Recent news items published in 2018 and 2019 on quantum computing developments are listed below. Click on the hyperlinked item to go to the press release or news article for details. For older news items published in 2015-2017, click here.
January 21, 2019
German Research Centre Forschungszentrum Jülich Awarded 36 Million Euros ($41M USD) for Quantum and Neuromorphic Computing Research
The grants are being provided by the German Federal Government and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The funds will be provided through the year 2020 and cover these two new areas of emerging computing technology. The news release did not describe what portion of these funds has been allocated to quantum computing versus neuromorphic computing, but we expect it to be many millions of euros. To view the announcement from Forschungszentrum Jülich, click here.
January 19, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy Will Provide $45 Million for Quantum Related Chemical and Materials Research
These grants will fund research into design and discovery of novel systems and materials relevant to the development of quantum information science and also the use of quantum computing to solve problems in chemical and materials science research. The funding will be over a three year period and is open to national laboratories, universities, and non-profits. Click here for more.
January 15, 2019
Sandia National Laboratories Receives $42 Million Funding for Four New Quantum Research Projects
The $42 million in funding is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research Programs for four new projects that will last 3-5 years, depending upon the specific project. The funding appears to be separate to the projects that will be funded by the National Quantum Initiative Act that was signed into law in December. Click here for more.
January 14, 2019
India to Invest Rs 80 Crores ($11.34M USD) in Quantum Computing Research
India’s Department of Science and Technology has initiated a three year program called QuEST (Quantum-Enabled Science and Technology) to help lay the groundwork for building quantum computers in India. After this first phase is complete, the Indian government expects to fund a follow-on phase 2 with a larger budget of Rs 300 crores (about $45.5M USD). Click here for more details about this QuEST program.
January 12, 2019
NIST Announcement of PQC Round 2 Candidates Has Been Delayed
We had previously reported that NIST was planning on announcing the round 2 Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithm candidates at the Real World Crypto Symposium on January 10th. However, due to the U.S. Government shutdown that did not occur. We do expect this announcement to be made shortly after the shutdown is over and we will post this information once it is released.
January 7, 2019
IBM Unveils New Packaging Design, New Quantum Computation Center and New Name for their Quantum Computer
IBM has unveiled a new packaging design for their IBM Q quantum computer, now called the IBM Q System One. The design leverages IBM’s decade’s worth of experience designing large mainframe computers to provide a distinctive look and packages the system in an airtight sealed and laminated glass cube. And in a sign that IBM is preparing for increased usage of their quantum technology from members of the IBM Q Network, they are establishing a new IBM Q Quantum Computation Center to expand their IBM Q commercial quantum computation program. Click here for more details on IBM’s announcement.
January 2, 2019
IBM Releases Version 0.7 of Qiskit Terra and Version 0.4 of Qiskit Aqua
IBM has released their next version of Qiskit Terra with improvements in visualization, transpiler improvements, backends and shot memory. A key goal in this release is to improve the internal infrastructure to provide more transparency, stability and extensibility that will help enable additional feature enhancements in future releases. They have also released an updated version of Qiskit Aqua, their library of algorithms for building domain-specific applications. Click here for more.
December 24, 2019
Fujitsu Introduces a 2nd Generation, Quantum-Inspired Digital Annealer
In a press release right before Christmas, Fujitsu has introduced a second generation digital annealer with some impressive specifications as compared to their first generation machine and also quantum annealers. This new machine increases the bit count from 1024 to 8192 and the coupling precision from 16 to up to 64 bits as well as featuring all-to-all bit coupling like the previous generation. Click here for more details.
December 22, 2019
President Trump Signs National Quantum Initiative Act
The National Quantum Initiative Act is now an official law in the United States. It provides funding of up to $1.275 billion over the next five years to support the development of a robust quantum information science and technology industry in the United States. The Optical Society has posted a good summary of the bill as well as a conversation on some of the strategic thinking behind it which you can see here and here. You can also read the full text of the bill on the U.S. Congress’s web site here.
December 19, 2019
IBM Introduces a New High Performance Simulator called Qiskit Aer
As part of the next release of Qiskit, IBM has introduced a new high performance simulator that has been optimized with the core code written in C++ and incorporating features from IBM’s high performance online simulators. It also provides highly configurable capabilities for creating noise models for NISQ machines. The new simulator is open sourced and can be found on GitHub here. You can also find the home page for Qiskit Aer here and a Medium article from IBM describing it here.
December 18, 2019
Taiwan and Israeli Governments Set Up Quantum Research Funding
The Taiwan government will be funding multiple quantum research efforts with an annual amount of 60 million Taiwan dollars (about $1.9 million USD) per project. The Israeli government is setting up a fund of 100 million New Israeli Shekels (about $26.6 million USD) that will be allocated over the next five years. Click here for more.
December 17, 2018
U.S. Government Issues Request for Information on National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science
In September we wrote about a report released by the Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (SCQIS) of the U.S. National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) titled National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science. The report provided a policy roadmap for coordinating government funded R&D in quantum technologies for the U.S. government. This same subcommittee has just released a Request for Information (RFI) asking for suggestions on ways the government can address the specific policies described in the report. Responders are asked to frame their response around eight questions that are shown in the RFI by the deadline of January 25, 2019. For more details, you can access the RFI here.
December 15, 2018
U.S. Senate Passes National Quantum Initiative Act to Provide $1.2 Billion in Quantum Research Funding
We had previously reported on the National Quantum Initiative Act (H.R. 6227) which would provide $1.275 billion over a 5 year period in funding to accelerate the development of quantum information science and technology applications and also help provide education for a quantum workforce. (See previous articles here and here.) The U.S. House of Representatives had approved this bill in September and now the U.S. Senate has also approved this same bill earlier this week. The bill will now go to the President for signature which is expected to occur later this month. Click here to see the text of this bill with details on the funding.
