Quantum Key Distribution for Government Customers
The Federated Quantum Systems (FQS) will be a private instance of Arqit’s QuantumCloud technology oriented for use by government customers who have more stringent requirements for control and require a separate system from those used by commercial customers. Countries that will participate in this system will include the UK, USA, Japan, Canada, Italy, Belgium, and Austria with other Western Allied countries to join later in 2021. Arqit will also have industrial partners for this endeavor including BT, Sumitomo Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Leonardo, QinetiQ, Space N.V., qtlabs and Honeywell. The first satellite for this network will be launched by Virgin Orbit in 2023 from the UK. Arqit will use a patented key distribution protocol called ARQ19 which solves some of the problems associated with other satellite quantum key distribution methods. Arqit had also announced in May that it will become a public company by combining with SPAC Centricus Acquisition Corporation. For more information about the FQS system, you can view a press announcement that Arqit released at the recent G7 Leaders Conference in Cornwall here, and a white paper that describes their QuantumCloud technology here.
June 11, 2021 – News Brief
QUTAC Consortium Formed in Germany to Develop and Promote Quantum Applications
Ten German corporations have come together to form the Quantum Technology and Application Consortium (QUTAC). The founding members include BASF, BMW Group, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bosch, Infineon, Merck, Munich Re, SAP, Siemens, and Volkswagen and have a goal to develop and promote the application of quantum computers for usable industrial applications. The group is looking for technological sovereignty and will work to bring together researchers and industry together to benefit the German and European economies. Activities of the consortium will be to identify, develop, test, and share applications for quantum computing as well as identify funding needs. The consortium has been endorsed by German government officials. In a recent Stimulus and Future Package created by the German government, they have committed to supply almost €2 billion over a five year period to support quantum computing R&D. Additional information is available in a press release announcing the formation of QUTEC here and you can also visit QUTAC’s new website here.
June 10, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ Trapped Ion Computer Now Supported by Google’s Cirq
IonQ’s trapped ion quantum computers already had support from many of the major quantum software development kits including IBM’s Qiskit, Xanadu’s PennyLane, Zapata’s Orquestra, Strangeworks QC and others. The addition of Google’s Cirq adds another one to the list. This will make it easier for software developers who are familiar with Cirq to utilize IonQ’s machines with minimal software changes. And for those who also have access to Google’s Sycamore processor, it would allow someone to easily make comparisons between the two machines. Volkswagen worked with Google and IonQ to create an example of something they call the Paint Shop Problem to show how it would be executed on an IonQ trapped ion machine. They indicated that they found the performance of this problem programmed with the Cirq software to be consistent with other quantum software frameworks. For additional information you can view a news release posted on the IonQ website here.
June 10, 2021 – News Brief
KETS Quantum Security Raises a £3.1 Million ($4.4M USD) Series A Round
The funding round was led by Quantonation and Speedinvest with additional participation from Mustard Seed MAZE. KETS is a quantum security company developing chip-based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) solutions. They are basing their solutions around an integrated photonics technology which they say will provide them with advantages in size, weight, power, and cost. The company is based in Bristol, UK, and is a spinout from the Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QETLabs) at the University of Bristol. Additional information about this new funding for KETS is available in the news release posted on their website here.
June 10, 2021 – News Brief
Qu & Co Reaches a Collaboration Agreement with Airbus
Qu & Co, a quantum software company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, will collaborate with Airbus to investigate the use of quantum computers for flight physics simulations. This area is of particular interest to Airbus and was one of the five problem areas included in their Quantum Computing Challenge contest that they sponsored in 2019-2020. Qu & Co has performed recent research with the University of Exeter on Solving nonlinear differential equations with differentiable quantum circuits that could be applicable to computational fluid dynamics problems such as simulating the airflow over the wing of an aircraft. These problems are very difficult for a classical computer because it requires solving complex non-linear differential equations. Additional details are available in a news release posted on the Qu & Co website and available here.
June 8, 2021 – News Brief
Pasqal Receives €25 Million ($30.4M USD) in Series A Funding
The round was led by Quantonation and the Defense Innovation Fund, managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the Defense Innovation Agency (AID), with additional participation from Runa Capital, Daphni, Eni Next and including a previously announced commitment by the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. Paris based Pasqal is using neutral atom technology to develop analog and digital quantum processors with high connectivity and scalability. Control of the neutral atoms is accomplished through the use of optical tweezers using laser light. Their goal is to have a 1000 qubit quantum processor available by 2023. The funding will be used to advance the development of Pasqal’s analog and digital quantum processors, strengthen its applications co-design approach, build its Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS) hybrid cloud offering and international expansion. The company is already working with a number of partners including Atos, ParityQC, CINECA, GENCI, and EDF. Additional information is available in a news release posted on the Pasqal website here.
June 8, 2021 – News Brief
C12 Quantum Electronics Raises a $10 Million Seed Round
The funding was led by 360 Capital with additional participation from Bpifrance (Digital Venture Fund), Airbus Ventures, BNP Paribas Développement, and Octave Klaba (OVHcloud), and additional grants from Bpifrance and the Ile-de-France Region. Paris based C12 Quantum Electronics is developing a spin qubit quantum device based upon a carbon nanotube technology. They will be building the nanotubes out of isotopically purified 12C isotope of carbon which has zero nuclear spin to provide better coherence times and performance for the device. The company plans on using these device to provide a range of quantum accelerators that can be integrated with classical supercomputers as well as application specific processors for specific applications. The funds will be used to add to their staff and also build a pilot production line for their devices. You can view the press released from C12 Quantum Electronics about this funding available on their website here.
June 8, 2021 – News Brief
Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum Computing Will Combine to From an Independent Company
Honeywell Corporation announced today that it is spinning off its Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS) division and HQS will merge with Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) to form a new independent company that hardware and software quantum solutions to customers. Honeywell Corporation will retain a majority stake in the company and will also invest in it an amount between $270 to $300 million. The new company, as yet unnamed, will still have access to certain Honeywell capabilities such as the wafer fab which builds the ion trap chips. The combined company will have a staff of over 300 and about two-thirds comprised of scientists, many with PhDs. It will also continue to work with other Honeywell division to find applications for its quantum technology inside these other divisions. Darius Adamczyk, Honeywell Chairman and CEO, will also serve as chairman of the new company, Ilyas Khan, currently the CEO and founder of CQC will be the new company’s CEO and Tony Uttley, currently the president of HQS, will serve as the new company’s president. The combination is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Additional information is available in a new release issued by Honeywell which is available here and a blog post here.
June 7, 2021 – News Brief
Council for New Industry Creation through Quantum Technology Being Formed in Japan
Eleven Japanese companies known as the Founders Association met at the end of May and are planning to launch this summer a Council for New Industry Creation through Quantum Technology. The Council will promote the application of quantum technologies to the creation of new industries over the medium to long term in Japan. Personnel from industry, academia and government will work together to investigate general trends in quantum technology, materials, and devices, investigate and make recommendations on application of the technology and the required industrial structure, systems and rules. Additional information about the plans for this new council can be found in a press release posted on the NEC website available here.
June 5, 2021
IBM and QURECA Announce Integrations with the Strangeworks Ecosystem
Strangeworks is continuing to add to the syndicate of quantum providers that they are working with. The integration with IBM will add 28 quantum services, including 9 free quantum computers and 5 hosted simulators, to the Strangeworks ecosystem. QURECA is developing several online courses accessible worldwide to educate and train students, researchers, engineers, scientists, and other interested learners and enthusiasts in quantum technologies and has integrated its platform into the Strangeworks QC™ ecosystem. Click here for the full story.
June 5, 2021 – News Brief
Quantum Delta NL To Build a New 12,000 Square Meter “House of Quantum”
Quantum Delta NL, a collaboration in The Netherlands of five major quantum hubs, to develop quantum technology has announced it is building a new 12,000 square meter (129,000 square feet) headquarters which they are calling “The House of Quantum”. It will be located on the TU Delft campus and construction will be completed in 2024. The building will contain a high-tech environment for developing and testing quantum technology and include a cleanroom for fabricating new quantum devices. This announcement follows an announcement in April that the Dutch government had awarded €615 million ($732M USD) to Quantum Delta NL for quantum R&D. This is the second such announcement of a brand new building being constructed for quantum that we’ve seen in the past 12 months. In August 2020, Amazon AWS announced there were building a 1950 square meter (21,000 square feet) building for their quantum computing research on the campus of Caltech in Pasadena, California. Additional details about Quantum Delta NL’s plans for this new research facility can be found in a news release available on their website here.
June 5, 2021
NCCoE Releases Draft of a Migration to Post-Quantum Cryptography Document
The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), a part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a draft project description for Migration to Post-Quantum Cryptography to implement actions that will ease the migration of public-key cryptographic algorithms to replacement algorithms that are resistant to quantum computer-based attacks. NIST is currently in the later stages to select suitable Post Quantum Cryptography algorithms and expects that process to be completed in the next one to two years. But upgrading the entire digital infrastructure to adopt the new standards will be a huge project that could take as much as 10 years or more. Click here for more.
June 4, 2021 – News Brief
Softbank Will Invest in IonQ and Help to Expand IonQ’s Global Customer Portfolio
Softbank is a well-known Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company that also includes a venture capital branch called the Vision Fund. The companies announced that the Softbank Vision Fund 2 will join IonQ’s investor base in IonQ’s upcoming SPAC transaction that will make it a public company. In addition, Softbank will help IonQ expand access to its machines in areas where Softbank already has exposure and influence. Since Softbank is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, this should give IonQ a significant boost for potential customers in Asia. Additional information can be found in a news release issued by IonQ located here.
June 4, 2021 – News Brief
PolarisQB and Auransa Announce a Research Collaboration Addressing Therapeutics for Diseases That Affect Women
In this partnership PolarisQB will be working with Auransa to target endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, triple negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer, searching for molecules that may be used to treat these conditions that affect women almost exclusively and have been neglected by modern pharmaceutical research. They will be using the Tachyon system PolarisQB has developed, which utilizes quantum computing to simulate the quantum nature of chemical interactions, leading to much faster lead prediction when researching molecular treatments for anything from Dengue Fever to Alzheimers. Auransa has developed a data and AI-driven platform capable of ingesting complex human disease data, large and small, and use that data to understand the biology of complex diseases. They will use their SMarTR Engine to study molecular disease subtypes and predict compounds and targets for responder patient populations. For additional information, you can view a news release located on the PolarisQB website here
June 1, 2021 – News Brief
Zapata Registers for a Legal Entity in the UK
Zapata Computing announced that it will be expanding its footprint with a new legal entity in the UK to supplement its existing offices in Boston, Toronto, and Tokyo. It appears that a key purpose for this expansion, besides supporting universities and enterprise customers based in the UK, is that it will allow the company to work more closely with projects restricted by export control laws or driven by the UK government. For more information, you can view Zapata’s announcement of this launch in a news release located on their website here.
May 31, 2021 – News Brief
Qu&Co and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Launch a 3 Year Collaboration to Research Quantum Applications for Pharmaceutical R&D
Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company founded in 1953 and owned by the multinational Johnson & Johnson. They have developed one of the three Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States. The collaboration with Qu&Co will work to develop and test novel quantum computational algorithms and software for applications in pharmaceutical R&D. The research will include the use of QUBEC, Qu&Co’s platform for chemical and material science simulation. (See our article from earlier this year that provides additional information about QUBEC.) There is a growing emphasis in the pharmaceutical industry to leverage computational chemistry and artificial intelligence techniques to accelerate the process of finding safe and effective drugs to combat illness and disease. The goal of this collaboration will be to find those areas where quantum computing can provide an advantage over existing classical computing techniques to enhance drug discovery. Additional detail about the cooperation between the two companies is available in a news release posted on the Qu&Co website here.
May 29, 2021 – News Brief
Amazon Braket Releases a New Simulator to Help Model Noise in Quantum Hardware
The new simulator, called DM1, is a specially designed quantum simulator based upon density matrices that can be used to model noise in quantum hardware. It supplements two other simulators that Amazon previously had available, the SV1 state vector simulator and the TN1 high performance tensor network simulator for structured quantum circuits. A simulator that can model noise can be very helpful for incorporating noise mitigation techniques in a quantum program so one can get more accurate results when running the program on a real quantum computer. The DM1 can simulate circuits with up to 17 qubits and run up to 35 simulations in parallel. Additional information on this new simulator is available in a blog post posted on the Amazon AWS website here.
