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.
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.
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.
December 30, 2020 – News Brief
U.S. Air Force Awards 17 Quantum Seed Grants Totaling Over $1 Million
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded 17 academic institutions seed grants of around $75,000 each to perform research on various aspects of quantum technology. This is the result of a $1,000,000 International Quantum U Tech Accelerator pitch competition event organized by the Innovare Advancement Center and held on September 1-3, 2020 . The 17 winners were selected from a group of 36 proposers from 22 different countries including the United States. The proposals were made within four focus areas of quantum information science: Communications, Computing, Sensing and Timing. For the full announcement and a listing of the grant recipients you can view the news announcement from the Air Force’s Office of Scientific Research here.
December 24, 2020
Qblox and Pasqal Receive Funding from the European Innovation Council Totalling €11.8 Million ($14.5M USD)
Qblox received funding of €4.8 million (about $5.8M USD) and Pasqal received €7 million (about $8.5M USD) from the European Commission EIC Accelerator program. The funds include grants of up to €2.5 million with the remainder as an equity investment. These two organizations were among the 38 startups selected for funding among over 4200 applicants. Qblox develops create massively scalable quantum control stacks while Pasqal is working to develop a first generation of multi-100 qubit processors out of the neutral atom technology as well as a full software stack including application-specific libraries. For more information, you can view a LinkedIn posting from Qblox here, a news release from Pasqal here and a news release from the European Commission’s European Innovation Council (EIC) here.
December 24, 2020 – News Brief
QuTech Makes First Major Release of NetSquid, a Quantum Network Simulator
QuTech, a collaboration between the TU Delft and TNO, developed NetSquid (Network Simulator for Quantum Information using Discrete events) to enable research organizations to design the future quantum internet as well as modular quantum computing architectures. The simulator can model all aspects of quantum networks and modular quantum computing systems from the physical layer hardware and the control plane all the way to the application level. This includes modelling the effects of time on quantum network performance which is important for developing scalable systems that can mitigate the effects of qubit decoherence. The NetSquid simulator is freely available for non-commercial use. Prospective users can get access by first registering at the NetSquid Community Forum and a tutorial is available online. Additional information is available about NetSquid in a news release on the TNO website here, a dedicated NetSquid website here and a technical paper on as an arXiv preprint here.
December 19, 2020 – News Brief
ColdQuantum and ParityQC Partner to Investigate Quantum Advantage with Optimization Problems
Earlier this year, ColdQuanta was awarded a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a scalable, cold-atom-based quantum computing hardware and software platform based upon its cold atom Quantum Core technology that can demonstrate quantum advantage on real-world problems. ParityQC is providing crucial support for this project with its ParityQC architecture, a blueprint for next generation quantum computers to solve optimization problems, and ParityOS, the operating system to run quantum algorithms on the architecture. The companies believe that by using the ParityQC architecture they will be able to compile optimization problems with an order of magnitude fewer gate operations compared to the standard gate model approach. This will allow them to demonstrate Quantum Advantage on a real world optimization problem much sooner than would otherwise be expected. For more information, you can view the news release on the ColdQuantum website here and another one on the ParityQC website here.
December 18, 2020
U.S. Air Force Awards $35 Million in Quantum Research Funding to 15 Small Businesses
The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate has provided a total of 23 Phase II Small-Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards to 15 companies in the areas of Quantum Timing, Quantum Sensing, Quantum Computing and Quantum Communications. The awards were announced at a Virtual Quantum Collider 2.0 event held December 1-2, 2020. For the full article with a listing of the awards, click here.
December 18, 2020 – News Brief
Atos to Install Quantum Learning Machine Enhanced (QLM-E) at the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC)
Atos announced this QLM-E quantum simulator last June and the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) will be the first external installation for the device. It offers up to 12 times the performance of the previous QLM through the use of NVIDIA GPUs instead of general purpose microprocessors. The device will be integrated with the Irish National supercomputer ‘Kay’ at ICHEC and equipped with a variety of quantum software programming tools. The Atos QLM E will also be used in the ‘NEASQC’ project, in the €1 bn European flagship quantum initiative, of which Ireland is a partner. In addition to providing the machine itself, Atos will also provide training for this simulator and provide enhancements to it when they become available. For more on this announcement, you can view a news release from Atos here and another news release from ICHEC here.
December 16, 2020 – News Brief
Anyon to Deliver a Quantum Processor to Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)
The processor is code-named Yukon and will use a superconducting gate-based technology. With teams based in Montreal and Waterloo, they complete suite of hardware and software (including novel superconducting quantum processors, control electronics and cryogenics systems) to deliver turn-key superconducting quantum computers. For more about this announcement, you can read Anyon’s news release here.
December 16, 2020 – News Brief
QHealth Consortium Led by aQuantum Receives €3.67 Million ($4.4M USD) Grant to Study Drug Impacts on the Elderly
The funds are being provided by the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain. Along with collaborators Gloin, Madrija, University Institute of Biosanitary Research of Extremadura (INUBE), University of Extremadura (UEx) and the University of Castilla La Mancha (UCLM), they will conduct research using quantum computing to investigate the correlation among the genetic variables, drug consumption and other variables related to the health history of the elderly patients. The project started in August 2020 and is expected to finish in December 2023. The goal of the research is to help the medical community find ways of reducing side effects and errors in drug prescription as well as discovering potential ways of using quantum software that can optimize how drugs are prescribed based upon physiologic, genetic, and environmental factors associated with the particular elderly patient and, ultimately, increase longevity and quality of life of older adults. For more about this award and the program itself, you can view a blog post on the aQuantum website here and a more detailed description of the program here.