December 14, 2018
NIST to Announce Round 2 PQC Candidates on January 10, 2019
NIST has just indicated they will announce the Round 2 candidates on January 10, 2019 at 2 PM Pacific time at the Real World Crypto Symposium in San Jose, California. NIST has been evaluating the various Round 1 submissions since they were all submitted in November 2017. Round 2 will narrow the field of potential Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithms that they will recommend for standardization. The PQC algorithm that NIST ultimately selects is expected to be resistant to breaking by either a classical or a quantum computer. Click here for more details.
December 13, 2018
IonQ To Initiate Quantum Cloud Service in 2019
At the recent Q2B conference, IonQ announced that they will initiate a quantum cloud computing service to select beta users in 2019. Additionally, they described some of the prototype test results on some of their early hardware. Click here for additional information.
December 12, 2018
Kets Quantum Security Raises £2 Million ($2.5 Million USD) Seed Round
Kets Quantum Security, a startup formed from the University of Bristol’s Quantum Engineering Technology Labs, received a total investment of £2 Million from venture investor Quantonation, information technology company Kx, and UK government organizations Innovate UK and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Kets develops technologies for quantum key distribution and quantum random number generation.
December 11, 2018
Microsoft Establishes a Partners Program with Quantum Startups
Similar to the programs established by D-Wave, Google, IBM, and Rigetti, Microsoft has established a partner program with 14 different quantum computing software startups. These partnerships will supplement existing relationships that Microsoft has with various universities and government labs. The startups will receive free access to Azure Cloud resources and deeper access to Microsoft’s technical teams as well as dedicated go-to-market resources to help them sell alongside Microsoft’s global sales teams and partner channels. For more details you can view the Microsoft’s blog posting here and a complete matrix showing which software companies are partnering with the various platform vendors here.
December 11, 2018
D-Wave Releases Developer Preview of D-Wave Hybrid
We’ve seen many situations where a hybrid classical/quantum approach to solving a computation problem provides better results than a pure quantum approach alone. To this end, D-Wave has just released a developer preview of an open-sourced software package that facilitates this type of programming between a classical computer and the D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealer. Click here for more details.
December 6, 2018
U.S. National Academies Posts Report on Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has posted an excellent study produced by a committee of renowned quantum computing researchers on the current progress and prospects of quantum computing. The 202 page document provides a great overview on quantum computing’s current state and includes information on the background, principles, quantum algorithms, implications for cryptography, hardware, software, and future prospects of quantum computing. The only caveat for someone reading the report is that it focusses mostly on the superconducting and ion trap technologies, which are the current leaders. Although the report does briefly mention annealing, quantum dots, topological, neutral atom, NV diamond and photonic technologies, a breakthrough in any one of these technologies might necessitate a change in some of the conclusions shown in the report. The final report will be available for purchase from the National Academies publishing arm, the National Academies Press. However, you can download at no charge a prepublication version of the report here.
December 4, 2018
U.S. Considers Adding Export Controls on Quantum Technology
The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) proposing to add Quantum Information and Sensing Technology to the Commerce Control List (CCL). CCL items are typically considered dual-use items which may have a military in addition to a commercial use and are subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Click here for more details.
December 1, 2018
New Quantum Computing Meetup Group Being Organized in Southern California
This group will act as a forum for presentations on recent research and technical discussions on quantum computing and will have a form similar to other quantum computing Meetup groups already active in London, San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto, Austin, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Sydney, and other locations. Meetings will be held at different locations throughout Southern California including Los Angeles, Pasadena, Orange County and San Diego. The first meeting is expected to be held in early 2019. To learn more about this new group and to join, click here.
November 30, 2018
European Research Council Awards 14 Million Euro Grant to Develop QuCube Spin Qubit Processor
The European Research Council (ERC) has made a 14 million euro (about $15.8 million USD) award over 6 years to three Grenoble, France research institutes (CEA-Leti, INAC and Institut Néel) and involving scientists from CEA, CNRS and UGA to develop a quantum processor with at least 100 physical qubits. The project is named QuCube and will utilize 3D integration technology of silicon spin qubits. For more details, you can view the press release (in French) on the CEA website here.
November 30, 2018
Atos Starts Construction of a Dedicated Quantum Computing Research Lab
Atos, a leading European IT services company, announced that they have started construction of an 8000 square meter (about 86,000 square feet) lab outside of Paris that will be dedicated to quantum computing research. Click here for more details.
November 24, 2018
Quantum Machines and Horizon QC Both Receive Seed Round Funding
Two quantum startups announced this week that they have successfully raised their seed round financing. Quantum Machines, a Tel Aviv, Israel based quantum startup developing operation and control systems for quantum computing, announced that they have raised $5.5 Million in seed funding while Horizon Quantum Computing announced they have received seed round financing of an undisclosed amount. Click here for more information.
November 20, 2018
Isara Receives a $10 Million USD Series A Investment
Canadian company Isara Corporation, a leader in providing post-quantum cryptography software solutions, has received a $10 Million Series A investment led by Shasta Ventures with additional investors to be named in a few weeks. They had previously received an $11.5 Million USD investment from Quantum Valley Investments. Additional details are available in Isara’s press release which you can read here.
November 14, 2018
Xanadu Announces PennyLane Machine Learning Software for Quantum Computers
Xanadu calls their PennyLane software the first dedicated machine learning software for quantum computers and say they envision it as the TensorFlow for quantum computing. The software is open source and hardware agnostic with plug-ins that can support different backends. Currently they support integration with their own Strawberry Fields software for their continuously variable photonic quantum architecture and also Project Q from ETH Zurich for qubit based machines. Since Project Q supports the IBM Q processors, programs developed with PennyLane can run on the IBM Q network. Click here for more details.