May 28, 2021
Phasecraft and Partners Awarded Research Grant to Reduce Errors and Noise in NISQ Computers
The project grant was awarded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) agency and will include Phasecraft and partners in both the UK and Canada including University College London (UK), University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (Canada), Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Canada) and commercial company Quantum Benchmark (Canada). The project will include benchmarking noise on quantum computing platforms, developing new error resistant algorithms, integrate error diagnostics and error mitigation with algorithm design, demonstrate performance on use cases and other things. For more details about the project, click here for the full article.
May 27, 2021
ColdQuanta and Classiq Have Joined the IBM Quantum Network
Two companies announced this week that they have joined the IBM Quantum Network. The first is ColdQuanta, a developer of cold atom quantum technology with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Oxford, UK. They will be integrating IBM’s open source Qiskit quantum software development platform for use with ColdQuanta’s upcoming “Hilbert” 100 qubit computer scheduled to be launched in the second half of this year. You can view ColdQuanta’s news release with additional details here. The second is Classiq, a Tel-Aviv based company creating what they call an algorithm design platform. Their software synthesizes high-level models models into optimized quantum circuits and is intended to make it much easier for end users who are not quantum experts to take advantage of a quantum computer’s capabilities. Classiq has made their algorithm design platform compatible with Qiskit and will offer it to other members of IBM’s Quantum Network. You can view a Medium article from Classiq here.
May 25, 2021
Who’s News – Management Additions at EeroQ, D-Wave and PolarisQB
EeroQ, a quantum hardware startup developing a processor chip based upon an electrons on superfluid helium approach, has announced the appointment of Professor Steve Lyon as Chief Technology Office. Professor Lyon is a professor at Princeton University and runs the Lyon Lab where they have studied semiconductor and quantum devices, nanostructures, and physics for many years. D-Wave has announced that Michele Macready has joined as Senior Vice President of Software, Cloud, and Professional Services. Mark Snedeker has joined as Vice President of Professional Services. Jennifer Houston has been promoted to be the Chief Marketing Officer. And Mark W. Johnson, Ph.D, has been promoted to Vice President, Quantum Technologies and Systems Products. PolariQB has announced that Dr. Ian Reynolds, a world renowned expert in pharmacology, has been added as an advisor to the company. Dr. Reynolds is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with experience at Rewind Therapeutics, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Knopp Biosciences, Merck and other places. Click here for the full article.
May 25, 2021 – News Brief
Keysight Acquires Quantum Benchmark
Keysight Technologies has made its third acquisition in the quantum computing field by acquiring Quantum Benchmark, a company in Waterloo, Canada that specializes in providing software solutions that enable error characterization, error mitigation, error correction and performance validation for quantum computing hardware. This follows Keysights previous acquisitions of Signadyne in 2016 and Labber Quantum in 2019. (See a previous article we posted last month about Keysights’s quantum activities.) The intent is to combine Keysight’s existing control electronics and instrumentation solutions with Quantum Benchmark’s software to provide a more complete offering for quantum hardware developers. For additional details, you can view a news release posted on the Keysight website here.
May 25, 2021
Xanadu Receives a $100 Million (USD) Series B Investment
The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with additional participation from Capricorn, Tiger Global, BDC Capital, In-Q-Tel and returning investors Georgian, OMERS, and Tim Draper. This follows previous investments in Xanadu of $45 Million USD. Xanadu, based in Toronto, Canada, is developing a photonic quantum processor and also provide the hardware agnostic Pennylane software package for machine learning and the Strawberry Fields package for developing algorithms for photonic quantum computers. Click here for more.
May 22, 2021
Sundar Pichai Reiterates Google’s Quantum Plans
For those who are regular readers of the Quantum Computing Report, you probably remember our report from last July on Google’s plans to build a 1 million qubit, error corrected quantum computer by the end of the decade and which also described their construction project for a new Quantum AI Campus in Santa Barbara. These were originally announced at Google’s Quantum Summer Symposium on July 22 and July 23, 2020. At its Think I/O developers conference, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai also described these plans in a as part of his keynote address. For more details about this announcement, click here.
May 22, 2021
InfinityQ to Cooperate with Sofia Tech Park to Install a Quantum-Analog Computing Module with the Discoverer Supercomputer
Sofia Tech Park, a state-owned company, that aims to boost the development of research, innovation and technological capabilities of Bulgaria has reached an agreement with InfinityQ to install InfinityQ’s quantum-analog computing module with the petascale supercomputer Discoverer. This will provide access to Bulgarian and other European researchers so they can investigate how this technology can be used to perform scientific calculations in areas such as molecular dynamics, physics, engineering problems and others. For more details, you can click here to read the full article.
May 22, 2021
Arqit Strikes Deals with BT and Sumitomo
Arqit, a British company that has developed a quantum cybersecurity platform which they call QuantumCloud, has announced two separate deals with larger company to become exclusive resellers of the platform in their respective countries. QuantumCloud is a platform that will allow organizations to distributed symmetric keys for data encryption. The first deal is with BT and will provide BT with exclusive reseller rights to Arqit’s products in the UK. The second deal is with Sumitomo that will provide them with reseller rights to the products in Japan. Click here for more.
May 21, 2021 – News Brief
Quix Sells Its 12 Mode Photonic Processor to Quandela
Quix has announced the sales of another of its 12 mode photonic processors, including the control box and all the peripherals, to French company Quandela. This follows a previous sale they announced last month to Qontrol. Quandela views this processor as a key component to a full quantum computer they are planning to build in 2022. The Quix device uses light photons which travel through silicon nitride waveguides and use quantum interference to perform computations. A big benefit of photonic processors is that they can run at room temperatures and do not require special cooling. The photonic quantum information processing does not provide universal quantum computing capabilities that might be seen in gate based machines but it still can be useful in certain important applications including quantum machine learning and quantum chemistry. For more on this sale, you can view a press release available on the Quix website here.
May 19, 2021 – News Brief
Ireland Launches a National Quantum Engineering Centre
The Irish government will be investing multi-million euros to set up a National Quantum Engineering Centre at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland. The facility will have about 900 square meters of space and the investment will add 45 new quantum research positions including five new senior research leaders. Additional information is available in a news release located on Tyndall’s web site here.
May 18, 2021
ID Quantique Introduces Their 4th Generation QKD Device
The new device from ID Quantique (IDQ) is called Cerberis XG and includes improvements in size, value, and ease of use. It leverages IDQ’s fourteen years of QKD development. The device includes IDQ’s quantum random number generation chip (QRNG) and includes additional security features including tamper detection and a secure memory module. The device can fit into a 19 inch rack panel with a 1U (1.75 inches) height. The device can generate secret keys at a 2kb/second rate over distances of up to 50-80 km. It can work with various network topologies including ring, hub & spoke, and meshed with optical channels that are compatible with the ITU recommendation for Dense-Wavelength-Division-Multiplexing (DWDM). For additional information on the Cerberis XG, you can view IDQ’s press release announcing the product here and visit the product page for the device here.
May 17, 2021
Equal1 Develops a Quantum Processor Chip with Nanosecond Gate Delays, Integrated Qubits & Controls, and a 3.7 Kelvin Operating Temperature
Equal1 announced a new quantum processing chip that highlighted the operation at 3.7 degrees kelvin, but we think everyone missed some of the most important attributes of the chip. Although the current device is still a test chip meant for internal testing, the chip shows very fast gate speed, integration of qubits and control logic on the same piece of silicon, and potential advantages with regards to manufacturing and operating costs. Click here for the full article.
May 17, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ to Provide Free Research Credits to Approved Projects at Accredited Academic Institutions
In order to encourage more innovation in quantum escience and to help train additional members of a future quantum workforce, IonQ has announced a new program to provide free research credits for approved projects. The program is available to all graduate students, faculty, and other researchers and teachers at accredited academic institutions. The maximum amount of the award would be $10,000 with the credit usage based upon the number qubits, gates, and iterations used in each run. IonQ has provided a Resource Estimator on its website for those who want to estimate the cost. For example, a circuit with 32 qubits, 50 one-qubit gates, 25 two-qubit gates, and 1000 shots per iteration would use $9.00 worth of credits per iteration. People wishing to apply for this grant can fill out an application form which can be found on the IonQ website here before a deadline of June 15, 2021 for the first cohort. Additional details about this program are also available in a news release here and an FAQ listing here.
May 14, 2021
German Government to Provide 2 Billion Euros ($2.4B USD) for Quantum Research and Development
Two German government ministries will fund quantum R&D for a total of almost €2 billion over a five year period. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will contribute €1.1 billion and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) will contribute €878 million. Part of the funds will be allocated to developing a competitive quantum computer in Germany within the next five years. Read the full article here.
May 14, 2021
Intel/QuTech Provide Test Results for Their Horse Ridge Cryogenic Quantum Control Chip
We previously reported on Intel’s development of the Horse Ridge and Horse Ridge II cryogenic control chips that would allow generation of the necessary microwave pulses to control spin qubits at a temperature of 3 degrees kelvin right near the qubits themselves. This eliminates the requirement to route coaxial cables from external room temperature control electronics down to the qubits through the refrigerator, which becomes extremely difficult as the number of qubits increases. In a paper published this week in Nature, Intel and QuTech performance data of the Horse Ridge chip in a system. Click here for more.
May 14, 2021 – News Brief
D-Wave and CINECA Announce a Collaboration to Offer Expanded Access to D-Wave’s Quantum Cloud Service to the Italian Scientific Community
D-Wave and CINECA, the Italian inter-university consortium and one of the world’s leading global supercomputing centers have announced a formal collaboration to offer Italian universities, researchers, and developers expanded access to practical quantum computing technology and resources through D-Wave’s Leap™ quantum cloud service. CINECA is an Italian consortium composed of 69 Italian Universities, 25 national research institutes and government ministries formed to support the Italian scientific community with supercomputing and scientific visualization tools. They current possess several classical supercomputers shown on the TOP500 list and have a mission to support Italy’s scientific community and improve quantum computing literacy and skills training for university partners. Earlier this year CINECA announced an agreement with French company Pasqal to access their forthcoming “Fresnel” 100-qubits processor later this year. You can view D-Wave’s news release announcing this collaboration on their website here.
May 13, 2021
IBM Releases Qiskit Runtime for Private Beta
Back in February, we described a new capability that IBM was developing called Qiskit Runtime. This capability can be particularly useful for hybrid classical/quantum algorithms such as QAOA and VQE where data is passed back and forth between the classical and quantum computers multiple times. By co-locating the classical and the quantum computers together and having them both run within Qiskit Runtime execution environment latencies can be reduced and queueing times minimized resulting in a great improvement in the overall runtime of the program. IBM has now made this capability available in a private beta to selected members of the IBM Quantum Network and have indicated they will make it more publicly available soon. Click here for the full article.
May 13, 2021
Quantum Delta NL Creates LightSpeed to Connect Dutch Quantum Startups with Investment Capital
Quite often the founders of a new quantum startup company may have come from an academic or technical background and may not have experience in raising capital or other commercial activities in running a business. In order to support Dutch quantum startup companies with scaling their business and fundraising Quantum Delta NL, a public-private partnership of global tech companies, government agencies and all major quantum research centers in the Netherlands created to strengthen the quantum ecosystem in The Netherlands, has created a program called LightSpeed to connect Dutch startups with potential investors in Europe and the United States. LightSpeed will help startups find investors, perform scenario planning, assess cap tables and raise funds so that they can grow. Click here for more.