December 12, 2020 – News Brief
Taiwan Planning to Invest NT$8 Billion ($283M USD) in Quantum Computing Development
The funding will be over a five year period and supplied by Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Academia Sinica. As part of this project a Quantum Technology Laboratory Building over 2,000 square meters in size will be constructed between 2022 and 2024 at the southern campus of Academia Sinica in Tainan Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City. Additional information is available in a post on the website of Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology here, and news articles from Taiwan News and Radio Taiwan International (RTI) here and here.
December 11, 2020
A Wave of New Product/Feature Introductions: Amazon, D-Wave, Google, IBM, QuiX, Rigetti, Xanadu
This past week has been particularly active with new quantum product and feature announcements. This is partially due to everyone wanted to get these releases out before people start going on vacation for the holidays and also because some of these company wanted to announce these at the recent Q2B Conference. We have provided a roundup of all the new product and features announcements in a long news article that you can find here.
December 10, 2020 – News Brief
Phasecraft Raises £3.7 Million ($4.9M USD) Seed Round
The round was led by investors LocalGlobe and Episode 1 with additional participation from previous investors including UCL Technology Fund, Parkwalk Advisors and London Co-investment Fund. This brings total funding for Phasecraft up to £5.5 million ($7.3M USD). Phasecraft is a UK based quantum software company that is developing high-efficiency software for useful applications. Their latest research involves finding a more efficient way of solving the Fermi-Hubbard model and was recently published in Physical Review B, published by the American Physical Society, and was also chosen as an Editors’ Suggestion in Physics magazine. For more, you can view the funding news announcement on the Phasecraft website here and another news announcement about their latest research here.
December 9, 2020
IonQ Unveils Its Hardware Roadmap and Another Quantum Computing Performance Metric
In blog posts on its website as well as presentations given at the Q2B conference, IonQ described its strategy and goals for scaling its next generation machines. Their technology strategy includes increasing the number of qubits, improving qubit gate fidelities, miniaturizing its chips and systems, lowering the manufacturing cost, leveraging error correction to improved effective local qubit quality, and using photonic networks to combine multiple modules into one larger system. They have indicated that have three generations of products currently undergoing development (at different stages), and expect to regularly roll out higher performance systems on fast schedule. IonQ also defined an Algorithmic Qubit or AQ metric as the number of effectively perfect qubits you can deploy in a quantum program. Although IonQ has been using Quantum Volume (QV) as a metric, they view as having Quantum Volume as having deficiencies because it does not work very well when you reach large numbers of qubits. The Algorithmic Qubit can also take into account error correction algorithms which can create a logical qubit with a higher fidelity level than the component physical qubits. Click here for our article on IonQ’s announcements.
December 9, 2020 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Completes $45 Million Funding Round
The investors in this round include Honeywell Ventures, IBM Ventures, JSR Corporation, Serendipity Capital, Alvarium Investments and Talipot Holdings. The funds will be used to further accelerate commercialization of CQC’s quantum computing software and applications. Serendipity Capital had announced last July it had funded CQC for an undisclosed amount and it is not clear if that has been included in the $45 million or was a separate investment of an earlier round. Similarly, IBM had also invested in CQC in February for an undisclosed amount. CQC is a leading quantum software company with over 130 professionals in the UK, US, and Japan providing the t|ket> quantum development platform, quantum random number (QRNG) products, and applications solutions in the areas of quantum chemistry with their EUMEN package and quantum machine learning (QML). For more information on this announcement you can view the news release on the CQC website here.
December 5, 2020
Q-score: A New Competitor to Quantum Volume for Measuring Quantum Computer Performance
Atos has created their own quantum benchmarking performance metric for gate level quantum computers which they call Q-score. The metric is based on the Max-Cut problem and the score is the number of variables the quantum computer can optimize. Atos will be making available in Q1 2021 a free software kit that can be used by any gate based computer to run the problem and calculate the Q-score or Qs, for short. Atos is encouraging all quantum hardware developers to utilize this kit to measure the Q-score level of their own machine and publish the result. Click here for more.
December 3, 2020 – News Brief
IBM Achieves a New Quantum Volume Level of 128
In the race between IBM and others to see who can quote the highest Quantum Volume number, IBM just disclosed that they have now reached a Quantum Volume level of 128 on their IBM Q Montreal quantum computer. This now matches the Quantum Volume of 128 that Honeywell announced at the end of September. It was only last August when IBM announced they had upgraded this same Montreal device to reach a Quantum Volume level of 64 from the previous 32 solely through improved software and qubit controls. Apparently, IBM has continued to improve the software and qubit controls to reach this new level without any major changes in the hardware. Although the Montreal computer has a total of 27 qubits available, reaching a Quantum Volume metric of 128 requires a circuit that uses 7 qubits with a circuit depth of 7. Additional information about this can be found in a Tweet from Jay Gambetta which can be seen here.