November 14, 2018
Videos from June’s Adiabatic Quantum Computing Conference (AQC 2018) Are Now Available
The videos of most of the presentations that were given at the 2018 Adiabatic Quantum Computing Conference on June 25-28, 2018 have now been posted. One of the more interesting ones was from Trevor Lanting from D-Wave where he discusses D-Wave’s next generation quantum annealing hardware. Click here to access the videos.
November 10, 2018
Two New Quantum Communications Networks Announced in the U.S.
The new networks were announced separately by commercial company Quantum Xchange and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories. Quantum Xchange’s network will connect offices of financial firms on Wall Street in New York City with their back offices in New Jersey. DOE’s network will connect Argonne and Fermilab which are both located in the Chicago area. Click here for more details.
November 2, 2018
Microsoft Releases Version 0.3 of their Quantum Development Kit
The new release of the Quantum Development Kit (QDK) which includes a new quantum chemistry library, an improved developer experience with deeper integration with Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, and new Q# language capabilities to provide more powerful language expressions that simplify the task of quantum programming. Additional information on this new release is available here.
November 2, 2018
EU Quantum Flagship Program Funds First Projects for €132 Million ($150M USD)
The European Union’s Quantum Flagship program announced the first 20 projects they will fund for the initial ramp-up phase. These 20 projects will receive funding for the first three years of the program for a total of 132 million euros ($150M USD). Click here for more details.
November 1, 2018
UK Government Adding £235 Million ($304M USD) Funding Boost For Quantum Research
This £235 million funding will be in addition to the £80 million funding announced in September and provides a total of £315 million ($407M USD) for the five year period from 2019 to 2024 for their National Quantum Technologies Programme. The funds will be used to establish a new National Quantum Computing Centre, create a Quantum Challenge fund that will seek to commercialise quantum technologies in industries across the economy, and for a training and skills package to help develop a quantum workforce. For more details, you can view their press release here.
October 30, 2018
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Investing $15 Million to Establish New Quantum Research Center
The new research center will be called the Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) which will include quantum science experts from across multiple departments throughout the UIUC College of Engineering and the campus. In addition, UIUC will be joining the Chicago Quantum Exchange as a core member which already includes the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). For more details, you can view the press release from UIUC announcing IQUIST here and an article from the University of Chicago covering the Chicago Quantum Exchange partnership here.
October 30, 2018
Application Period Open for LANL Quantum Summer School Fellowship
This will be the second year that the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico will be conducting this excellent program to train promising students in the theory, application, and programming of quantum computers. The 10 week program runs from June 3 to August 9, 2019 and starts with a 2-week lecture period from world-leading experts in quantum computation followed by participation in a research project in quantum computing for the remaining 8 weeks. Each project will be under the guidance of a LANL mentor and involve some hands-on programming of a quantum computer (either Rigetti’s, IBM’s, or D-Wave’s). Ten students will be awarded a fellowship from LANL that covers travel, living expenses in Los Alamos, and salary. Click here to view more details about this program and instructions on how to apply.
October 27, 2018
MDR Raises ¥200 Million (about $1.8 Million USD) in Series A Funding Led by SBI Investment
MDR will be using the funds to continue their hardware development of superconducting qubits for both the annealing and universal models as well as continued development of the company’s software development kit (SDK) and also development of services that can utilize quantum computers in the cloud. SBI Investment is part of the SBI Group and one of the leading venture capital firms in Japan. For more details, you can view the announcement from SBI Investment here
October 23, 2018
NSF Announces $6.75 Million Quantum Computing & Information Science Faculty Fellows Program
In order to promote increased education of quantum information and communication sciences in the U.S., the National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced their Quantum Computing & Information Science Faculty Fellows Program (QCIS-FF). This program, available to institutions of higher education in the U.S., will fund the hiring of a tenure track faculty position at an institution to perform research and help train a quantum technology workforce. The funding will have a maximum amount of $750,000 per position and is intended to cover the salary and benefits for up to three years. The total anticipated funding at the NSF for this program is $6,750,000 so this program is expected to support nine new faculty positions. For more details and instructions on how an institution can apply for this program, you can read the NSF program solicitation here.
October 22, 2018
Deutsche Telekom Planning Strategic Investment in ID Quantique
ID Quantique (IDQ) announced that Deutsche Telekom will be making an investment in IDQ. The amount of the investment was not disclosed They will be joining SK Telecom which previously made a $65 million majority investment in IDQ last February. Both Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom are researching how they can employ ID Quantique’s quantum technologies into future 5G networks for the telecom and Internet-of-Things (IoT) markets. For more details, you can read ID Quantique’s press release here.
October 13, 2018
Huawei Announces HiQ Cloud Quantum Computing Simulation Platform
Huawei has introduced a powerful cloud-based quantum simulator service and will make it available to developers, researchers, teachers, and students to promote quantum computing research and industrialization. They indicate that the platform will be freely open to the public, although access details haven’t yet been announced. The platform can support quantum circuits with at least 42 qubits for full-amplitude simulations and as many as 81 qubits for single amplitude simulations or 169 qubits for low-depth single amplitude simulations. In addition, the platform can support special features for quantum error correction simulation and a feature that allows intuitive programming for hybrid classical-quantum algorithms. The platform will use a programming framework that is compatible with ProjectQ. For more details, you can view Huawei’s press release about this new platform here.
October 6, 2018
D-Wave Announces Leap Quantum Applications Environment (QAE) to Provide Free Cloud Access to their Quantum Annealer and an Associated Software Platform Called Ocean
D-Wave’s Leap Quantum Applications Environment provides not only free and open access to their D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealer, but it also includes an open source development tools suite called Ocean, interactive demos using Jupyter notebooks, documentation, educational resources, and an on-line community for collaboration and support. Their software is now open sourced and they have placed it on GitHub. They are also encouraging users to contribute to the developments and are providing users with an incentive to open source their software. You can read our full article here.