May 13, 2021
Funding Announcements (USD Equivalents): Arqit ($400M), ColdQuanta ($20M), Qnami ($4.4M), QphoX ($2.4M) and Agnostiq ($2M)
Arqit, a UK based company formed in 2017, will combine with Centricus Acquisition Corporation. The combined business will have a pro forma enterprise value of about $1 billion with $400 million of gross proceeds available for Arqit. Arqit has developed a product they call QuantumCloud which will allow organizations to exchange symmetric keys for encrypted data communications. ColdQuanta announced it has secured an additional $20 million in funding from existing investors including Foundry Group, Global Frontier Quantum Opportunity Fund, LCP Quantum Partners and Maverick Ventures to commercialize its cold atom quantum technology. Swiss startup Qnami announced has close of a 4.0 million Swiss franc ($4.4M USD) Series A financing round led by Runa Capital and SIT Capital and supported by seed round investors Quantonation, Verve Ventures, ZKB Start-up Finance and the High Tech Gründerfond. QphoX in The Netherlands has raised €2 million ($2.4M USD) from investors including Quantonation, Speedinvest and High-Tech Gründerfonds, with participation from TU Delft. The company is building what they call the world’s first quantum modem device, connecting quantum computers across a quantum network. Agnostiq has secured a $2 million seed round funding led by Differential Ventures with additional participation from from Scout Ventures, Tensility Venture Partners, Boost VC, and Green Egg Ventures. Agnostiq is developing a platform with three main technologies including workflow management tools, privacy and quantum obfuscation tools, and pre-built applications such as portfolio optimization and options pricing. Click here for the full article.
May 10, 2021 – News Brief
Chinese Team Develops a 62 Qubit Superconducting Processor
A Chinese research team from the University of Science and Technology of China has developed a programmable 62 qubit superconducting processor. The qubits are arranged in an 8×8 two dimensional configuration so it appears that only 62 out of the 64 qubits were operational. The team has been able to implement what they call Quantum Walks on the processor. A paper on this development has been posted on the website of Science magazine and you can view the abstract and access the full article here.
May 8, 2021 – News Brief
evolutionQ Introduces Quantum Delivery Network (QDN) to Help Extend QKD Networks
The software product from evolutionQ is called BasejumpQDN and is designed to help users overcome the limitations of QKD networks. Chief among these is the distance limitation inherent in fiber optic cables due to signal loss. While classical optical communications networks can solve this by installing classical repeaters every few hundred kilometers, the No Cloning theorem for quantum qubits prevents one from copying qubits so creating these types of repeaters is more difficult. BasejumpQDN solves this problem by allowing a user to create a Trusted Node between quantum links that will allow a network to expand beyond the distance limitations. BasejumpQDN will also allow a user to set up a demonstration or simulated QKD network even without actual QKD devices to allow organizations to experiment with this technology and develop business cases before installing a full network. For more on BasejumpQDN, you can view a news release from evolutionQ that announces the product here and you can also view a webpage on the evolutionQ website that provides additional detail on the product here.
May 7, 2021 – News Brief
Atos and SENAI CIMATEC Form the Latin America Quantum Computing Center (LAQCC)
French multi-national information technology company Atos and Brazilian non-profit institution SENAI CIMATEC are teaming together to form the Latin America Quantum Computing Center (LAQCC), a center of excellence for quantum computing dedicated to the business sector. The center will promote adoption of quantum technologies, provide training for workforce development and encourage scientific research. The center will include a unit of the Atos Quantum Learning Machine which is a special purpose simulation system that can simulate algorithms of up to 35 qubits. Additional details about this announcement can be found in the news release located on the Atos website here.
May 7, 2021 – News Brief
U.S. DOE to Provide Funding of $10 Million for Use of QIS for Discovering, Exploration and Understanding of Nuclear Matter
The interaction of nuclear matter at the atomic and subatomic level can be very complex and difficult to model using classical computers. To help further understanding of what happens with nuclear matter at these levels, particularly under unique conditions like the Big Bang, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting proposals to research to use Quantum Information Science (QIS) to help scientists better understand these interactions. They have budgeted up to $10 Million for a three year period for support various projects to perform research in this area. The potential scope of the program is quite broad and includes funding to advance QIS capabilities to enable improved collaboration between the QIS and the Nuclear Physics (NP) communities, broad theory projects to develop new methods and algorithms to better understand nuclear phenomena, research to understand how quantum sensors can be applied for nuclear physics applications, workforce development, and ramping up engagement through workshops, conferences, and principal investigator meetings. Funding is potentially available to all accredited U.S. colleges and universities, national laboratories, nonprofits, and private sector companies. The deadline for proposal submissions is May 21, 2021. Additional details are available in a Funding Opportunity Announcement on the DOE’s Office of Science and Technical Information here.
May 7, 2021
Thales and Senetas Team to Offer a Post Quantum Cryptography Solution
French multinational Thales and Australian company Senetas have announced a post quantum cryptography solution for enterprises and governments around the world. Although most experts believe it will still be somewhere between 10 an 30 years before a powerful enough quantum computer is created that can factor a large semi-prime number and hence break the RSA encryption code used for key exchange, there is a concern about an attack that we call “Harvest Now, Decrypt Later”. Click here for more.
May 5, 2021 – News Brief
ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institut Are Jointly Establishing a New Quantum Computing Hub in Switzerland
The new center’s goal is to develop new quantum computers based upon both ion trap and superconducting technologies. ETH has already developed a superconducting quantum chip with 17 qubits and they are now looking to develop a quantum computer with 100 qubits. The center will initially be funded with 32 million Swiss Francs ($35M USD), will employ about 30 researchers and will be located on the Paul Scherrer Institut campus in Villigen, Canton of Aargau, Switzerland. Additional information is available in a news release posted on the ETH website here.
May 5, 2021
Archer Signs New Agreement with IBM and Focuses Company on Advanced Materials
Australian company Archer has announced it has signed an agreement to extend its relationship with IBM as a member of the IBM Quantum Network and the associated IBM Quantum Startup program. Last month, Archer announced that it is spinning off all of its mineral tenement assets (mineral exploration licenses, mining leases or other mineral claims) in order to focus the company on advanced materials for deep tech applications. Click here for the full article.
May 5, 2021
CQC Announces Collaboration with the German Aerospace Center and Joins the Strangeworks Quantum Syndicate
Cambridge Quantum Computing’s (CQC) has announced they are partnering with the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luftund Raumfahrt or DLR) to use CQC’s software to solve partial differential equations that can render a 1D simulation of a lithium ion battery cell. And in a second announcement CQC disclosed they will become part of Strangework’s Quantum Syndicate joining other companies including many of the major companies involved with hardware, cloud services, software, consulting services, education, and other resources. They will integrate their tket architecture agnostic software stack to Strangework’s ecosystem to provide high-performance features and enterprise level support. For more, click here.
May 1, 2021 – News Brief
infinityQ Announces infinityQube, a Quantum Analog Computer
Montreal based infinityQ has announced it has developed a quantum analog computer that takes a different approach to leverage quantum effects to achieve high performance for solving complex optimization problems, linear system and FFT calculations. Not much is known about this machine except that it runs at room temperature, is available now via the cloud on an invitation only basis and will make an industry debut at the Inside Quantum Technology New York online conference being held on May 17-21, 2021. Some additional information is available in a news release on the infinityQ website available here.
April 30, 2021
QC Ware Announces Collaborations with Goldman Sachs and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
QC Ware has announced two different collaborations with Goldman Sachs and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to leverage their advanced algorithms to create efficient solutions for implementing Quantum Monte Carlo and Quantum Machine Learning on near term NISQ computers. Although some of the earlier quantum algorithms developed for these tasks would require very large error corrected quantum computers that are not expected to be available for another 10 years or more, QC Ware’s goal is to provide solutions that can run on near-term quantum computers available in the next 5-10 years. For more details, click here to read our full article.
April 27, 2021
NTT Research to Collaborate with the Tokyo Institute of Technology to Develop Applications for their Coherent Ising Machine
NTT Research Inc., has entered into a new agreement to perform joint research with the Tokyo Institute of Technology to investigate two specific applications for their CIM machines. The first is in the area of drug discovery where the interactions between potential drugs and proteins can be expressed as a combinatorial optimization problem. The second application area they call compressed sensing, also known as sparse sampling, that would allow a computer quickly scan through huge data sets to discard those pieces of data that contain no useful information. Click here for the full article.
April 23, 2021 – News Brief
Another Quantum Startup Incubator Being Formed in Maryland
The University of Maryland has announced it is setting up a new quantum focused incubator for startup companies that they will call Quantum Startup Foundry. This incubator would be the second quantum focused startup incubator in the United States following the Duality incubator in Chicago that was announced earlier this month. Funding will include an initial $25 million investment from the university’s Discovery Fund with funding from the state of Maryland. Participants will have access to the quantum facilities that already exist at the University of Maryland as well as business mentors who can provide guidance that can help a company on the commercial side. The plans for the Quantum Startup Foundry are still at an early stage, but you can see a few more details in a news release posted here.
April 22, 2021 – News Brief
Canadian Government to Invest $360 Million CAD ($288M USD) for Quantum R&D Over the Next Seven Years
As part of its Budget 2021 A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience proposal, the Canadian government has proposed spending $360 Million Canadian dollars to launch a National Quantum Strategy. The goal is to amplify Canada’s significant strength in quantum research, grow their quantum-ready technologies, companies, and talent, and solidify Canada’s global leadership in quantum technologies. Details of this strategy will be released later this year. Additional information is available on page 149 of the Budget 2021 document available for download here.
April 21, 2021 – News Brief
Xanadu’s Pennylane Software Now Supports IonQ’s Trapped Ion Computers
Xanadu has issued a new release of their Pennylane software and it now includes a plug-in that can natively support IonQ’s trapped ion machines. This support extends Pennylane’s support for already a wide variety of quantum hardware platforms from IBM, Google, Rigetti, AQT, Pasqal, Honeywell, Amazon Braket, and Xanadu’s own Strawberry Fields. Additional details are available in a blog posting on the Pennylane website here and a documentation page for the Pennylane-IonQ Plugin here.
April 21, 2021 – News Brief
NEC Australia and D-Wave Team for Australia Department of Defence Demonstration
The two companies will work together to demonstrate how hybrid quantum computing technology can solve a “last mile resupply” problem by calculating how autonomous vehicles can resupply army forces from a central base in an optimum way. NEC and D-Wave had signed an agreement in November 2019 to work jointly on sales, marketing and applications development and this is the first such customer engagement the two have had together outside of Japan. Additional details are available in the press release located on the D-Wave website here.
April 19, 2021
Two U.S. Senators Introduce Bills to Support Quantum Research and Workforce Development
Two U.S. Senators, Republican John Thune and Democrat Margaret Wood, have introduced two bill in the U.S. Senate to support quantum research and workforce development. The first bill, S.1197 known as the QUANTUM for National Security Act of 2021 with several proposed actions for the Department of Defense. The second bill, S.1161 known as the Quantum Network Infrastructure and Workforce Development Act of 2021, contains several directives for the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). For additional details on these proposed bills, click here.
April 19, 2021
Quantum Brilliance and Quantum South Partner to Develop QC Solutions for Shipping Logistics Optimization
In collaboration between two companies located in the Southern Hemisphere, Australian company Quantum Brilliance is partnering with Uruguay based Quantum South to develop and market solutions for solving complex shipping logistics problems. A key problem for these companies is figuring out the best way of loading freight into one or many vehicles in order to maximize either weight distribution, delivery times, or profit. Click here for more.
April 17, 2021
U.S. Government Issues Three Funding Opportunity Announcements for Quantum Research
Three different U.S. government requests for proposals have been issued for different types of quantum research. The first is from the Department of Energy to provide $25 million for basic research toward the development of a quantum internet with a goal of building a regional scale test bed. The second announcement is from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) in collaboration with the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS) for research in the next New and Emerging Qubit Science and Technology (nextNEQST) program. nextNEQST focuses on qubit systems that explore new operating regimes and environments, fundamentally new methods of fabrication, and new methods of design, control, or operation. The third is from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) in partnership with NSA’s Laboratory for Physical Science (LPS) for Incubator, Collaboration, and Fellowship research proposals for participation in the LPS Qubit Collaboratory (LQC). For more information about these announcements, click here.
April 17, 2021
European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC) Formed, Holds First General Assembly Meeting
The European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC) held its first virtual general assembly meeting last week with more than 100 members from the European quantum community. This consortium can be regarded as the European equivalent of the U.S. Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) with a mission to promote and foster the interests of the European quantum industry. QuIC has been set up as a private non-profit organization under German law and will have headquarters in Jülich. Click here for the full article.