December 3, 2020
Intel Unveils Horse Ridge II Cryogenic Quantum Control Chip
Intel has developed a second generation of a cryogenic quantum control chip called Horse Ridge II. This is a follow-on to the original Horse Ridge chip they announced last year which aims to move the qubit control electronics closer to the qubits and simplify the wiring in the system. Although full technical details of this new device will be presented at ISSCC 2021, Intel indicated they have added two important features including a qubit readout capability and multigate pulsing. Click here for the full article.
December 2, 2020
Riverlane Announces the Public Release of its First Version of Deltaflow.OS
Deltaflow.OS is designed to be a universal quantum operating system that is both hardware and platform agnostic. As reported on our article last May, the project has funding from the UK government and is being developed by software company Riverlane with additional hardware partners Oxford Ionics, OQC, Hitachi, Universal Quantum, Arm, Duality and Quantum Photonics with the intention of being the standard operating system for quantum computers in the UK. This first version released is called Deltaflow-on-ARTIQ. ARTIQ (Advanced Real-Time Infrastructure for Quantum physics) is a leading-edge control system for quantum information experiments that can be used with different quantum hardware platforms as well as a software emulator. Click here for the full article.
November 28, 2020 – News Brief
ETH Zurich Receives 40 Million Swiss Francs ($44.2M USD) Pledge to Build a Quantum Research Facility
The pledge was made by Martin Hoeffner, the head of the AMAG Group which is the largest automotive group in Switzerland. The funds will be used to construct a highly specialized physics laboratory building on ETH’s Hönggerberg campus. The building will take eight years to build with a scheduled completion in 2028 and will be specially constructed to minimize interference from vibrations, electromagnetic interference, and provide a high degree of temperature stability for sensitive experiments. The building will house over 500 staff members and include special underground research laboratories where it will be possible to conduct particularly sensitive, highly isolated experiments. Additional information about this pledge and the planned research facility is available in the news release posted on the ETH Zurich website here.
November 28, 2020 – News Brief
European Research Council Awards $16 Million Grant to Study Quantum Electronic Devices
The European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grant was awarded to a team from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, ETH Zurich, and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The grant will allow the team to develop fundamentally novel thermodynamic measurement methods, in particular for entropy, for investigating new phases of matter, such as Majorana fermions, that emerge in quantum electronic devices. Majorana fermions would be a key component in the topological qubit technology being pursued by Microsoft and others. Additional details about this project can be found on the Ben-Gurion University website here.
November 27, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Inspire Consortium Receives 4.5 Million Euro ($5.4M USD) Grant to Further Develop Its Quantum Inspire Cloud Computing System
We first reported about Quantum Inspire in April 2020 as the first quantum cloud computing systems in Europe. Now the Dutch Research Council (NWO) has provided the consortium with a 4.5 Million euro grant to further develop the system. The consortium consists of TU Delft, Leiden University, Radboud University, HAS University of Applied Sciences, QuTech, TNO, Waag, Ministry of Defence, Malmberg, Zurich Instruments, Onderwijsnetwerk Zuid-Holland (ONZ), Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching and the system itself is physically located at QuTech in Delft, Netherlands. The funds will be used to develop systems with 50 qubits or more, design an intuitive and easily accessible user-interface and create a path towards the commercial use of quantum computing. More information is available in the news release posted on the QuTech website here.
November 27, 2020 – News Brief
IBM Quantum Grants Special Quantum Computing Access to the Unitary Fund Community
Unitary Fund, a non-profit that provides $4000 grants to projects that help develop the quantum technology ecosystem has added another benefit for those who receive awards. Awardees will now be able to enjoy increased access to the IBM Q infrastructure to perform their research. The increased access will include a larger share of the queue on open IBM Quantum systems, the ability to book dedicated time on a system and access to additional, non-open systems. These non-open systems are more advanced than the open systems and generally have more qubits and better gate fidelities. Many of the awardees are individuals, students or others who may not normally be able to obtain this increased access. So this benefit should help with their research efforts with access to more powerful systems and more convenience when submitting their quantum program jobs. For more, you can view the blog announcement on the Unitary Fund website here.
November 26, 2020 – News Brief
CQC and NPL To Collaborate For Advancement and Commercialization of Quantum Photonic Products
The UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) are working together to optimize and commercialize photonic quantum devices including CQC’s Ironbridge quantum random number generator (QRNG). The activity will allow the UK government to validate the operation of Ironbridge, provide a seal of approval and help accelerate commercial adoption. They will also also provide metrology and testing of this device with other photonic components such as emerging low-loss connectors intended to meet exacting IEC standards to improve the efficiency optical quantum networks. The team also plans to demonstrate Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) over a dedicated fiber link using the Ironbridge certifiable quantum source as part of the system. For more on this collaboration, you can visit a news release announcing it here.
November 26, 2020
PAck Quantique (PAQ) Program Created in Paris to Fund Quantum Projects
With a goal of creating a strong quantum ecosystem in the Paris, France region three organizations, the Paris Region Council, Le Lab Quantique, and GENCI have created the Pack Quantique (PAQ) program to fund quantum projects. They have started with three projects and an initial funding amount of 1.5 million Euros ($1.8M USD) over three years. click here for the full article.
November 25, 2020 – News Brief
M Squared Lasers Receives £32.5 million ($43.5M USD) in New Financing
The financing includes £12.5 million ($16.7M USD) in equity from the newly formed Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) and £20 million ($26.8M USD) in debt financing from the finance firm Santander UK. The funds will be used to advance the company’s R&D as well as refinance some existing debt and complete a strategic buyout of part of an existing equity investment from the U.K. investor group Business Growth Fund (BGF). We had previously reported that M Squared is leading the UK’s £10 million ($13.1M USD) DISCOVERY project with eight additional partners to research the use of photonics in quantum computing. More information about this funding can be found in the news release on the M Squared web site here.