October 3, 2018
NIST Launches Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QEDC)
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with SRI International to lead a consortium focused on quantum science and engineering. The goals of the new consortium include:
Additional details regarding the consortium’s structure, governance, and R&D goals will be announced in the coming months. For more information you can view the NIST press release here.
September 28, 2018
Atom Computing and Bleximo Land Venture Funding of $5 Million and $1.5 Million Respectively
Two Berkeley, California based quantum startups with founders who are alumni of Rigetti Computing have raised seed funding rounds to develop distinctly different varieties of quantum machines. Atom Computing has raised $5M in a seed round led by Venrock and Bleximo’s seed round of $1.5 million was led by Eniac Ventures. Click here for more details.
September 28, 2018
University College London (UCL), University of Bristol, Google’s Quantum AI Lab and Others Receive £5.5m ($7.1 million USD) in Funding for Quantum Modelling and Simulation Research
The funding will be provided by UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and others over a five year period to UCL’s Quantum Science and Technology Institute, Google’s Quantum AI Lab, the University of Bristol’s Quantum Information Institute, and UK start-up companies GTN and PhaseCraft to study and develop quantum software for modelling and simulation. It will bring together world-class expertise in quantum algorithm development and the exploitation of software applications with cutting-edge developments in quantum processor hardware. For more information, you can read the University of Bristol’s press release on their web site here.
September 25, 2018
U.S. Government Releases National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science and Awards $249 Million for Over a Hundred Different Quantum Related Research Projects
During a meeting in Washington, D.C., the Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (SCQIS) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) released a policy roadmap for coordinating government funded R&D in quantum technologies for the federal government. In addition, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released $31 million in quantum related funding awards for 33 different projects and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released $218 million in awards for 85 different projects. For more details, click here.
September 24, 2018
DigiCert, Gemalto, and Isara Partner to Create First Post-Quantum Public Key Infrastructure for IoT Devices
DigiCert, Gemalto, and Isara have gotten together to provide a full infrastructure with all the pieces to provide a complete quantum-resistant cryptography solution including digital certificates and secure key management for IoT devices. In this partnership, Isara will provide the post-quantum encryption software which will run on a Hardware Security Module (HSM) supplied by Gemalto that will interface to the Gemalto digital certificate infrastructure to provide automated credential issuing for connected devices. Click here for more information.
September 18, 2018
Singapore Government to Invest about $18 Million (USD) into a Quantum Engineering Programme
The Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) will invest S$25 Million (about $18 million USD) into a Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) to build a competitive quantum engineering research community in Singapore. Key research areas will include quantum secure communication, quantum devices, and quantum networks. A QEP programme office will be set up and hosted at the National University of Singapore which had previously established the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) in 2007. For more details, you can view the NRF press release here.
September 13, 2018
U.S. House of Representatives Passes the National Quantum Initiative Act (H.R. 6227)
The United States House of Representatives has passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (H.R. 6227). This act would provide approximately $1.275 billion in funding to accelerate the development of quantum information science and technology applications and also help provide education for a quantum workforce. Before this act can become law, the U.S. Senate must pass their own version of this bill (S. 3143), the two chambers must reconcile any differences, and then the bill will need to be signed by the President. The bills have bipartisan support and it is expected these steps will be completed before the end of the year. Click here to see the text of the House version of this bill.
September 7, 2018
Rigetti Announces a New Cloud Services Platform, New Partnerships, and a $1 Million Quantum Advantage Prize
Rigetti has introduced a new Quantum Cloud Services (QCS) platform that is optimized for hybrid classical/quantum computing along with twelve new software partners and a $1M Quantum Advantage prize to the first party that can demonstrate quantum advantage on a real world application. For more details, click here.
September 6, 2018
Zapata Develops Potential Alternative to Shor’s Factoring Algorithm for NISQ Computers
Zapata has developed a new approach for factoring a number called Variational Quantum Factoring. This approach leverages the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA) for something which is well suited for NISQ quantum computers. Click here for more details.
August 25, 2018
New NSF Program Solicitation to Establish Foundries for Quantum Materials and Devices
Ths U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has release a new program solicitation seeking proposals to establish foundries for prototyping and development of new quantum materials and devices. The program would last six years, have a funding level between $20 and $25 million and is only open to institutions of higher education. Click here for more details.
August 7, 2018
NSF Awards $15 Million Grant for Development of a Practical Quantum Computer
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $15 million over five years for the Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum Co-design (STAQ) project. This is a multi-institution project which has a goal of producing a working quantum computer of 64 qubits or more based upon ion trap technology while simultaneously developing software tools that optimally map quantum algorithms to the ion trap device. For more details, click here.
August 5, 2018
JSR Corporation Has Increased its Ownership of Cambridge Quantum Computing to around 5.5%
JSR Corporation made their initial investment in Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) in April 2018 and recently increased their stake to approximately 5.5%. JSR is a multinational company headquartered in Japan and a leading materials supplier in a variety of technology driven markets. In their fiscal year ending March 2018, their revenue was approximately $3.8 billion (USD) and they have over 7,000 employees worldwide. CQC has issued a very brief press release about this which you can find here.
August 4, 2018
U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act (S.3143) To Be Reported to Full Senate Later this Year
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has reviewed the proposed National Quantum Initiative Act bill (S.3143) and ordered it to be reported to the full Senate later this year. It would be the companion to U.S. House of Representatives’ National Quantum Initiative Act bill (H.R.6227) which will be reported to the full House. The two bills are similar but not exactly the same. Both bills specify funding from 2019 to 2023 of $400 million for NIST, $250 million for the NSF, and an unspecified smaller amount for a Coordination Office. However, the House bill also specifies an additional $625 million for the U.S. Department of Energy to establish up to five National Quantum Information Science Research Centers. Both bills have bipartisan support and it is likely they will pass after the differences are reconciled. A third bill, the Quantum Computing Research Act (S.2998) was referred to the Senate Armed Services committee but may not make it out of committee due to overlaps with the other bills.