April 16, 2021 – News Brief
First IBM Q System One Installed in Europe
The first IBM Quantum System One has been installed in Europe as part of a joint project we first reported on back in September 2019 between IBM and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The machine has been installed in an IBM facility in the town of Ehningen (near Stuttgart) in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg for exclusive use by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and its partners. It will be operated under German legislation, which is an important advantage for users in terms of data protection and IP security. The machine will be used as part of the activities of the Competence Center Quantum Computing Baden-Württemberg. This installation represents a milestone as it is the first IBM quantum computer installed outside of the United States. Additional information is available in a news release issued by Fraunhofer that you can find here.
April 16, 2021
Who’s News – Recent Management Additions in the Quantum Industry
Reflecting the dynamism of the industry, a number of management additions have been recently announced at companies including Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC), ColdQuanta, Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI), Quantropi and Oxford Instruments Nanoscience. Click here for details.
April 15, 2021 – News Brief
Qu&Co Collaborates with LG Electronics on QC Research
Qu&Co and LG Electronics (LG) have announced a three year project to develop and test quantum algorithms for multiphysics simulation. The core of the research appears to be based upon a method of “Solving nonlinear differential equations with differentiable quantum circuits” and described by Qu&Co and the University of Exeter in a paper posted on arXiv. This particular paper shows how their algorithm could be used to solve an instance of Navier-Stokes equations, and compute density, temperature and velocity profiles for the fluid flow in a convergent-divergent nozzle. But the potential applications of this technique can be wide ranging, especially for a company like LG that manufactures consumer and commercial products ranging from TVs, home appliances, air solutions, mobile devices, monitors, service robots and automotive components with revenues in 2020 of more than $56 billion and over 74,000 employees. Qu&Co is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and LG is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Additional information about this collaboration can be found in a news release on the Qu&Co website here.
April 15, 2021 – News Brief
Australian NSW Ministry Partners with Q-CTRL to Investigate QC Usage for Transport Optimization
Transport for NSW, a ministry of the Australian state of New South Wales is partnering with Q-CTRL to see if quantum computing can help them better manage NSW’s complex transportation network. New South Wales, which includes the busy city of Sydney, has multiple trains, busses, ferries, trams and motorways used to move people around. One topic being explored is updating schedules in real time if there is crowding on the network. The demand for public transportation can change dramatically when there are massive public events and the ability to have a quantum computer run an optimization program in real time to adjust the schedules could significantly improve efficiency and reduce congestion problems. As part of the engagement, Q-CTRL will undertake custom development of their FIRE OPAL enterprise software which allows end-users of quantum computers to take advantage of our capabilities in robust quantum gates and algorithms. For more information, you can view a news release located on Transport for NSW’s website here and a video interview about the program with Q-CTRL President and University of Sydney Professor Michael Biercuk here.
April 15, 2021 – News Brief
Hebrew University and AWS Announce Quantum Research Agreement; AWS Provides Cloud Credits to Israeli Universities
The AWS Center for Quantum Computing, located on the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California, will be funding research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem aimed at finding ways of designing quantum gates to improve gate fidelity. This problem is one of the most significant challenges facing the industry in order to reach quantum advantage and this problem is being investigated by many groups worldwide. The effort will be led by Professor Alex Retzker of the AWS Center for Quantum Computing and also The Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University. As a second effort Amazon also announced that it is supporting independent research using Amazon Braket at the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Bar-Ilan University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem through their AWS Cloud Credit for Research Program. This program supports academic research by providing credits that can be used on AWS’s cloud computers for specific projects. For more about Amazon’s activites to support quantum research at universities in Israel, you can view a news release from the Hebrew University here and a blog post on the AWS website here.
April 15, 2021 – News Brief
QCI’s Qatalyst Optimization Software Now Available on AWS
We previously reported on the announcement of Quantum Computing Inc’s (QCI) Qatalyst constrained optimization software last February. It is now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. The Qatalyst software allows an end user to describe their problem at a high level as a constrained optimization problem and not worry about the complexities of learning how to program a quantum computer. Another advantage of the software is that it provides users with a broad choice of hardware platforms for running their problem to see which one gives them the best result. The Qatalyst software can be used with pure classical computers using classical optimization algorithms or through Amazon Braket it can be run on quantum computers from D-Wave, Rigetti, and IonQ. Additional information about this announcement can be found in a news release issued by QCI here.
April 14, 2021 – News Brief
Delft Circuits Receives a New Venture Capital Investment
Delft Circuits, a supplier of Cri/oFlex® cabling solutions for use in routing coaxial signals in cryogenic environments used in many quantum computers has received a late seed round venture investment from High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Scholt Group, and QuVest Capital for an undisclosed amount. Delft Circuits was formed in 2017 and now has over 50 customers worldwide. For additional information, you can view the news release located on the Delft Circuits website here.
April 13, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ’s Ion Trap Quantum Computer Now Supported by Qiskit
Qiskit, an open source quantum programming platform developed by IBM, now has an IonQ backend that will allow users to run Qiskit programs on an IonQ ion trap quantum computer. Qiskit is one of the world’s most widely used quantum programming platforms with over 320,000 registered users. So these users will now be able to run many of their existing Qiskit programs with minimal modification greatly extending IonQ’s potential user base. Currently, this capability is available for use on IonQ’s 11 qubit system directly through IonQ’s cloud platform. It is not available for those trying to access the IonQ machine through the AWS Braket or the Microsoft Azure cloud services nor is it available yet for use with IonQ’s 32 qubit ion trap computer. Additional information about the Qiskit support for IonQ’s quantum computer can be found in a news release here, a Getting Started guide here and the GitHub repository here.
April 12, 2021
NVIDIA Announces SDK for Quantum Simulation on GPUs
NVIDIA has just announced an SDK (Software Development Kit) called cuQuantum that provides simulation capabilities on NVIDIA’s latest GPUs. The package contains APIs that allow one to create a quantum program in one of the common frameworks such as Qiskit, Cirq, ProjectQ, Q#, and others and then simulate it on a platform that contains one of the recent generation of NVIDIA GPUs. The SDK currently supports two different methods of simulation using State Vector and Tensor Network simulation algorithms. For more about this announcement, click here.
April 10, 2021
IBM Releases New Version of Qiskit; Adds Additional Libraries for Natural Sciences and Machine Learning
IBM has released version 0.25 of its Qiskit quantum programming platform with the biggest changes related to a restructuring and extension of their application libraries. Previously they had introduced a package called Qiskit Aqua that included application modules for chemistry, AI, optimization and finance. Qiskit Aqua was a separate package independent of the core Qiskit Terra. In this new release they have moved and extended these application module into Qiskit Terra with application modules now called Qiskit Nature, Finance, Optimization and Machine Learning. Besides the restructuring, IBM is expanding its support for various natural sciences applications by including new routines to model and solve domain-specific problems in the physics, material science and biology domains in addition to the previously supported chemistry domain. Also, the new application module for Machine Learning represents a major upgrade from what was previously available in Qiskit. Click here to read the full article.
April 9, 2021 – News Brief
The Netherlands has Awarded €615 Million ($732M USD) to Quantum Delta NL for Quantum R&D
The award was provided by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy’s National Growth Fund to Quantum Delta NL, a public-private partnership of tech companies, government agencies, and all major quantum research centers in the Netherlands. The goals for this award will be to train 2,000 researchers and engineers in quantum technology, scale 100 quantum startups and establish three major corporate R&D centers in the Netherlands by 2027. The Netherlands had previously released a National Agenda for Quantum Technology in October 2019 with an objective of having the country become a major player in the quantum industry. This award will provide full funding to the plans described in that agenda for the period from 2021 to 2027. For more about this award, you can view the full press release on the Quantum Delta NL website here.
April 9, 2021 – News Brief
U.S. Air Force and NSF Award $1 Million in Grants to University of Massachusetts Lowell Professor
The grants were made in two separate early career awards to Professor Archana Kamal at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMASS Lowell). The first award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research is for $450,000 over three years to study tunable quantum dissipation. The goal of this research is to correct quantum errors by controlling the environment seen by a quantum system rather than controlling the system directly. The second grant is for $557,000 over five years from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The objective of both of these research efforts is to mitigate errors and improve decoherence times that can arise in quantum systems so that they are more able to compute correct solutions. For more information about these awards, you can view a news release available on the UMass Lowell website here.
April 7, 2021
Duality, a Quantum Startup Accelerator, Launched in Chicago
Duality is a startup accelerator designed to bridge the gap from laboratory to the marketplace. They will offer 12 month programs to selected teams in yearly cohorts that provide entrepreneurial training, business expertise and mentorship, technical expertise, access to state-of-the-art facilities, industry exposure and $50,000 in unrestricted funding. It is the first such accelerator devoted on quantum in the United States, although a similar program called the Creative Destruction Lab, Quantum Stream, has been running for several years out of the University of Toronto and has spawned several well-known quantum startups. The accelerator will be led by the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and the Chicago Quantum Exchange. Also participating will be founding partners including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, and Chicago innovation promotion organization P33. Click here for more.
April 6, 2021
Quantum Xchange Expands their Quantum-Safe Encryption Product Line with Phio TX-D
We first reported on Quantum Xchange’ flagship Phio TX product in October 2019 when they introduced the concept of providing extra security for encryption keys with a separate out-of-band symmetric key distribution system that is separate from the main data channel. This system can be compatible with other encryption technologies including physics-based QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) and software-based PQC (Post Quantum Cryptography). Previously, the company was solely offering QKD solutions, but felt it was worthwhile offering solutions that could go beyond the limitations of QKD. They expanded the Phio TX family last year with a cloud version called Phio TX-C and now have expanded it again with the Phio TX-D. The Phio TX-D is a smaller, lower cost option specially meant for use by small and medium branch office locations and remote users. These units are meant to be tied into a Phio TX or Phio TX-D network to ensure resiliency, redundancy, quantum entropy and perform key routing calculations. Click here for the full article.
April 3, 2021
DARPA Announces Funding Opportunity for Quantum Benchmarking
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) calling for proposals for research in the area of quantum benchmarking. Proposed research should quantify the long-term utility of quantum computers. In particular, proposed research should center around either (1) the creation of application-specific, hardware-agnostic benchmarks for quantum computer utility or (2) hardware resource estimation for quantum computers. Click here more.
April 3, 2021 – News Brief
Riken, Fujitsu Partner to Develop a Superconducting Quantum Computer
We previously reported on Fujitsu’s intent to partner with Riken to research superconducting quantum computers and this week they have announced the formal launch of the project. The project is now called the RIKEN RQC – Fujitsu Collaboration Center and is located within the RIKEN Center for Quantum Computing in Wako, Saitama, Japan. The project will have a goal of producing a 1000 qubit superconducting quantum computer and it officially began on April 1, 2021 with expectations of finishing by March 31, 2025. The project will include research on both quantum hardware as well as quantum software including error mitigation technologies. For more on this announcement, you can view the news release located on the Fujitsu website here.
April 2, 2021 – News Brief
Creative Destruction Lab is Now Accepting Founder Applications for its 2021/22 Quantum Stream
The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL-Toronto) located at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto has spawned a large number of successful startup companies in the quantum industry. Examples of companies that have gone through this program include Xanadu, Entropica Labs, Boxcat, Menten, ProteinQure and many others. The Quantum Stream CDL Quantum Stream involves an intensive 4-week technical and business quantum bootcamp instructed by industry and academic leaders in quantum technologies and machine learning, followed by five objective-setting sessions between October and June. As part of the program, participants will gain access to quantum systems provided by CDL’s technology partners, including D-Wave, IBM Q, Rigetti, Xanadu and Zapata Computing. There are no fees to participate for those accepted into the program. CDL is now accepting applications from both individuals and quantum startup teams for the 2021/2022 session that starts on July 5, 2021. The final application deadline is May 23, 2021. To learn more about the Quantum Stream at CDL-Toronto, you can visit their web page here and to submit an application to participate, you can visit their web page here.
April 2, 2021 – News Brief
Quix Sells Its 12 Mode Quantum Photonic Processor to UK-Based Qontrol
We reported on Quix announcement of its 12 mode processor last December and now they have announced their first sale of the device to a UK-based company, Qontrol, which makes control electronics and supporting infrastructure for multi-channel photonic integrated circuits. The device is a low-loss, 12-mode fully tunable linear interferometer with all-to-all coupling based on stoichiometric silicon nitride waveguides. It is arranged in a 12×12 configuration and can be programmed using the thermo-optic effect that employs heat to steer the path of light. The device is compatible with all photon sources. For more on Quix’ announcement, you can view a news release on their website here.