November 25, 2020
Two New Quantum Networking Collaborations Announced in Canada and the Netherlands
The first is called the Canadian Quantum Network (CQN) and will include Xanadu, MaRS (a launchpad for Canadian startups), and the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL). They will start by creating a three node network connecting the three organizations in the Toronto area using fiber optic cables and it is expected to be operational by 2021. The second is a Dutch consortium which includes QuTech (a partnership between TU Delft and TNO), KPN (a mobile telecom company), SURF (a cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions), and OPNT (a telecommunications equipment supplier). The partners will create a quantum network within the Randstad metropolitan area of central-western Netherlands. Click here for the full article.
November 19, 2020
Zapata Computing Receives $38 Million in Series B Financing
The round was led by Comcast Ventures, Pitango and Prelude Ventures, with additional participation from BASF Venture Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, The Engine Accelerator Fund and new investors, including Ahren Innovation Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, Honeywell Venture Capital, ITOCHU Corporation and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. This new round brings the total company funding to $64 million. Click here for the full article.
November 18, 2020 – News Brief
Quantopticon Launches Quantillion Software for the Design and Optimization of Quantum-Optical Components
Quantillion can be used to model quantum optical devices and saves time and money because engineers will not have to go through multiple prototypes to optimize their design. Quantopticon indicates that the software provides many more features than both classical modelling software and open-source quantum optics toolboxes. You can view a product brochure here and also download a demo of the software here.
November 16, 2020 – News Brief
Multiverse Computing Closes a 1.5 Million Euro ($1.78M USD) Funding Round
The funding was was provided by Quantonation, Seed Gipuzkoa, Easo Ventures S.C.R., Mondragon Promotion Fund FCR and Penja Strategy. Multiverse is a quantum software company that specializes in providing hyperefficient software for companies in the financial industry for problems including financial optimization, fraud detection, and artificial intelligence. The company has offices in Donostia, Basque Country, Spain and also Toronto, Canada. They are currently working with Spanish financial companies Bankia and BBVA and have several others in preparation. Additional information about this funding can be found in the news release on the Multiverse web site here.
November 16, 2020 – News Brief
Finland Selects IQM to Build the Country’s First Quantum Computer
After going through a competitive bidding process, the Government of Finland has selected IQM to build its first quantum computer. IQM will be working with VTT, a state-owned non-profit corporation on this project and the project will have a budget of €20.7 million (about $24.5 Million USD). The ultimate goal of the project will be to have a 50 qubit device by 2024. But there will be interim steps with an initial goal of having a 5 qubit device within the next 12 months. IQM was founded as a spinoff from a research group at Aalto University. The company is developing superconducting based quantum computers with additional proprietary technology that provides performance advantages for reset, gates, and readout. IQM also announced earlier this month a Series A funding round for €39 Million ($46M USD). For more on this announcement, you can read the news release on the IQM web site here.
November 14, 2020 – News Brief
Chicago Quantum Exchange Adds Six New Partners
The Chicago Quantum Exchange is anchored by the University of Chicago and includes government and goverment organizations Argonne National Laboratory, National Accelerator Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University. The new corporate partners for the Chicago Quantum Exchange include Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS), Hamamatsu Photonics, Protiviti, Quantum Machines, and Super.tech. In addition, P33, a non-profit innovation promotion group for Chicago has also joined. This brings the total number of partners for the exchange to 18. The exchange and its partners will collaborate on research to advance quantum science and engineering, hold workshops to develop new research directions, and train future members of a quantum workforce. For more information on the Chicago Quantum Exchange activities and its new partners, you can view the announcement on their web site here.
November 12, 2020 – News Brief
Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli Named Chairman of Quantum Motion
The University of California, Berkeley professor was a founder of both Cadence Design Systems and Synopsis. Quantum Motion is developing quantum devices based upon scalable silicon processing that can be manufactured in a semiconductor wafer fab. Professor Sangiovanni-Vincentelli’s long experience with the semiconductor and electronics industries should be quite helpful to Quantum Motion’s efforts as they proceed with their developments. For more, you can view the news release from Quantum Motion here.
November 10, 2020 – News Brief
QC Ware Collaborates with Total to Research Use of Quantum Optimization Algorithms in the Energy Company’s Operations
Total SE is one of the largest energy companies in the world and is headquartered in France. They will be using QC Ware’s Forge cloud services platform to model continuous variables and run optimization use cases that are critical to Total’s operations. With 2019 revenue of over $200 billion and over 100,000 employees, Total will certainly have many highly complex computational problems that could potentially make use of quantum computation in the future. For more on QC Ware’s work with Total, you can view a press release on the QC Ware web site here.