August 3, 2018
IBM Releases Two New Tool Extensions for Qiskit – VSCode and Terra
The new tools, VSCode and Terra help extend the capability of Qiskit to make it both easier to use and provide finer control capabilities. The Qiskit VSCode Extension allows one to integrate IBM’s Qiskit with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code development environment. Qiskit Terra provides a way for expert users to program a quantum computer at the circuit and pulse level and achieve finer control over the quantum operations. Click here for more details.
July 24, 2018
U.S. National Quantum Initiative Bill Projected to Cost $1.1 Billion Over Four Years
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office has released an estimate that the National Quantum Initiative bill introduced by U.S Representative Lamar Smith will cost about $1.1 Billion over four years. The annual spending from this bill would include $125 million for research centers within the Department of Energy (DOE), $80 million to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand quantum application research, $50 million to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to operate a research and education program and $1 million to staff a National Quantum Coordination Office. For more details, click here.
July 19, 2018
Google AI Quantum Team Announces Alpha Release of the Cirq Framework
The Google AI Quantum Team announced an open sourced Python library for writing, manipulating, and optimizing quantum circuits and running them against quantum computers and simulators. A primary goal of this framework is to provide good support for NISQ (Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum) processors, such as Bristlecone. Along with this software they also announced OpenFermion-Cirq for quantum chemistry simulations and also software partners who will be interfacing their products to Cirq. Click here for more details.
July 16, 2018
Quantum Benchmark Launches True-Q™ Software
Quantum Benchmark has formally released its suite of True-Q™ software products which provide error characterization, error suppression, error correction and performance validation for quantum computers. Their target markets includes developers and users of quantum computers to improve the robustness of their quantum calculations. In addition, Quantum Benchmark disclosed that have already signed several license agreements with a few more in the pipeline and have received $1 million in seed funding from Vanedge Capital. For more details on the announcement, you can read their press release here. Also, Quantum Benchmark has released a short video that provides a brief overview of their toolset and how it integrates with Google’s Cirq platform. You can view it here.
July 10, 2018
QC Ware Raises $6.5 Million in Series A Financing
Quantum software company QC Ware has closed a $6.5 million Series A preferred equity financing led by Citigroup (Citi) and Goldman Sachs. Existing investors Airbus Ventures and D. E. Shaw Ventures and new investor Fenox Venture Capital also participated in the round. QC Ware offers a hardware-agnostic quantum cloud computing platform and is focused on serving enterprise end users with no prior knowledge of quantum computing. Additional details can be viewed in their press release here.
July 10, 2018
Q-Ctrl Gets Additional Seed Funding
Q-Ctrl announced today that Sequoia Chine, DCVC (Data Collective), and Hong-Kong based Horizon Ventures have joined original investor Australia’s Main Sequence Ventures in completing a seed round investment. The exact investment amount was not disclosed but sources indicated it was in the $1 to $10 million range. Q-Ctrl, based in Sydney, Australia, focuses on control techniques to stabilize the quantum bits that are used to build quantum computers, quantum sensors and related technology. For more details, you can read the blog post on the Q-Ctrl web site here.
July 7, 2018
Government of Israel Plans to Allocate About $80 Million (USD) for Quantum Computing Research
Reports in the Israeli press indicate that the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office plans to allocate 300 million Israeli New Shekels (NIS) or about $80 million USD to fund quantum computing research. Most of the funds will go to the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology with a part of it going to the Weizmann Institute of Science. Additional details can be found on the GLOBES website (which covers Israeli business) here.
June 28, 2018
QxBranch Raises $4.1 Million Series A Funding – Additional Details
QxBranch has released additional details of its latest funding round of $4.1 million. This is their first VC funding and the investors include Dymon Asia Ventures, Alpha Intelligence Capital (AIC), WorldQuant Ventures, and the Maryland Venture Fund. This new round complements previous seed fundings of $4.35 million that go back to the company’s founding in 2014 to bring the total investment to date to $8.48 million. For more details, you can read the blog posting on the QxBranch web site here.
June 26, 2018
Microsoft Releases Update to the Quantum Development Kit
The new version of Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit has improvements in the debugging functionality, performance improvements for both small and large simulations, bug fixes, and new helper function, operations, and sample programs. The version number of this new release is 0.2.1806. For more details, you can visit the Microsoft blog post here and also the Quantum Development Kit download page here.
June 24, 2018
Unitary Fund to Provide Cash Grants of $2000 for Open Source Quantum Software Projects
The Unitary Fund is a grant program run by Will Zeng. It funds explorers across the world to work on open source quantum computing. The program gives $2000 cash grants for projects to develop open source quantum software for near term hybrid quantum-classical programming. The applications process is designed to be as simple as possible. For those interested in learning more details and how to apply, you can view Will’s blog post here and Unitary Fund’s main page with FAQ’s here. In addition, the fund would welcome additional sponsorships, either in volunteer time or money, from anyone interested in encouraging quantum computing software development. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, you can email email@example.com.
June 22, 2018
QxBranch Raises Over $8.4 million in Total Funding to Date
QxBranch has submitted a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicating they have raised $8.468 million in Series A funding. The names of the investors were not disclosed on the form. For more information, you can view the SEC disclosure form here and a related article in the Washington Business Journal here.