March 31, 2021
ColdQuanta Hires New CFO, Financial Advisor and Plans a Fund Raise, 100 Qubit Computer in 2021
With a new interim CEO recently announced, ColdQuanta is adding to its team by naming Rushton McGarr as Chief Financial Officer and that it has retained the services of PJ Solomon to guide the company in an upcoming capital raise. ColdQuanta is a little different from other quantum companies because they develop a wide variety of quantum related products including quantum computers, quantum clocks, quantum positioning systems, and quantum RF sensors. Their current quantum computer development, codenamed Hilbert, is planned to be a 100 qubit processor with high connectivity and fidelity. The machine is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021 and will be installed in ColdQuanta’s Boulder facility. Click here for the full article.
March 31, 2021
Zurich Instruments Introduces a New Generation of Signal Generators for Quantum Applications
The new SHFSG covers a complete frequency range from DC to 8.5 GHZ in a single box and succeeds the company’s previous two box solution that supported a more limited frequency range. It has been designed specifically for superconducting and spin qubits and takes advantage of the super-heterodyne frequency conversion technique to ensure better linearity and fewer spurious tones than with standard IQ-mixer-based methods. Cleaner control signals can potentially help the quantum gates achieve higher gate fidelities. Click here for more.
March 31, 2021 – News Brief
IBM Announces a 10 Year Partnership with the Cleveland Clinic to Include Installation of an On-site Quantum Computer
The partnership with the Cleveland Clinic includes a broad array of advanced computing technologies including hybrid cloud, high performance Computing, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing technologies for use by the newly launched Cleveland Clinic Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health. The Cleveland Clinic will have use of IBM’s cloud-based quantum computers, but, most significantly, will include installation of IBM’s planned 1121 qubit quantum computer, codenamed Condor, on the Cleveland Clinic campus in 2023. To our knowledge this would be the first on-premise installation of an IBM quantum computer outside of an IBM facility. These on-premise quantum installations are quite rare because they require dealing with a whole new set of issues including physical infrastructure, maintenance, field service, spare parts, calibration, etc. that generally make it more challenging for both the customer and the vendor versus cloud-based access. However, some parties may choose to go this route anyway when there are large security and privacy considerations. For more on IBM’s announcement with the Cleveland Clinic, you can view the news release located on the IBM website here.
March 30, 2021 – News Brief
IBM Offers Quantum Developer Certification Program
In order to encourage developers to learn IBM’s Qiskit quantum programming platform, IBM is now offering a Quantum Developer Certification Program. Such a certification may be useful for people looking for a job in the quantum industry or convincing their employer that they have quantum skills. The test consists of 60 questions on the Pearson VUE platform that a user answers online related to programming a quantum computer using Qiskit. The normal costs for certification are $200, but IBM is offering free vouchers to the first 1,000 community members who are taking their initial test. This test is apparently the first of a series that IBM is developing. Follow-on certifications will focus on specific areas of applications such as optimization, computational chemistry, and finance. For more about this certification program, you can view an article IBM has published on Medium here, you can register for the exam here and to apply for a voucher so you can take your first exam for free, you can visit a web page here.
March 27, 2021 – News Brief
Aliro Quantum Partners with NSF Funded Institute for Hybrid Quantum Architectures and Networks (HQAN)
The NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute Hybrid Architectures and Networks (HQAN) is led by the University of Illinois’ IQUIST, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago. In addition to these three Midwest research powerhouses, which are members of the Chicago Quantum Exchange, the HQAN program integrates industry and government labs. HQAN is creating three quantum testbeds with multiple kinds of quantum hardware that will develop the technology needed to assemble a hybrid quantum processor and network to demonstrate distributed quantum processing and communication protocols. Aliro will share its expertise in quantum network design through collaborative research projects as well as assist in workforce development efforts at HQAN. One of the tools that Aliro will be using with this project includes Q.Network, a dedicated cloud quantum network simulator to help in each step of building near-term quantum networks. Additional details about this announcement are available in the news release that you can find here.
March 26, 2021 – News Brief
Abu Dhabi’s QRC to Construct UAE’s First Quantum Computer in Collaboration with Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech
The Quantum Research Centre (QRC), part of Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII) will partner with Barcelona-based Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech to build a superconductor based quantum computer. The project will be led by QRC’s Chief Researcher Professor José Ignacio Latorre, The chips will be made in Abu Dhabi with a goal of creating the first simple quantum chips by the end of the summer. For more information about this effort, you can view the news release from the Technology Innovation Institute here.
March 26, 2021
QCI Introduces QGraph Software for Graph Analytics
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) has announced a software package called QGraph that helps to analyze problems specified as graphs, a collection of nodes and vertices. These types of problems are very common in logistics problems in areas such as route optimization, package delivery services, network optimization, sales intelligence and many others. To solve this type of problem the QGraph package coverts a problem specified as a graph to a constrained optimization problem and then submits it to QCI’s previously announced Qatalyst software which can solve constrained optimization problems on a variety of different computers, both classical and quantum. Click here for the full article.
March 25, 2021
Oxford Instruments Introduces a Larger and More Powerful Dilution Refrigerator
As the quantum hardware developers continue to scale up the number of qubits, they will need larger and more powerful dilution refrigerators to hold larger chips and keep them at colder temperatures. Although we often focus on innovations at the quantum chip level, innovations by the supporting component suppliers are also important for advancement of the quantum industry. To support this, Oxford Instruments has introduced a larger fridge they call the ProteoxLX. Key features of this new system is a large sample size diameter of 530 mm versus the 360 mm available in the previous ProteoxMX product. It also has twice the cooling power with two pulse tube refrigerators (PTR) and a capability to achieve a cooling power of greater than 25 microwatts compared to 12 microwatts of the previous product at a temperature of 20 millikelvin. Click here for the full article.
March 23, 2021
Quantum Brilliance to Install NV Diamond Based Quantum Accelerator at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
Quantum Brilliance‘ installation at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre will initially be with a small two qubit device to be used as a field test to test out device integration with a classical supercomputer in a hybrid classical/quantum environment. The software platform used to program it will be the XACC (eXtreme scale ACCelerator) software framework originally developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The company plans on scaling up the installation to larger systems as these basic integration and programming technologies mature. Click here for the full article.
March 23, 2021 – News Brief
Zapata Announces Partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will become a licensed users of Zapata’s Orquestra quantum workflow manager. The university, established in 2009 and located in Saudi Arabia is a private graduate research university devoted to find solutions for scientific and technological challenges in the areas of food, water, energy and the environment. They will use Orquestra to research how quantum computing tools can be applied in the area of computational fluid dynamics for use cases in airplane and automobile aerodynamics design. Details about this announcement can be found in Zapata’s news release here.
March 20, 2021
IBM Releases Qiskit Metal for General Availability
Back in October, we wrote about a new program called Qiskit Metal that IBM had in beta test. This program is an open source electronic design automation software for superconducting quantum computer chips. The program allows someone to design and simulate these chips using a graphical user interface. It includes a built-in component library and also the ability to interface with various electronic simulators, such as Ansys, to model the device and predict such parameters as qubit frequencies, anharmonicities, couplings, and dissipation. The software is now being opened up to the public for other researchers and students to learn how to create or improve their own superconducting qubits and associated couplers. Click here for the full article.
March 20, 2021 – News Brief
Atos Delivers Its Quantum Learning Machine to the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre
Atos’ Quantum Learning Machine (QLM) is a high performance standalone appliance that uses classical processors to simulate quantum programs of up to 41 qubits. As such, it is one of the highest performance simulators one can use without using a real quantum computer. One potential benefit of this product is that it can be installed on-premise so it alleviates the concerns anyone might have about using a remote cloud-based solution for their high performance quantum simulations. The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities has recently opened an LRZ Quantum Integration Centre and will integrate the QLM into a hybrid quantum-classical HPC environment. Additional details about this announcement can be found in a press release located here.
March 18, 2021
Two New U.S. House Bills for Quantum Technology Introduced with Proposed Budgets of $340 and $500 Million Respectively
The first proposed bill is called the H.R. 1837, QUEST Act of 2021 (Quantum User Expansion for Science and Technology) and has a proposed budget of $340 million over a five year period. It would amend the National Quantum Initiative and direct the U.S. Department of Energy in association with other U.S. government departments to establish a program that encourages and facilitates access to United States quantum computing hardware and quantum computing clouds for the purposes of research, education and advancement of United States quantum technology capabilities. The second proposed bill, H.R. 1866, is called the Quantum Network Infrastructure Act of 2021 and has a proposed budget of $500 million over a five yar period. It would also amend the National Quantum Initiative and direct the U.S. Department of Energy in association with other U.S. government departments to establish a research, development, and demonstration program to accelerate innovation in the U.S. quantum network infrastructure. Click here for the full article.
March 16, 2021 – News Brief
Who’s News in the Quantum World
A number of management updates have occurred in quantum this week. Dr. Joseph Broz has been named IBM’s Vice-President for Growth and Market Development. He previously was the Executive Director of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C). Celia Merzbacher has been appointed Executive Director of the QED-C succeeding Dr. Broz. She was previously the Deputy Director of QED-C. And Dan Caruso has been named Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of ColdQuanta succeeding Bo Ewald who has announced his retirement. Click on the links associated with each person’s name to view the full press release related to their announcement.
March 16, 2021 – News Brief
Qu & Co Releases QUBEC, a Platform for Chemical and Material Science Simulation
QUBEC was co-designed by quantum chemists and material scientists and is integrated with Schrödinger’s Maestro chemical modelling interface. It can run on the IBM, Rigetti, and IonQ quantum co-processors through the IBM Quantum Experience and the Amazon Braket platforms. In September 2019, Qu & Co set up a partnership with Schrödinger and users can set up their quantum simulations in Schrödinger’s Maestro user interface and have it use QUBEC to run on a quantum processor. Although the present day quantum computers may not be powerful enough to outperform classical processes, it is expected that more powerful quantum processors will be available in the next few years. An interesting feature in QUBEC, is a function called Q-Time that is a quantum hardware resource estimator. Given a particular problem, Q-Time will estimate the required quantum hardware specifications and estimated wall clock runtime requirements needed to simulate that problem to a desired level of precision. For more about QUBEC, you can read the news release on the Qu & Co website here and to view additional technical details about the product and request beta access to the software researchers can access the QUBEC product page here.
March 15, 2021 – News Brief
Swedish Center to Receive Foundation Grant of 80 Million SEK ($9.4M USD) per Year for Quantum Research
The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), based at Chalmers University in Sweden is receiving an increase in funding from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to 80 million Swedish Krona (SEK) per year from the previous level from 45 million SEK. Total funding for the center from all sources including industry and participating universities now totals 1.3 billion SEK ($152M USD) over the next twelve years. The additional funds will allow the center to add 40 more researchers, double the current number, and advance towards their goal of creating a 100 qubit quantum computer with really high performance qubits. Additional details on this additional funding as well as activities at the center can be found in a news release on the Chalmers University website here.
March 15, 2021 – News Brief
Sandia Deploys New Open-Access Quantum Computer Testbed
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sandia National Laboratory has deployed a new trapped ion quantum computer capability, called QSCOUT (Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed) for free use to qualified researchers. The current system has 3 qubits, but Sandia is planning to expand this to 32 qubits within the next three years. Researchers interested in using the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed are invited to sign up for notifications by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Sandia expects to select the next round of projects in the spring, subject to change. Additional details can be found in a news release on the Sandia website here and technical details about the QSCOUT system can be found here.
March 14, 2021 – News Brief
Qblox Launches their Radio Frequency (RF) Line of Fully-integrated Quantum Control Stacks
At the APS March Meeting, Qblox will be launching and demonstrating its new generation of quantum control stack providing all input and output signals from ultrastable DC to 18.5 GHz. This technology packaged in a 19-inch enclosure named Cluster and has the ability to control and read out up to 20 qubits in a single Cluster enclosure. In order to control setups with 100s of qubits, multiple Clusters can be connected and function in full synchronicity using Qblox’ proprietary technology. To enable user-friendly and flexible scheduling of algorithms and experiments, Qblox provides scientists with an open-source software platform named Quantify, co-developed with Orange Quantum Systems. More information about this new quantum control stack technology can be found on Qblox’ website here.