November 10, 2020 – News Brief
IQM Raises €39 Million ($46M USD) Bringing Total Investment to €71 Million ($84M USD)
The Series A funding was led by MIG Fonds with additional participation from Tesi, OpenOcean, Maki.vc, Vito Ventures, Matadero QED, Vsquared, Salvia GmbH, Santo Venture Capital GmbH, and Tencent. IQM is designing a superconducting quantum computing and is based in Espoo, Finland with a subsidiary in Munich, Germany. This fundraising round is one of the larger private fundings for quantum in Europe and their team of over 70 employees is also among the larger quantum teams in Europe. IQM’s strategy is a little different from other quantum hardware companies because they are looking to provide on-premises quantum computers to research laboratories and supercomputing centers as opposed to a pure cloud based business model. They are also pursuing the development of application specific quantum computers using a co-design strategy with their subsidiary in Munich. For more information you can view IQM’s press release announcing the funding on their web site here.
November 9, 2020
UK and Canadian Government Jointly Fund Quantum Research for the Equivalent of $6 Million USD
Eight quantum projects have been funded by a combination of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) providing £2 million and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) providing C$4.4 million over a three year period. This follows a 2017 agreement between the two countries to share quantum expertise through collaborations and is the first arrangement of this type that has two different governments funding joint projects. Click here for the full article.
November 7, 2020 – News Brief
UK Consortium Launches £10 million ($13.1M USD) DISCOVERY Project
The project will be led by M-Squared Lasers, a developer or photonics and quantum technology with additional participation from Oxford Ionics, Orca Computing, Kelvin Nanotechnology, TMD Technologies, the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Oxford, and the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The three year project is partially funded by the UK’s Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research and Innovation. The project will research three methods enabled by photonics for creating high fidelity qubits. These methods include neutral atoms, ion traps, and optical qubits with a goal of increasing both qubit fidelities and scalability for commercial implementations. The project is also intended to help further develop the UK quantum ecosystem. More information about this project is available in the news release on the M Squared web site here.
November 5, 2020 – News Brief
ColdQuanta Receives $32 Million in Series A Funding
The round was led by Global Frontier Investments and LCP Quantum Partners with additional participation from Maverick Ventures and Foundry Group. ColdQuanta, founded in 2007 as a spin-off from the University of Colorado, Boulder, utilizes cold atom technology for the development of quantum computers, quantum positioning systems, and real-time quantum signal processing based on ColdQuanta’s Quantum Core™ technology. This brings to total amount of funding the company has received to date to $48.75 million. The company has already received government contracts and other awards of $30 million since its founding. Additional information is available in the news release from ColdQuanta here.
November 4, 2020 – News Brief
IBM Introduces a New Qiskit Chemistry Module and Qiskit Gradients Framework to Make Application Development Easier
IBM has introduced a revamped chemistry module and a new gradients module into Qiskit in an effort to make their quantum computers easier to use for people who understand their own application domain but are not quantum experts. The Qiskit Chemistry module contains algorithms for calculating molecules’ electronic and vibronic structure, plus algorithmic primitives to serve as the building blocks for higher level applications. The Qiskit Gradients framework provides an automated way of computing analytical gradients. This is useful for quantum chemistry because many of the algorithms it uses are variational and involve classical and quantum computers working together to find parameters that minimize an objective function. This capability is useful not only for quantum chemistry applications but is also needed for quantum machine learning and other applications. For additional details on these new modules and their uses, you can view an article posted by IBM on Medium here.
November 4, 2020 – News Brief
Atos Partners with Pasqal to Collaborate on Neutral Atom Quantum Processing
Atos which has been offering their Quantum Learning Machine, a device which performs quantum simulation using classical computing chips, has announced a partnership with quantum startup Pasqal to develop an offering based on Paqal’s neutral atom technology. At a recent bpifrance Quantum Computing Business conference, Elie Girard, Atos CEO, indicated a company goal of providing a hybrid classical/quantum solution by 2023 which would likely use this technology. We had recently published a report on Pasqal’s roadmap to develop a 200 qubit machine by 2021. Pasqal has been very busy establishing partnerships with other quantum players this year including collaborations with ParityQC, Cambridge Quantum Computing, Rahko, Google, and Muquans. For more on the Atos/Pasqal partnership, you can view a news release with the announcement here.
October 31, 2020 – News Brief
U.S. NSA’s Laboratory for Physical Science and Army Research Office (ARO) Launch the LPS Qubit Collaboratory
A collaboratory was first described by computer scientist Dr. William Wulf in 1989, as a “center without walls in which the nation’s researchers can perform their research without regard to physical location, interacting with colleagues, accessing instrumentation, sharing data and computational resources, [and] accessing information in digital libraries.” This collaboratory will establish relationships with universities and other organizations to understand the limits of quantum technology as well as support an expanded quantum workforce and quantum infrastructures like quantum foundries that will make it easier for someone to create a quantum device. For more information on the LPS Qubit Collaboratory, you can view the announcement on the NSA’s web site here.
October 31, 2020 – News Brief
University of Calgary Receives $3 Million CDN ($2.25M USD) Grant For Quantum Research
The funding was provided by the province of Alberta’s Major Innovation Fund to aid the university’s Quantum Alberta network. The province says the funding will lead to “research that will help establish Alberta as a national and international hub for quantum computing and related spinoff industries” and help diversify their economy. For more on this funding, you can view an article in the Calgary Herald here.
October 29, 2020 – News Brief
IonQ Opens a New Quantum Data Center and Expands Management Team
IonQ has opened a 23,000 square foot data center in Maryland that has the capacity to house at least 10 quantum computers. The data center was funded in part by a $5.5 million investment from the University of Maryland and will allow IonQ to expand both the number of available quantum computers and also add additional employees. They also announced that they have hired Denise Ruffner, former Chief Business Office of Cambridge Quantum Computing, as the Vice President of Business Development and Dave Bacon, formerly from Google’s quantum engineering team, as the Vice-President of Software. For more on these announcements you can view the data center news release here and the news release on the management team additions here.