June 22, 2018
Yale University Receives a $16 Million Grant for Quantum Computing Research
The U.S. Army Research Office has provided a four-year, $16 million grant to the Yale Quantum Institute to further their research into quantum computing. According to the researchers, the goal of the grant will be to construct a nearly perfect quantum computer out of imperfect parts. Yale has made many innovations in quantum computing including the original development of the superconducting qubit. And more recently, startup Quantum Circuits Inc. was founded by three Yale scientists to build and sell quantum computers. For more details, view the article posted on the YaleNews website here.
June 15, 2018
IBM Installs Second 20-Qubit Computer with Improved Qubit Quality
IBM posted data today on their second 20-qubit computer which has the codename of IBM Q20 Tokyo. This machine has significantly improved qubit quality from their first 20-qubit machine codenamed IBM Q20 Austin. (We’re not sure of the significance of the city name, but we believe that both machines are located at their research facility in Yorktown Heights, New York). Improvements in qubit quality are important in determining the overall power of a quantum computer and may even be more influential than the number of qubits. Both machines are available only to the Hubs, Partners, and members of the IBM Q Network. For those with a sign-on to the IBM Q Experience, you can see more details here. A summary of the data is shown below:
|Average||IBM Q-20 Austin||IBM Q-20 Tokyo||Improvement|
|Gate Error (10-3)||9.68||3.92||59.5%|
|Readout Error (10-2)||14.61||7.58||48.1%|
|MultiQubit Gate Error (10-2)||5.11||3.00||41.3%|
Calibration Data as of 6/17/2018
June 13, 2018
IBM Releases ACQUA (Algorithms and Circuits for Quantum Applications) Library Toolkit
Realizing the complexity and specialized training required to program a quantum computer, IBM has released a new toolkit called ACQUA that will allow domain experts in chemistry, AI, optimization, and finance a way of converting classical computer applications into complex quantum operations to be run on quantum computers over the cloud. It is a modular and extensible library that runs as a front end to QISKIT and allows them to quickly experiment with quantum algorithms on near-term devices without having to learn extensive details of the underlying quantum programming languages. IBM is promoting this as a way for these experts to get familiar with the advantages of quantum computing on the smaller 16 or 20 qubit machines so they can take advantage of the larger systems when they are available. For more details on ACQUA, you can read IBM’s blog post here, an ACQUA overview description here, and the GitHub download page here.
June 8, 2018
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris Submits Quantum Computing Research Act of 2018 Bill
The purpose of the bill would be to establish the Defense Quantum Information Consortium to award grants to members of the consortium to conduct research on matters relating to quantum information science including quantum communication and quantum computing and also coordinate partnerships between members of the consortium. The consortium would be governed by the Chief of Naval Research and a designee of the Chief, the Director of the Army Research Laboratory and a designee of the Director, the Assistant Director of Quantum Information Science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy and members of the National Quantum Initiative (NQI). No budget has yet been specified for this proposed consortium and it will require approval from both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives before being established. For more details, you can view the full bill here and the press release from Senator Harris’s office here.
June 2, 2018
Application Deadline for Canada’s Quantum Quest Seed Fund is June 26, 2018
The University of Waterloo is managing a Quantum Quest Seed Fund (QQSF) to promote the development of new ideas and applications for quantum devices. The QQSF provides funding in the amount of $25,000 to $50,000 per year for a two-year period for new ideas and applications that relate to quantum computation, sensing, or communication. For quantum computation this includes, for example, the development of quantum algorithms and quantum information processing. For communication, this includes applications of entangled qubits such as QKD. The funds are provided by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) and projects funded under QQSF are expected to lead to other sources of follow-on external funding. For more details you can visit the QQSF web page here and the FAQ page here.
May 31, 2018
D-Wave Wins $10 Million (CAD) Investment for Energy Efficiency
One of the potential benefits of quantum computing that doesn’t receive as much notice as it should is the huge savings in energy efficiency. For example, the D-Wave 2000Q computer takes about 25 KW of power compared to a requirement of 2500 KW or more for a large classical supercomputer. In recognition of this, D-Wave has received a $10 Million (CAD) investment (about $7.7 Million USD) for continued development of their quantum annealing technology. This was provided by the Sustainable Technology Development Canada (SDTC), an independent funding agency of the Canadian government. For more details, you can visit STDC’s press release here.
May 11, 2018
North Carolina State University Joins IBM Q Network as First North American University Hub
IBM announced that North Carolina State University will join the IBM Q network as a hub and will have access to IBM Q commercial quantum computing starting with a 20 qubit IBM Q system followed by a 50 qubit system which will be made available in the next generation IBM Q systems. Other university hubs include University of Oxford, Keio University, and University of Melbourne with additional non-university IBM Q hubs at IBM Research in New York and the Oak Ridge National Lab. Click here to review the press release with additional details.
May 9, 2018
D-Wave Creates a Machine Learning Business Unit
D-Wave has launched a new business unit, named Quadrant, to provide machine learning services to companies across a wide range of industries and application areas. An interesting point in this announcement is that Quadrant’s algorithms are currently running on standard GPU-based classical computing systems with a migration planned in the future to their next generation quantum processor. For more details, you can view our full article here.
May 9, 2018
Xanadu Receives Seed Round Funding of $9 Million
Xanadu has raised a seed round of $9M led by OMERS Ventures with participation from Golden Ventures and Real Ventures. They also announced that Seth Lloyd, Professor at MIT, has joined them as Chief Scientific Advisor. Xanadu is developing a room temperature photonic quantum computer that will be programmed with an associated software platform that they call Strawberry Fields. Their architecture is a little unique because they support a continuous-variable model of quantum computation that uses qumodes as the basic element instead of qubits. For more details, you can view the funding press release on Xanadu’s web site here and the arXiv paper introducing Strawberry Fields here.
May 5, 2018
New U.S. Department of Energy Program Will Invest $30 Million into Quantum Research
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a solicitation to provide up to $30 million in funding for research into Quantum Information Science (QIS). The solicitation is limited to the five DOE National Laboratory with Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs) and will provide total funding of $10 million for each of three years for up to 12 different research efforts. Click here for more details.