March 13, 2021 – News Brief
UK Holding Competition to Fund £46.8 million ($65M USD) in Quantum Research and Development
The UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is holding a competition to fund research and development to help commercialize quantum technology. Projects proposed must be related to either quantum communications, quantum sensors or quantum computing. The selected projects must have eligible costs between £2 million and £20 million with a maximum grant award per project of £10 million. Proposals will be accepted through April 28, 2021 with project start dates beginning April 1, 2022 and lasting for a duration of 24 to 36 months. Project leads must be a UK registered business of any size with all project work carried out in the UK. Additional information about the competition is available in a news release on the UK Research and Innovation website here and also a competition overview page which you can find here. This competition is one of several projects that are part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) investment of £153 million ($213M USD) to commercialize quantum technologies. Information about other quantum programs can be found on a web page here.
March 12, 2021 – News Brief
U.S. Government Provides Grant of $7.5 Million to Research Graphene Based Qubits
The grant is provided by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for a five year research project titled “Topological Spin Qubits Based on Graphene Nanoribbons”. The team will be led by Professor Jeremy Levy of the University of Pittsburgh and include others researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Harvard University and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The teams approach will combine advanced “top-down” lithographic capabilities with advanced “bottoms-up” synthetic chemistry protocols, so that atomically precise graphene nanoribbons can be created and manipulated in ways that may be useful for future quantum computing architectures. More information about this grant can be found in a news release on the University of Pittsburgh website here.
March 11, 2021 – News Brief
D-Wave to Receive $40 Million ($31.9M USD) from the Government of Canada
Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund will be providing D-Wave with $40 million for a project to develop new quantum computers hardware and software systems. The total budget for the project is $120 million ($95.6M USD) and will create up to 200 jobs including up to 10 co-op students annually. As part of this arrangement, D-Wave will be providing access to qualified members of the Canadian quantum ecosystem to encourage development. Additional details can be found in a news release from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada that can be seen here.
March 10, 2021
U.S. Department of Energy Budgeting $30 Million for New Quantum Research Program
The funding will be provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) to the five U.S. Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs) for development of advanced capabilities for synthesizing, constructing, and understanding quantum structures and phenomena, as well as making these capabilities available to the greater scientific community. The awards will include funding of between $1 and $3 million per project over a period of up to three years. These awards are only available to the NSRCs with each one allowed to make up to three proposals. Click here for more.
March 8, 2021
IonQ to Go Public in a Merger with dMY Technology Group III
IonQ announced it will become a public company in a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group III, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company. The transaction is expected to close in a few months after a review by the SEC and a shareholder vote. The post transaction equity value of the company is estimated to be about $1993 million. Of this amount, about 64% or $1275 will be owned by IonQ pre-transaction shareholders, $300 million in cash from a previous public offering of dMY III, $350 million in cash from a private Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE), and $67 million by the founders of dMY III. Investors in the PIPE include Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Silver Lake, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, MSD Partners, L.P., Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation, and key institutional investors. Click here for the full article.
March 7, 2021
Honeywell Announces Reaching a Quantum Volume Measurement of 512
Honeywell has improved the performance of their H1 quantum computer and announced they have quadrupled the performance of the machine, as measured by the Quantum Volume (QV) benchmark, from 128 to 512. They stress that this is the highest measured performance of any company’s quantum computer. Both IBM and Honeywell had previously announced reaching the 128 level last year. IonQ has published a paper analysis that indicates their fifth generation machine should have a QV of 4,194,304 (this would be a 22 gate, 22 level circuit), but they have not yet backed up this claim with experimental data the way that IBM and Honeywell have. Click here for the full article.
March 6, 2021
German Researcher Claims to Have Found a Fast Classical Algorithm for Factoring Large Integers
A German cryptographic researcher, Dr. Claus Peter Schnoor, has published a paper on the website of The International Association for Cryptologic Research that describes a new classical method of factoring large integers based upon a SVP (Shortest Vector Problem) algorithm. He indicates that this would be much faster than the previously known classical algorithms known as quadratic sieve and number field sieve. Such an algorithm, if it really works, would be competitive with Shor’s famous quantum factoring algorithm which woke many people up to the potential for use and misuse of quantum technology. This is because the common technology used on the internet for encrypting keys could be broken if one had an efficient means of factoring a 2048 bit number. The cryptologic community is now studying the paper and is not clear if the proposed technique really works. Sometimes a paper is published or an algorithm developed that claims to have successfully accomplished something, but later on a hidden flaw is found in the logic and what was claimed doesn’t really work after all. Click here for the full article.
March 6, 2021
Software Announcements from Google, CQC, and AWS/Xanadu
Several software announcements have been made in the past few days. These include Google’s release of version 0.10.0 of Cirq, Cambridge Quantum Computing’s (CQC) release of version 0.8 of their tket software development kit, and Amazon AWS’ announcement that they are joining the steering council for Xanadu’s Pennylane open source project for variational quantum computing and quantum machine learning. Click here for the full article.
March 5, 2021
European QLSI Consortium Launched to Create a 16 Spin Qubit Based Quantum Computer
The four year project, named QLSI, will be coordinated by CEI-Leti with 18 additional organizations and will have a €15 million ($17.8M USD) budget. The project will leverage previous research performed by some of the consortium members. The project is part of the European Union’s Quantum Flagship program, a 10-year, R&D initiative launched in 2018. Goals of the project include fabricating a 16-qubit quantum processor, demonstrate 99% fidelities in a lab environment, provide open access to an 8-qubit prototype processor through Quantum Inspire, and document the requirements to scale the technology to greater than 1,000 qubits. Click here for the full article.
March 5, 2021
Chinese Scientists Replicate Google’s Quantum Supremacy Experiment with a Cluster of 60 NVIDIA GPUs
In Google’s original paper, they noted that their Sycamore processor completed this task in 200 seconds and estimated it would take 10,000 years on the Summit supercomputer. IBM later provided a paper analysis indicating that with a different architecture that uses both RAM and hard drive space to store and manipulate the state vector, a high performance classical computer could do this in 2.5 days. Now two scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have actually performed this calculation in a period of 5 days using 60 GPU cores. They generated one million correlated bit strings using Google’s circuit that had 53 qubits and 20 cycles and achieved a linear cross-entropy benchmark (XEB) fidelity of 0.739, which much higher than Google’s results. Click here for the full article.
March 3, 2021 – News Brief
CQC Demonstrates Quantum Natural Language Processing on an IBM Quantum Computer
In a pre-print research paper titled “QNLP in Practice: Running Compositional Models of Meaning on a Quantum Computer” and posted on arXiv, Cambridge Quantum Computing (QLP) they were able to show how they can create representations for sentences that have a natural mapping to quantum circuits. The paper describes two datasets consisting of 130 and 105 sentences that were converted to representations in quantum circuits. The experiments were performed on a 5 qubit IBM NISQ quantum computer, so the algorithms could also be simulated on a classical computer. But as the complexity and scope of the data sets get scaled up, the approach may one day be used to provide a means for performing a Natural Language Processing (NLP) task on a quantum computer that would not be possible on a classical computer. For more about this experiment, you can read a news announcement available on the CQC website here and also the arXiv pre-print paper here.
March 3, 2021 – News Brief
Q-CTRL To Develop Quantum Sensing and Navigation Technology With Australian SEVEN SISTERS Consortium for Space Exploration
Q-CTRL will develop these technologies in coordination with Fleet Space Technologies, a nanosatellite startup and founder of the SEVEN SISTERS consortium. Q-CTRL posseses expertise in quantum control engineering and they will work to leverage this to help create small form factor sensors with enhanced robustness and autonomy to be used in uncrewed space applications. Some key potential applications include ultra-sensitve quantum-based gravity and magnetic field sensors to detect liquid water and mineral deposits. Also, very sensitive and accurate sensors can be extremely valuable in precision navigation and timing (PNT) applications to provide navigational guidance for long-endurance missions with limited telemetry contact. Q-CTRL believes that this work will help them provide other solutions to the commercial sector for applications related to defense, finance, and climate change mitigation. Additional information is available in a blog on Q-CTRL’s website here.
March 3, 2021 – News Brief
Israeli Government Taking Bids for a 160 Million Shekel ($60M USD) Quantum Computer Development Project
The Israeli Ministry of Defense and Innovation Authority has sent a tender for development of a 30-40 qubit quantum computer to both commercial and academic organizations. The proposed budget would be 160 Million Shekels ($60M USD) with an expected project start before the end of 2021. Additional details are reported on the Bloomberg Quint website here.
February 26, 2021 – News Brief
IBM Expands Membership in the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center
We reported last year that IBM had established a Quantum Education and Research Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) with 13 initial members in the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center. Now they have announced 10 new members bringing the total to 23. The new members include Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Delaware State University, Dillard University, Florida A&M University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University, Tennessee State University and University of the District of Columbia. IBM’s intentions are to collaborate with these universities to broaden STEM-base opportunities for these traditionally underrepresented communities as well as advance quantum information science. Already, a professor at Howard University has contributed to an arXiv pre-print paper on quantum machine learning. You can read IBM’s full announcement about the inclusion of new members on their blog page here.
February 25, 2021 – News Brief
D-Wave Now Offering Leap Cloud Service to Singapore
D-Wave has been gradually extending access of their Leap Cloud Service to a growing list of countries, now reaching 38 including Singapore, since it was first introduced in October 2018. Users who sign up can obtain an initial one free minute of quantum processing time or up to 20 minutes of free access to D-Wave’s hybrid solver services. Developers who upgrade and associate their GitHub accounts can receive this free time monthly. For enterprises and research institutions and others who may need more time, D-Wave can offer a custom plan. The Leap Cloud Service includes access to D-Wave latest Advantage machine with over 5000 qubits as well as D-Wave’s hybrid classical/quantum solver, Quantum Applications Environment (QAE) and other services. For more on this announcement, you can view D-Wave’s news release on their website here.
February 24, 2021 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Partners with Crown Bioscience and JSR Life Sciences for Drug Discovery
The partnership will research the use of quantum technology to drive the identification of multi-gene biomarker discovery for oncology drug discovery. Crown Bioscience (CrownBio) is a subsidiary of JSR Life Sciences and possesses extensive data bases and domain expertise while CQC has extensive experience in quantum computing, quantum algorithms, quantum machine learning. CQC’s quantum programming suites include t|ket>, an architecture agnostic quantum software stack and EUMEN, a software package designed to facilitate computational chemistry calculations. Crown Bioscience’s parent corporation, JSR Corporation, is an investor in CQC. The companies will analyze genetic data to identify cancer treatment biomarkers and drive the next generation of bioinformatics. For more on this announcement, you can view the news release on the CQC website located here.
February 23, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ Rumored to Go Public via a Merger with a SPAC
Bloomberg has published an article indicated that IonQ is in talks to merge with a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) corporation called DMY Technology Group Inc. III. A SPAC is sometimes known as a “blank check company” is a company formed with no commercial operations or physical assets with a goal to acquire other companies. These companies will go public based and then acquire private companies to form their operations. For the investors and employees of the private companies, this can have an advantage since the shares they own will be able to be publicly traded without the private company going through an Initial Public Offering. DMY Technology Group Inc. III made its public offering in November 2020 with a valuation of $275 million. The Bloomberg article states that the SPAC is expected to raise an additional $300 million through a sale of equity known as a PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity). The article further states that the combines entity after the merger might have a valuation of $2 billion so this would imply a valuation of the IonQ portion at over $1 billion. Of course, like many deals the parameters can change drastically and the deal itself might never happen. So it will be interesting to see how this works out and whether there could be any further activity involving IPOs or SPAC mergers in the quantum space in the near future.