October 29, 2020 – News Brief
Honeywell Releases 10 Qubit System Model H1 Ion Trap Quantum Computer
The system is an upgrade from their 6 qubit Model H0 computer announced last July. It does not appear the Model H1 has any additional new features except for the increase in the number of qubits. At this point, the Model H1 will have a Quantum Volume of 128. However, with 10 qubits available they may have room to increase that in the future if they can implement additional improvements in the qubit fidelities. The computer will be available through the Microsoft Azure Cloud, Zapata Computing, and Cambridge Quantum Computing as well as directly through Honeywell’s cloud application programming interface. Honeywell also disclosed that customers including Merck, DHL, JP Morgan Chase, Accenture, and their own internal Aerospace and Performance Materials and Technologies businesses have been working with the machine. Users of Honeywell’s machines should expect frequent upgrades of them as Honeywell indicated that they already have models H2 and H3 in development and is committed to providing rapid increase in performance. For more, you can view Honeywell’s press release announcing the Model H1 here and a Honeywell blog article with technical details here.
October 28, 2020
Pasqal Unveils their Quantum Roadmap and Partners with ParityQC
Pasqal, a French company developing a programmable quantum simulator using atomic arrays of neutral atoms based upon research from the Institut d’Optique (IOGS, CNRS) announced that they have completed assembly of a 100 qubit array and are now working to complete assembly of a 200 qubit version. They intend on offering a version of the 200 qubit machine as part of a new cloud computing service by the end of 2021. They also announced a partnership with ParityQC, an Austrian company that specializes in creating architectures that provide for co-design of the quantum hardware and the quantum algorithms to reduce circuit complexity as well as enable parallelizability and tackle the most computationally intensive problems. The two companies believe that ParityQC’s architecture is particularly well suited for the Pasqal’s neutral atom platform and have started a three year program focusing on using quantum optimization to solve commercially relevant use cases. Click here for the full article.
October 26, 2020 – News Brief
UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Offers No-Charge Measurement for Quantum Program
The program provides quantum measurement advice and short-term measurement projects to UK companies at no charge for a period of up to 20 days. It allows companies to access quantum scientific experts and lab facilities at NPL. The program aims to increase the speed of return on investment made by UK businesses and government into quantum technologies by enabling new products to be brought to market more quickly and reliably. Additional information on the program and further detail on how to apply is available at the page on the NPL web site here.
October 24, 2020 – News Brief
aQuantum Launches |QuantumPath>, a Quantum Software Development and Application Lifecycle Platform
QuantumPath is a hybrid ecosystem of tools, services and processes that enables quantum/classical hybrid information systems. It is designed to accelerate the construction and deployment of quantum applications, abstracting their technical complexities. The software is platform agnostic and can support a wide variety of quantum processing units as well as different software simulators. It also it supports multidisciplinary teams, allowing them to focus only on the functional knowledge required for the solution. For more information on QuantumPath, you can visit the QuantumPath home page here and you can also read the blog article on the aQuantum web site announcing it here.
October 24, 2020 – News Brief
Applications Now Open for Xanadu Residency Program Starting in May 2021
Xanadu will have a 16-week paid program designed to provide graduate students in engineering, science, and computer science the opportunity to learn, build technical skills, conduct innovative research, and contribute towards technically challenging projects. Residents will be mentored and supervised by Xanadu’s world-class scientists and developers. The program kicks off May 2021 with a quantum machine learning bootcamp. The application deadline is December 15, 2020 and you can find more information about the program and apply to participate here.
October 22, 2020 – News Brief
Irish Consortium Launches €11.1 million ($13.2M USD) Quantum Research Project
The new consortium is called Quantum Computing in Ireland (QCoir) and has seven members including equal1.labs, IBM, Rockley Photonics, Maynooth University, Tyndall National Institute, UCD, and Mastercard. The members will work together on a software platform integrating multiple quantum bit technologies being developed in Ireland. Of the €11.1m funding, €7.3m was supplied by the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, a fund established under Project Ireland 2040 with the remainder of the funding supplied by the consortium’s industry partners. For more information about this new consortium, you can view a news release on the website of the Tyndall National Institute here.
October 22, 2020 – News Brief
QDevil Introduces New Chip Carrier for Holding Quantum Chip Samples in a Dilution Refrigerator
The chip carrier is a daughterboard which is matched with a QDevil QBoard motherboard for holding chip samples in a low temperature dilution refrigerator. This allows new chips to be tested quickly by just switching out the daughterboard without removing the motherboard. The new daughterboard extends the lines connecting to the chip with additional four 12 GHz lines through its on-board mini-SMP connectors to facilitate experiments using signals up in the microwave X band. Additional details can be found in the news release located on the QDevil web site here.