May 3, 2018
Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) and French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission (the CEA) Plan Quantum Computing Joint Venture
In an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and French President Emmanuel Macron, SQC and the CEA have agreed to collaborate on the development of a quantum computer. SQC has a leading position in silicon-based spin qubit development while the CEA has advanced silicon fabrication capabilities with a 300 mm fab located in Grenoble, France. More details can be seen on the SQC web site here.
May 1, 2018
Quantum Start Up Week July 10-13, 2018 to be sponsored by the University of Bristol and Spin Up Science
The University of Bristol Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) in association with Spin Up Science will host a four day program designed to teach quantum entrepreneurs skills and knowledge to help them turn ideas into valuable businesses. The program will occur at the Unit DX Science Incubator in Bristol, UK. Topics covered include Technology & IP Assessment, Market Validation & Business Strategy, Building a Team & Commercial Vehicles, Brand Strategy, and an opportunity to pitch their ideas to potential investors. Registration is limited to 30 places and there is a small fee for participation. Click here to view additional details.
April 21, 2018
Technion Receives $50 Million Gift for Quantum Research Center
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel has received a $50 million gift from the Helen Diller Family Foundation to support the newly renamed Helen Diller Center for Quantum Science, Matter and Engineering. The gift will be used for new faculty recruitment, establishing new infrastructure, seed funding for research and development, and educating a new generation of engineers with a mastery of quantum mechanics. Research conducted there will be focused on quantum computing and information processing, quantum communications, quantum sensing and detection, quantum simulations, simulators and quantum materials. Click here to view details of the announcement on the Technion web site.
April 19, 2018
Creative Destruction Lab’s Quantum Machine Learning Bootstrap Program Starts Soon
The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) in Toronto, Canada will be hosting their second Quantum Machine Learning bootstrap program beginning in July 2018 and lasting through June 2019. The next application deadline for participation is May 10, 2018. The program is designed for fledgling teams that want to start a quantum computing company and provide them with business and technical guidance, access to resources including quantum hardware from D-Wave and Rigetti, and a small amount of pre-seed capital. For more details, click here.
April 12, 2018
Cryptocurrency – A New Way of Securing Venture Financing for Quantum Startups
Not only is quantum computing bringing in a wave of innovation in technology, but new ways of funding are also being explored and we have recently seen two examples of this. Click here to view a report on Qubit Protocol, an organization that will finance quantum startups through the use of cryptocurrency and a blockchain enabled governance protocol to make strategic funding decisions. The report also discusses startup Qilimanjaro which will commence their Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to obtain funding on April 15, 2018.
April 7, 2018
Strangeworks and Zapata Computing Raise $4 Million and $5.4 Million Respectively
In separate announcements, Strangeworks announced that it had received seed funding of $4 million led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Zapata Computing filed an SEC Form D indicating that they had raised $5.4 million. The investors for Zapata were not listed. For more information you can view an article about Strangeworks in the SiliconHills News here and for Zapata you can read the posting on Xconony here.
April 5, 2018
Entanglement Research Institute (eRI) Looking to Purchase Quantum Computers from Both D-Wave and Rigetti
According to a recent article in the Newport Daily News, the proposed Entanglement Research Institute (eRI) which is slated to be constructed in Newport, Rhode Island will be purchasing and installing quantum computers from both D-Wave and Rigetti for research and applications development. Click here for more details.
April 5, 2018
IBM Names Eight Quantum Software Startups as Members of the IBM Q Network
As a continuation of their efforts to expand their QC marketing efforts, IBM has named eight new members of their IBM Q Network. These companies are all focused on quantum computing software or quantum computing applications and include Zapata Computing, Strangeworks, QxBranch, Quantum Benchmark, QC Ware, Q-Ctrl, Cambridge Quantum Computing, and 1QBit. These companies will join the original members of the IBM Q Network that IBM announced last December. The arrangement will provide these startups with deeper access to APIs and advanced quantum software tools, libraries and applications, as well as consultation access to emerging quantum technologies and applications from IBM scientists, engineers and consultants. It will also benefit IBM by allowing them to service a wider audience of end users through the help of these companies. The arrangement would not be exclusive for these startup companies as several of them also work with D-Wave and possibly other quantum computing hardware suppliers. For more details, click here to see the IBM blog posting.
April 1, 2018
Trump May Sign Executive Order Affecting Quantum Startups
There are reports from Washington, that President Donald Trump may sign an Executive Order requiring that all quantum startups contain the letter “Q” in their name. Many of them already do this but there are a few significant standouts that may need to change. For example, Rigetti and Strangeworks might need to change their company’s names to RiQetti and StrangeworQues. Public companies like Microsoft would not be required to change their company’s name to something like MiQrosoft. However, in keeping with this spirit we would point out that Microsoft has already named their quantum programming language Q#. When contacted about this, a spokesman at the White House said, “There is no truth to this whatsoever. It is all FaQue News”.
March 30, 2018
Microsoft and Partners Make Another Step Towards a Topological Qubit
Researchers at QuTech, Microsoft, UCSB, JQI, and TU Eindhoven have published the results of an experiment that appears to confirm the existence of the Majorana quasiparticle. This quasiparticle would be the basis of a topological qubit that Microsoft and its partners are working hard to develop and its advantage would be an improvement in qubit coherence by several orders of magnitude. Click here for more details.
March 26, 2018
New QC Company Formed, Quantum Computing Inc. And They are Already Public!
Innovative Beverage Group Holdings, Inc. (OTC:IBGH) has announced it is shifting business focus to quantum computing. In connection with this shift in strategic direction, they plan to change their name to Quantum Computing Inc. Their initial focus will be the creation of quantum finance applications. However, as part of their activities, they will also be developing a quantum annealing processor which would make them the second company (after D-Wave) that would commercially offer such a technology. For more details you can view their press release here and also visit their website here.