February 18, 2021
Mid-Atlantic Quantum Computing Alliance Takes on New Name and 10 New Members
We had reported in January 2020 about the formation of the Maryland Quantum Alliance to help encourage and push innovations in quantum technology in the state of Maryland. This organization has now grown to include 10 additional organizations in Maryland and some neighboring states. The new members include the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), IBM, Protiviti, Quantopo, Quaxys, Bowie State University, Georgetown University, Pittsburgh Quantum Institute, University of Delaware, and Virginia Tech. This brings the total number of members to 24 and prompted the name changes since some of the new members are located in other U.S. East Coast states. The alliance is led by the University of Maryland in College Park. The other original participants include the 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. Goals of the alliance are to work together in order to raise public awareness of quantum opportunities and potential, drive new quantum science discovery, develop pioneering quantum technology, support quantum entrepreneurship and startup companies, and train a diverse, world class quantum workforce. For more on this announcement you can read the news release on the University of Maryland website here and also visit Mid-Atlantic Quantum Computing Alliance web page here.
February 17, 2021
IBM Discloses Quantum Work with Two of the World’s Largest Energy Companies
In separate announcements, IBM disclosed that is working on quantum projects with ExxonMobil and bp (formerly British Petroleum). With ExxonMobil they are working on a project to find ways that a quantum computer can help them manage the tens of thousands of merchant ships crossing the seas to deliver the millions of items we use every day. With bp, IBM announced that bp is joining the IBM Quantum Network. Although specific projects were not described, the companies will work together in the general areas of helping to drive efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions.. Click here for the full article.
February 17, 2021
Quantum Computing Inc. Introduces Qatalyst, a Quantum Application Accelerator
One of the best places where a quantum computer can be used for advantage over a classical approach is with optimization problems. These are problems where one seeks to find the lowest energy value in a mathematical equation expressed as a QUBO (Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization) and they are applicable in a great many areas including finance, logistics, drug discovery, cybersecurity, machine learning, and many others. To this end, Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) has announced commercial availability of their Qatalyst software (formerly called Mukai) to solve these types of problems efficiently on a variety of hardware platforms, both classical and quantum. Click here for more.
February 16, 2021
Strangeworks Introduces a Quantum Ecosystem to Demystify QC Technology
Strangeworks has announced three initiatives with the goals of helping to develop a global quantum workforce, humanize access to quantum computing and streamline existing quantum production workflows. Together these initiatives work to accelerate the development and utilization of quantum technology by encouraging members of the community to work together, share knowledge and make progress. Strangeworks has felt that in the past quantum technology has been presented as a very complex technology that is only available to a select few and with this effort they are working to democratize quantum so that more people can get involved with it. Click here for the full article.
February 13, 2021
Microsoft Faces a Setback in their Hunt for a Topological Qubit
In March 2018, we reported on a paper from Microsoft and its partners in Nature magazine that they had found evidence of the existence of the Majorana quasiparticle. Now, a new preprint has been published on arXiv with a correction indicating the conclusions of the earlier paper were premature. As described in additional detail in an article in WIRED magazine when additional data from the experiment that was not included in the original paper was reviewed, it contradicted the conclusions that the Majorana had been found. Click here for the full article.
February 10, 2021
IQM Led Consortium Receives €12.4 Million ($15.0M USD) to Develop Application Specific Quantum Processors
The funding was provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, abbreviated BMBF. Besides IQM additional participants include ParityQC, Infineon, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Leibniz Supercomputing Center, and Freie Universität Berlin. The project, codenamed DAQC (Digital-Analog Quantum Computer) will develop a 54 qubit quantum processor over a four year period. Although IQM is headquartered in Finland, in March 2020 they established a subsidiary in Munich, Germany as a co-design hub to tighten the interaction between quantum hardware and quantum software development. For more on this announcement, you can view a news release on the IQM website here and also another news release (in German) on the website of the German BMBF ministry here.
February 10, 2021
NEC to Use ParityQC’s Architecture for a New Quantum Annealer
NEC is planning to develop a practical quantum annealer by 2023 and has reached an agreement with ParityQC in Austria to use their architecture. NEC will be using its superconducting parametron technology which will provide all-to-all connectivity between qubits and utilize a 3D integration technology. Parity’s contribution will be their architecture based upon an LHZ scheme that provides reduced complexity. Click here for the full article.
February 10, 2021
Q-CTRL Announces Automated Hardware Optimization Feature
Q-CTRL has introduced a new feature in their Boulder Opal software called Automated Closed-Loop Optimization which uses AI techniques to automate the calibration and optimization process and achieve superior results to what could be achieved manually without needing to understand the physics of the qubits. The software can perform optimizations at the circuit level, but it can also be used with software modules such as IBM’s Qiskit Pulse or Rigetti’s Quil-T which allow a user to use pulse-level control on the supplier’s quantum computers and create a custom set of gates or achieve faster gate operation. The end result is that this can allow users to achieve better performance for their specific quantum algorithm than could be achieved if they just stuck to the standard gates. Q-CTRL asserts that use of this feature can result in an improvement in error rate by 2X or more. Click here for the full article.
February 9, 2021
Chinese Company Origin Quantum Announces Its Own Quantum Operating System
The operating system, named Origin Pilot, is the first homegrown quantum operating system in China. The company indicates that the system has a number of unique features including parallel execution of multiple quantum computing tasks, automatic qubit calibration, and unified management of quantum computing resources. The company’s goal with this operating system is to make quantum computer operations more efficient and stable. It is expected that this operating system will be used with the Origin Quantum Cloud Service which they announced last year. Click here for the full article.
February 9, 2021 – News Brief
Multiverse and AQT Enter into a Strategic Partnership
Multiverse Computing, a quantum software company specializing in financial applications and Alpine Quantum Technology (AQT) will work together to utilize AQT’s ion trap quantum computer to develop solutions for the finance industry. Multiverse is currently working with banks BBVA and Bankia with others on the way. They are based in San Sebastian, Spain and will access AQT’s machine in Austria via the cloud. AQT recently described a 24 qubit room temperature ion trap computer which was developed in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck. Additional information is available in the press releases available on the AQT website here and also on the Multiverse website here.
February 6, 2021
German Project Announced to Develop a Superconducting Quantum Computing with €14.5 Million ($17.5M USD) in Funding
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the development of a prototype superconducting quantum computer with the prototype to be installed at the Walther Meißner Institute of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Participants in the project, codenamed GeQCoS (German Quantum Computer based on Superconducting Qubits), include the Walther Meißner Institute (WMI) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Technical University of Munich, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF), and Infineon. Additional information about this project is available in a press release on the Forschungszentrum Jülich website here and another press release from Infineon here.
February 6, 2021
New Software Announcements from CQC, Xanadu, and 1QBit
A trio of new software announcements were made this week. The first was from Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) which announced version 0.7 of their t|ket> software platform and that it is now free for Python users. The second is from Xanadu which released version 0.14.0 of their Pennylane Python library for differentiable programming of quantum computers. This software can interface with Zapata’s Orquestra workflow management software. And third, 1QBit announced they are starting an alpha program for their QEMIST chemical simulation software which is accessible on Microsoft’s Azure Quantum Cloud service. Click here for the full article.
February 4, 2021
IBM Introduces New Capabilities for their Quantum Machines
Although we talk frequently talk about the number of qubits and the quality level of the qubits when assessing the capability of a quantum computer, there are other dimensions that are important for an end user to easily and effectively use a vendor’s quantum platform for achieving a quantum solution to their difficult computational problems. To that end, IBM has announced several new capabilities and future directions in their quantum platform that while not related to the qubit count or qubit quality will still be very helpful in improving the usefulness of their machines. These new capabilities include Mid-Circuit Measurement and Qubit Reuse, Dynamic Circuits, a more sophisticated Quantum Runtime system, Quantum Application Modules and Quantum Application Services. Click here for the full article.
February 1, 2021 – News Brief
Microsoft Transitions to Public Preview of Azure Quantum
Microsoft has transitioned its Azure Quantum service to Public Preview from its previous status of Limited Preview where it was opened to a small number of partners and customers. Currently they indicate that the two hardware platforms available are the Honeywell’s 10 qubit computer and the IonQ’s 11 qubit computer, both of which are based upon ion trap technology. Microsoft has announced additional hardware partners including Quantum Circuits Inc. (QCI) which uses superconducting technology and Toshiba which provides a Simulated Bifurcation Machine, but these do not seem to be available in the public preview. The public preview will also include software from Microsoft and 1Qbit. Additional details on this announcement are available in a blog on Microsoft’s website here.
February 1, 2021 – News Brief
QOSF Announces the Winner of the 2020 Wittek Quantum Prize for Open Source Software
The Quantum Open Source Foundation (QOSF) in collaboration with the Unitary Fund reviewed over 50 nominations for the best contribution to open source quantum software and has awarded the 2020 Wittek Quantum Prize for Open Source Software to Roger Luo, PhD student at University of Waterloo and Perimeter Institute, for his work on Yao.jl and its surrounding ecosystem in the Julia programming language. Yao.jl is one of the fastest free quantum simulators available and has a surrounding ecosystem that consists of more than 50 repositories under the umbrella of the Quantum-BFS organization. In additional to Yao.jl, Roger has made over 3000 open source contributions across dozens of repositories. For more on this announcement, you can view the announcement from QOSF here, and a video interview with Roger on YouTube here.
January 30, 2021
Microsoft Reveals Its Own Cryo-CMOS Control Chips
One of the limiter for scaling many quantum computers based up the superconducting, spin qubit, or topological technologies is the need to provide control lines for controlling the qubits as well as lines for readout of the qubit data. All of this data needs to have a pathway from a classical computer running at room temperature to the qubits which are at millikelvin temperatures and vice-versa. Current machines use individual coaxial cables to accomplish this, but it creates a rats nest of wires as well as potential heat issues that make scaling these machines to the thousands or millions of qubits extremely challenging. Microsoft has developed a two chip solution that can general the qubit control signals at low temperatures near the qubits and eliminate the need for routing a huge number of wires for controlling the qubits. For more, click here.
January 30, 2021 – News Brief
QCI Announces a QikStart Program to Help Business Partners Accelerate Time to Quantum Advantage
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) has created this program to provide provide program partners with access to QCI’s industry-leading quantum acceleration platform, expert resources, and funding to explore and push the boundaries of quantum computing for delivering practical business results. The QikStart program is suited for non-quantum programming experts who are looking for practical solutions to complex constrained optimization problems. These types of problems are commonly seen in businesses in such areas as supply chain, logistics, drug discovery, cybersecurity, transportation and others. We previously reported on QCI’s Mukai software that is expected to be utilized in this program. For more about the QikStart program, you can view QCI’s press release announcing it here.
January 29, 2021 – News Brief
CINECA Will Gain Access to Pasqal’s 100 Qubit Neutral Atom Processor Later this Year
CINECA is an Italian consortium composed of 70 Italian Universities, four national research centers and government ministries formed to support the Italian scientific community with supercomputing and scientific visualization tools. They current possess several classical supercomputers shown on the TOP500 list. They have reached a deal with French company Pasqal to utilize Pasqal’s forthcoming “Fresnel” 100-qubits processor with an expected start in the first half of this year. Several features of Pasqal’s technology were deemed important and contributed to the selection including high qubit connectivity, processor topology re-arrangement at will, and analog control to implement Hamiltonian evolutions. We previously reported on Pasqal’s neuatral atom technology in an article published last year. For more on this announcement, you can view a news release located on Pasqal’s website here.
January 29, 2021
AQT Describes New 24 Qubit Ion Trap Computer Packaged in Two 19 Inch Room Temperature Racks
In a paper recently posted on arXiv, AQT describes a new 24 qubit ion trap quantum computer contained in two 19 inch room temperature racks. In collaboration with the University of Innsbruck, they produced maximally-entangled Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) states with up to 24 ions without the use of post-selection or error mitigation techniques. The machine will be used by the University of Innsbruck for its own research and research collaborations with partners. However, in the near term it won’t be made publicly available for general use. AQT is developing a 50 qubit upgrade for this machine, but it isn’t expected until early 2022 per Thomas Monz, CEO of AQT. AQT previously announced a number of software partnerships and we expect that IBM’s Qiskit, Google’s Cirq, Xanadu’s Pennylane, and CQC’s t|ket> could potentially be used to program this machine. For more about this machine, you can view the arXiv paper which provides a detailed technical over of the machine. We have also included technical parameters for this machine on our premium Qubit Count and Qubit Quality pages.