October 20, 2020 – News Brief
Beit Demonstrates Grover’s Search Algorithm on the Honeywell System Model H0
Beit Inc. has released a paper showing they have implemented a range of unstructured search algorithms, scaling as well as coveted Grover’s algorithm in lists of 16, 32 and 64 elements on a Honeywell’s 6 qubit ion trap based quantum processor. This work follows a previous paper where they demonstrated a 16 element search on one of IBM’s 5 qubit superconducting quantum processor. A measure that Beit uses is the probability of success as a function of the number of Oracle calls in the algorithm. By this measure, for the 16 and 32 element lists, Beit’s quantum implementation beat out the probability of success a classical computer could achieve for the same number of oracle calls. And for the 16 element list, they achieved a higher probability of success with the ion trap machine (66%) than they previously achieved with the superconducting processor (24.5%). Although the number of elements in the lists are still small and the classical computer could quickly do much better with more oracle calls, this is an indication of future directions in their research. For more on Beit’s research in this area, you can view the news release here and the technical paper they released on arXiv here.
October 19, 2020 – News Brief
Kiutra Awarded a 1.5 Million Euro (about $1.77M USD) Grant For a Low Temperature Qubit Characterization Tool
The grant was provided by the EIC Accelerator Pilot program for an ultra-fast, low temperature characterization tool for qubits. With this grant, Kiutra will utilize their magnetic-based cryostat platform and couple it with an automatic sample changing mechanism to load sample quantum devices on a puck and cool them down to under 4 degrees kelvin in under an hour. This can significantly shorten the time for a qubit hardware developer to cool down the device so they can start their testing of new devices. Intel has made a similar effort and has created a cryogenic wafer prober in a partnership with Bluefors and Afore. For more about this grant and Kiutra’s technology, you can view the press release announcing the grant here, information on the magnetic cryostat here, and information about the automatic sample changer here.
October 17, 2020
Design Your Own Superconducting Qubits with IBM’s Qiskit Metal
IBM is releasing an open source computer aided design (CAD) program called Qiskit Metal that will allow a user to layout and analysis a superconducting qubit. The program will include a library of elements such as transmon qubits and coplanar resonators and includes a graphical interface that will allow a user to lay them out connect them and also their shape as desired. It also includes modelling functions that will allow a user to predict such characteristics as qubit frequencies, anharmonicities, couplings, and dissipation and include the ability to interface with other electromagnetic analysis tools to simulate a design. The resulting design can then be output in a semiconductor industry standard GDSII layout file for creation of a mask and fabrication at a semiconductor fab. Click here for the full article.
October 16, 2020
Fujitsu Partners with International Research Institutions for Quantum Research
Fujitsu Labs announced it will establish three new collaborations with academic institutions to research different topics in quantum computing. The first is a collaboration with RIKEN and the University of Tokyo to study superconducting quantum computers. The second is a project with TU Delft to research quantum computers built with diamond-based spin qubits. And the third is a project with Osaka University to research quantum algorithms and quantum error correction techniques. These new projects are in additional to another one announced earlier this year with Quantum Benchmark to study error suppression techniques. Click here for the full article.
October 15, 2020 – News Brief
CQC Releases Version 0.6 of t|ket> with Support for Amazon Braket and IonQ
The support for Amazon Braket and IonQ joins the previously existing hardware backend support for IBM Q, Rigetti, Honeywell, and AQT. The new version of the software now runs on a choice of operating systems including Windows, Linux, and MacOS and includes improved support for IBM’s Qiskit. It also includes enhancements to the circuit optimization and noise mitigation functions to allow developers to optimize their algorithms using techniques that leverage ZX Calculus. The software is available at no charge for non-commercial research. For more on this new version of t|ket> you can view the news release announcing it here, and a change log for this version, an updated user manual and Jupyter notebook based tutorials here.
October 14, 2020
Airbus Announces Five Finalists to their Quantum Computing Challenge
At the Q2B Conference in December 2018, Airbus announced a Quantum Computing Challenge to see whether any individuals or teams could help them find quantum computing solutions to five different computational problems they faced. Since then, they attracted interest from over 800 individuals, held webinars to clarify the problems and received proposals from 36 different teams. Airbus has now released the names of finalists and will name the winner(s) at the Q2B Conference in December 2020. Click here for the full article.
October 12, 2020 – News Brief
Terra Quantum and Novarion Partner to Offer a Hybrid Classical/Quantum Simulator Tool
Terra Quantum and Novarion have formed a joint venture named QMWare that will offer an integrated hardware/software appliance called the Hybrid Quantum Cloud that will allow customers to develop hybrid classical/quantum applications and simulate them. The appliance will combine custom hardware provided by Novarion along with a high-performance simulator that can simulate up to 40 virtualized qubits. The appliance can be installed on a customer’s site so they can create their own private quantum cloud and potentially have a higher level of security and availability than using a public quantum cloud service. The appliance also provides a unique hybrid approach that allows close coupling between the classical and quantum modules to provide high performance. The architecture is also designed so that application built on QMware’s Hybrid Quantum Cloud will also run on upcoming native Quantum Processors. You can find more information about this at QMWare’s web site here.
October 10, 2020 – News Brief
IBM Will Sponsor 5,000 Student for a Free, Eight-Month Online Quantum Computing Course
IBM is partnering with The Coding School to offer this course titled “Qubit by Qubit’s Introduction to Quantum Computing”. It will run from October 2020 to May 2021 and be taught by IBM and Oxford quantum researchers. The course is geared for high school students and above who have no prior quantum computing experience and includes online lectures, labs, and problem sets. It is expected to require 5-8 hours of time per week including a two hour live lecture that will be given on Sundays. The deadline to apply for this program is October 15, 2020 with the first lecture starting on October 18, 2020. For more, you can view an IBM Research Blog describing the course here. To see details about the course and apply to attend it, click here.