March 10, 2018
MIT Offering a Professional Development Program on the Applications of Quantum Computing
In addition to the edX quantum education program mentioned earlier (see News post of January, 12, 2018), MIT is also offering a four-course professional development (MIT xPRO) program on Applications of Quantum Computing. Each course will last for four weeks and consists of the following:
The cost for this program is $3900 and upon successful completion of all four courses a participant will received a Professional Certificate in Quantum Computing from MIT. You can find more details about this program at their web site here.
March 6, 2018
Google Announces a 72 Qubit Superconducting Quantum Chip
At the APS March conference, Google announced their development of a 72 qubit quantum chip to further their research in gate level quantum computing and to serve as a test bed for demonstrating quantum supremacy for their chosen problem. Click here for more details.
March 1, 2018
NSF Awards $10 Million for Research on Enabling Practical Scale Quantum Computing
The National Science Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $10 Million grant to a consortium of five universities who will study implementing practical quantum solutions for the moderate scale quantum machines of 100 to 1000 qubits that are expected to be available within the next few years. Click here for more details.
February 28, 2018
SK Telecom Invests $65 Million in ID Quantique
In the first of what I expect to be many deals that will take place with various quantum startups over the next several years, SK Telecom will be investing $65 Million in ID Quantique and acquire a significant ownership stake in the company. Click here for more details.
February 26, 2018
Microsoft Updates Its Quantum Development Kit
Microsoft has released an update to its Quantum Development Kit that provides support for MacOS and Linux and also includes other new features. Click here for more details.
February 25, 2018
D-Wave Completes Development of Next-Generation Quantum Processor
D-Wave has announced that they have completed the development of a next generation quantum processor. Completing this milestone will lock in $20 million of additional funding from the Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board and bring D-Wave’s total investment to date to $220 million USD. We had reported a while ago that D-Wave was developing a processor with a new architecture that made significant improvements in qubit connectivity. (See our article on A Brief Look at D-Wave’s Future Product Roadmap published in September 2016.) It is also likely that D-Wave will continue their practice of doubling the qubit count with every generation so this processor should contain 4,000 or more quantum annealing qubits. For more details you can view D-Wave’s press release here.
February 24, 2018
Rigetti Releases Updated Version 1.3 of their Forest Quantum Software Platform
Rigetti has released a new version of their Forest platform with improvements in developer tools, stability, ease-of-use, and execution time. Click here for more details.
February 23, 2018
Chinese Academy of Sciences and Alibaba Launch 11-Qubit Quantum Computing Cloud Service
The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Aliyun subsidiary of Alibaba have jointly released an 11-bit cloud superconducintg quantum computing service. This service can be accessed therough the Aliyun Cloud website. Aliyun is also offering a new 32-qubit quantum computing simulation service to allow omparisons between simulated experiemental results with real results on quantum computers. More details can be found here.
February 11, 2018
Alpine Quantum Technologies Receives 10 Million Euro Funding from the Austrian Government
Alpine Quantum will receive 10 million euros (about $12 million USD) from the Austrian Government to fund development of a commercial quantum computer. The founders of Alpine Quantum are three quantum physicists from the Univeristy of Innsbruck and the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information. For more details, click here for a web posting from derStandard. (The article is in German, but you can use Google Translate to translate it into English).
February 3, 2018
New Developments Published this Week from Rigetti and the University of Sydney
Rigetti Computing has developed a new technique to reduce interference between qubits on the same chip and have published it in a paper posted on Science Advances web site. As the number of qubits on a chip continues to increase, reducing interference will become increasingly important. They have also published a blog post that provides a simplified summary of the paper which you can read here.
In another paper published this week on the Physical Review Letters web site, researchers at the University of Sydney have described a simple modification to the surface code error correction algorithm that could potentially improve the error correction threshold by almost four times. This method takes advantage of the observation that in many quantum implementations, a certain type of noise called Pauli-Z errors, also called dephasing noise, is more prevalent than other error sources. The result is that this method could provide better overall error correction with fewer qubits and lower the required physical to logical qubit ratio.
January 12, 2018
MIT Online Quantum Information Course Starts Monday, January 15, 2018 – Its Free
MIT will be offering a three part quantum information course via the edX on-line education platform. The first one titled Quantum Information Science 1, Part 1 (8.370.1x) will start on Monday, January 14 an last for 5 weeks. The lectures can be viewed on-line on your own schedule and part 1 and be followed by parts 2 and 3 as shown below.
The three-course series comprises:
For more details and to sign up for the course click here.
January 8, 2018
Intel Fabricates 49 Qubit Superconducting Chip
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today that Intel has fabricated a 49 qubit superconducting chip, codenamed Tangle Lake, and has delivered it to partner QuTech in the Netherlands. Previously, they had developed a 17 qubit chip which they announced last October.
January 4, 2018
Tulane University Will Lead a $3.67 Million Program for Quantum Programming Research
The goal of the project is to develop tools and related methodologies for designing and analyzing programming languages for quantum computers, which are being designed to complete tasks and solve problems far more efficiently and faster than today’s computers. Although a number of prototype quantum computers already exist, the traditional methods for checking that programs are correct don’t work in the quantum setting. So new approaches – semantic models, formal methods and related tools – need to be developed so that quantum programs can be proved correct before they’re run on an actual computer. The grant, titled “Semantics, Formal Reasoning and Tool Support for Quantum Programming,” is funded for three years, with the possibility a two-year extension for a total of $6.34 million. Other universities involved will include the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Iowa and Stanford University as part of the Department of Defense’s Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program.
For older news items published in 2015-2017, click here.