January 28, 2021
Russian Scientific Team Claims New Efficiency Record for Quantum Cryptography
A group of scientists from the Russian Quantum Center along with others from Russian cybersecurity startup QRate have announced two achievements that they contend will contribute to setting the world record for efficiency of classical post-processing algorithms for QKD. The first is a new protocol for the information reconciliation stage of quantum key distribution based on polar codes which makes them more resistant to environmental noise. The second is a method of reducing the portion of quantum-generated secret keys, that is consumed during the authentication procedure using a lightweight authentication protocol for QKD based on a ping-pong scheme for the QKD authenticity check. Click here for more.
January 28, 2021 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) to Collaborate with Roche for Development of Alzheimer’s Disease Therapeutics
The two companies have announced a multi-year agreement to use CQC’s “EUMEN” computational chemistry platform to design and implement noisy-intermediate-scale-quantum (NISQ) algorithms for early-stage drug discovery and development and augment Roche’s Alzheimer’s disease research efforts. EUMEN is a software package developed by CQC to facilitate the design of pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, performance materials and agrochemicals using the power of quantum computation. Additional details are available in the news release on the CQC website here.
January 27, 2021 – News Brief
Classiq Secures $14.5 Million in Venture Funding
The latest round of funding was a $10.5 million Series A round that was led by Team8 and Wing Venture Capital additional participation from Entrée Capital, OurCrowd and IN Venture, the corporate venture arm of Sumitomo Corporation in Israel. This follows an earlier $4 million seed round from Entrée Capital that occurred in May 2020 to bring the total funding to $14.5 million. Classiq is developing quantum software that operates at a higher level in the stack. Rather than having programmers describe their algorithms at the gate level, they are working on technology that allows users to describe what they are trying to do at a high level concept level and have their software automatically synthesize circuits that can perform that function. This could potentially provide a dramatic improvement in the productivity of programmers trying to develop a quantum solution. The company indicates that its software will be hardware agnostic so it will be able to run on many different hardware platforms. For more on Classiq, you can view their website here.
January 26, 2021
NTT Research to Collaborate with Caltech to Develop the World’s Fastest Coherent Ising Machines
One of the alternate approaches to gate level quantum computers is the Coherent Ising Machine (CIM). These are also sometimes called Quantum Neural Networks. A Coherent Ising Machine is similar to the D-Wave quantum annealer in that it is designed to solve combinatorial optimization problems, but it is different because it uses optical fiber loops, optical parametric oscillators, and other devices rather than superconducting circuits to find the ground state of an Ising Hamiltonian. Because the machine takes advantage of quantum superposition, it could potentially solve such problems much more efficiently than a classical computers. The project is expected to last 4 and a half years with Caltech developing an on-chip 100 Ghz pumped pump laser source and NTT developing an on-chip optical parametric amplifier. Although NTT has not stated the exact number of qubits this device could support, they had previously stated a goal of reaching 100,000 or more qubits with all-to-all connectivity. If it can be implemented, such a machine would have great power in solving difficult optimization problems. Click here for the full article.
January 25, 2021 – News Brief
Riverlane Closes a $20 Million Series A Investment Round
The round was led by Draper Esprit with additional participation from Cambridge Innovation Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge. Riverlane is developing a quantum operating system called Deltaflow and they indicate that 20% of the world’s quantum hardware manufactures have already signed up to use it. Some of the funds will be used to expand internationally to the U.S., Europe, and other parts of the world. The Series A funding follows a £3.25 million ($4.4M USD) round they received in June 2019. In addition, a consortium led by Riverlane received a grant of £7.6 Million ($9.3M USD) in May 2020 to develop the new operating system from the UK government’s Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund. More information can be found in the news release posted on Riverlane’s website here.
January 22, 2021
Oxford Instruments Announces Two Dilution Refrigerator Design Wins
In a pair of announcements, Oxford Instruments NanoScience has disclosed two new customers for its Proteox dilution refrigerator in the UK. The first is with Oxford Quantum Circuit (OQC) which is using the fridge for its superconducting quantum computer based upon OQC’s 3D Coaxmon qubits. OQC recently opened up its own quantum lab and plans to launch Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaas) in the future. Besides Oxford Instruments, OQC has established partnerships with Cambridge Quantum Computing, Riverlane, Rahko, and Oxford University as part of this effort. The second win is the University of Glasgow’s Quantum Circuits Group. The University of Glasgow is working on the the design, manufacture, and test of superconducting quantum device funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Click here for the full article.
January 22, 2021 – News Brief
IonQ Partners with South Korea’s Quantum Information Research Support Center
The Quantum Information Research Support Center or Q-Center was established in August 2020 by the South Korean government and located at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) in Seoul. As part of the three year partnership, IonQ’s ion trap computers will be made available to Korean researchers and students to learn, develop, and deploy quantum applications. For more information on this partnership, you can view the news release posted on the IonQ website here.
January 21, 2021
France Plans to Invest 1.8 Billion Euros ($2.19B USD) in Quantum Technologies
In a plan presented today by French President Emmanuel Macron, this investment would cover five years of research and development and come from three sources. The French government would increase its annual quantum funding level from €60M to about €200M to bring their share for the period to €1050M, €200M would come from the European Union and €550M would come from the private sector. The funds would allocate about €780M for quantum computer, €250M for quantum sensors, €150M for Post Quantum Cryptography, €320M for quantum communications, and €300M for related technologies such as cryogenics. Click here for the full article.
January 21, 2021
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Partners with AWS To Establish a Quantum Computing Application Lab
The MeitY Quantum Computing Applications Lab will provide quantum computing as a service to government ministries and departments, researchers, scientists, academia, and developers, to enable advances in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and aerospace engineering. In addition to providing access to the Amazon Braket quantum computing service, AWS will provide technical and programmatic support to the lab. The initiative will provide scientific, academic, and developer communities access to a quantum computing development environment aligned with the government’s science and technology priorities. Click here for the full article.
January 19, 2021 – News Brief
Qureca Introduces an Online “Quantum for Everyone” Course
Qureca’s new course is specifically targeted for non-technical business professionals who want to better understand quantum technology so they can build a quantum strategy and find opportunities where it might be applied in their own organization. The course consists of four online lessons which the learner can go through at their own pace. These include: 1) Basics of Quantum Computation, 2) Quantum Computing Applications, 3) Transitioning to Quantum-Safe Security, and 4) The Quantum Industry. The duration of the course is expected to be about four weeks with an estimated time requirement of about 3 hours per week. The course does not require any pre-requisite knowledge before one takes it. The cost is £400 (about $545 USD), but discounts may be available. Additional information about the course is available on the Qureca website here.
January 16, 2021 – News Brief
Bavarian Government Planning a €300 Million ($362M USD) Investment to Establish a Munich Quantum Valley
The German Free State of Bavaria will work with the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft and the Technical University of Munich to perform research, development, and education and training in quantum science and technology. Of the €300 million, they plan on spending €120 million ($145M USD) in 2021 and 2022. Additional funds may also come from the German federal government as part of the country’s €2 billion stimulus package to support the development of quantum technology in Germany. As a part of this program a Centre for Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies (ZQQ) and a quantum technology park will be established to provide facilities for startups and established companies to develop quantum products and services. Additional information can be found in the news release posted on the website of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft here.
January 15, 2021 – News Brief
Origin Quantum Secures Over 100 Million Yuan ($15.4M USD) in Series A Funding
The round was led by China Internet Investment Fund with additional participating from Guoxin Fund, CICC Qizhi, Chengdu Industrial Investment, CCB International, Zhongke Yucheng, Zhongtian Fortune, and Pangu Turing. Origin Quantum, established in September 2017 and based in Heifei, China, is developing quantum computers based upon both superconducting and silicon dot technology. A 6 qubit superconducting quantum processor was put on the cloud and made available in September 2020. For more on this announcement, you can view a news release (in Chinese) on the Origin Quantum website here and a summary provided by the Hefei National High-tech Industry Development Zone and China Daily here.
January 15, 2021 – News Brief
Dutch Quantum Computing Startups Form IMPAQT Consortium
The consortium was formed so that independent companies working on different parts of the stack can collaborate to ensure that different building blocks of a quantum computer can interface smoothly. This will allow quantum computer manufacturers to easily integrate subsystems. Members of the consortium include Orange QS, an integrated quantum system provider, Qblox, a quantum control stack provider, Delft Circuits, a cryogenic I/O quantum hardware provider, and Qu & Co, a developer of quantum algorithms for industry-relevant quantum advantage. Additional information is available in the news release available here.
January 14, 2021 – News Brief
POLARISqb Receives 2020 Innovation Award from PM 360
PM 360 is one of the leading trade magazines in the pharmaceutical marketing world and publishes Innovation Awards on an annual basis to those companies that are innovators in their industry. For 2020 they received hundreds of submissions and selected 64 in variety of categories including companies, products, services, startups, etc. POLARISqb was selected as one of eight innovative companies in the startup category for their work in quantum drug discovery. They were the only quantum related company or product that appeared in any of the awards. For more, you can view the news release posted on the POLARISqb website here and also the award page on the PM 360 website here.
January 12, 2021 – News Brief
Boehringer Ingelheim and Google Quantum Partner for Pharmaceutical R&D
Founded in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and the largest private one. They are headquartered in Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany and employ over 47,700 people. The company has established a three year partnership with Google Quantum to research and implement use cases for quantum computing in pharmaceutical R&D, including molecular dynamics simulations. Boehringer Ingelheim’s newly established Quantum Lab and Google will work to combine Boehringer Ingelheim’s expertise in the field of computer-aided drug design and in silico modeling with Google’s expertise in quantum computers and algorithms. Computational chemistry for drug discovery and materials simulation is thought to be one of the leading applications that will leverage quantum computing capabilities because the required simulation models quickly become too complex for classical computers to simulate accurately. For more on this announcement, you can view the news release located on the Boehringer Ingelheim website located here.
January 11, 2021 – News Brief
Qblox Receives CES Innovation Award
One of the largest electronics related trade shows is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) normally held every January in Las Vegas, Nevada. For 2021, this show is being held virtually. As part of the event, CES has an CES Innovation Awards program which is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. The program recognizes honorees in a multitude of consumer technology product categories and distinguishes the highest rated in each. For 2021, the Qblox Cluster product was chosen as an Honoree in the Embedded Technologies category. Cluster is used in the quantum control stack to provide QC hardware manufacturers with dedicated qubit control equipment that offers massive scalability, ultra-low signal noise performance and low-latency feedback. Of the several hundred Honorees chosen by the CES committee, the Qblox product was the only one related to quantum technology that received this honor. For more, you can visit the Qblox Honoree page on the CES website here.
January 9, 2021
Chinese Scientists Create an Integrated Quantum Communications Network in China
The network covers a distance of 4,600 kilometers (about 2850 miles) and includes both ground based fiber as well as satellite links. The fiber portion covers a route that goes from Shanghai to Heifei to Jinan to Beijing with a link to satellite ground station in Xinglong that can communicate to another satellite ground station in Nanshan. Click here for the full article.
January 7, 2021
Quantum Xchange Closes $13.5 Million Series A Funding and Appoints New CEO, CTO, and CFO
The lead investor for the Series A round was the Venture Access Group, an investment management firm of high net worth individuals. Quantum Xchange had previously received a seed round led by New Technology Ventures and with this new round the company’s valuation now stands at about $59 million. The company has also appointed new management with Eddy Zervigon as CEO, Holly Neiweem as CFO, Shahryar Shaghaghi as CTO and Phio TX Inventor Gene Savchuk as Chief Product Evangelist and Strategic Advisor. For more on Quantum Xchange’s announcement, click here for our full article.
January 4, 2021
Quantum Computing Inc. Applies for NASDAQ Uplisting
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) is one of the few quantum focused companies that is already publicly held. However, they are traded on the Over the Counter (OTC) market which focusses on small stocks, sometimes called microcap stocks. They have now submitted an application to trade their shares on the NASDAQ exchange joining many large technology leaders such as Amazon, Apple, Intel, Facebook and many others. Listing on NASDAQ may provide investors with greater visibility of the company and increased confidence. Click here for the full article.
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