October 8, 2020 – News Brief
NEASQC Project Formed by 12 European Organizations to Investigate NISQ Use Cases
The four year, 4.67 million Euro (about $5.52M USD) NEASQC (NExt ApplicationS of Quantum Computing) project has been funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 program. The goal will be to develop 9 industrial and financial use cases with a practical quantum advantage for NISQ machines and to develop associated software libraries, user communities, software stacks and benchmarks. Participants in the project include Atos, AstraZenica AB, CESGA, Electricité de France (EDF, HQS, HSBC Bank Plc, Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC), Leiden University, TILDE SIA, Total S.E., Universidade da Coruña – CITIC, and Université de Lorraine, through the LORIA lab. For more information, you can view a press release announcing NEASQC here, and visit the NEASQC web site here.
October 7, 2020
Aliro Quantum Introduces Its First Software Products for Computing and Networking
Aliro, a software company spun out of spun out of Harvard’s Quantum Information Science Lab in 2019 has introduced its first two products. The first is called Aliro Q.Compute (AQC) and is a development platform that will take quantum programs written in QASM, pyQuil, or other quantum languages and optimize them to run on different hardware platforms. The second software product is called Aliro Q.Network (AQN) is quite unique. It is a quantum network simulator that allows someone to design and configure a quantum network. Click here for the full article.
October 7, 2020
Nominations Open for Wittek Quantum Prize for Open Source Software
The Quantum Open Source Foundation (QOSF) and the Unitary Fund have established a $4000 prize for an individual who has made a substantial impact on the quantum open source ecosystem. Nominations will remain open until November 30, 2020 and the winner will be selected by the Unitary Fund’s advisory board. QOSF and the Unitary Fund expect to announce the winner early in 2021. Click here for the full article.
October 6, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Industry Canada (QIC) Industry Association Launched
The group has been formed as a consortium of Canada’s leading quantum technology companies. There are twenty-four founding members representing Canada’s most commercial-ready quantum technologies, covering applications in quantum computing, quantum sensing, quantum communications, and quantum-safe cryptography. The groups purpose will be to collaborate and coordinate to communicate Canada’s quantum readiness to a global audience of technology ecosystems, talent and investors. QIC will also support Canadian quantum start-ups and mature players through access to expertise in intellectual property and go to market strategies. The association will work together with the provincial and federal governments to strategically support this emerging industry. For more, you can view the news release with the announcement of the QIC formation here.
October 6, 2020
Light Rider Introduces a Secure Network Technology that Combines Li-Fi with QRNG and PQC
Light Rider has introduced two new products that use Li-Fi networking technology for communications. Li-Fi is like Wi-Fi except that it uses streams of light instead of radio waves as the transport medium. The quantum part of their technology pertains to Light Rider’s use of quantum random number generator (QRNG) chip technology inside some of their devices. These provide fully random numbers which can be used to generate keys for the Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithms built into their firmware. Click here for the full article.
October 5, 2020 – News Brief
Nu Quantum Raises £2.1 million ($2.7M USD) in Seed Funding
The round was led by Amadeus Capital Partners with additional participation from previous investors Ahren Innovation Capital, IQ Capital, Cambridge Enterprise and Martlet Capital along with new investor Seraphim Capital. The funding will be used to establish a photonics lab in Cambridge, UK and also to add additional staff. The company is a spin-out of the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and is developing quantum photonics technology including high-performance light-emitting and light-detecting components, which operate at the single-photon level and at ambient temperature. The company’s first product will be a quantum random number generators (QRNG). Nu Quantum is a partner in the consortium led by the National Physical Laboratory which is developing the U.K. standard for QRNG. For more information, you can view the news release posted on the Amadeus Capital web site here.
October 1, 2020
IonQ Announces a 32 Qubit Ion Trap Computer with Low Qubit Gate Errors
The trick in developing a high performance quantum computer is to create one that combines a high number of qubits with a high quality level in those qubits. IonQ has been working on this for some time and their newly announced 32 qubit machine is a follow-on to their 11 qubit model which is currently online and represents their initial offering through Amazon Web Services (AWS) Braket. Click here for the full article.
September 30, 2020 – News Brief
Honeywell Achieves a Quantum Volume of 128 on their Ion Trap Quantum Computer
In what appears to be an effort to stay ahead of IBM who announced reaching a Quantum Volume of 64 in August, Honeywell announced that it has achieved a Quantum Volume of 128 in late September. Although there aren’t very many details available yet, this would indicate Honeywell used a configuration with at 7 or more good qubits, which is larger than the 6 qubit H0 model they previously announced. For more information you can view the news release on the Honeywell web site here.
September 30, 2020
QED-C Releases QC Market Projection of $830 Million by 2024
The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) commissioned Hyperion Research to perform a market survey of 135 US-based quantum computing researchers, developers and suppliers across the academic, commercial and government sectors. Additional data was collected from another survey of 115 additional current and potential quantum computing users worldwide. The results of the study concluded that the expected quantum computing revenue levels will reach $320 million in 2020 and will grow at a compounded rate of 27% per year to $830 million by 2024. Click here for the full article.
September 30, 2020 – News Brief
Air Liquide Acquires an 80% Stake of Dilution Refrigerator Manufacturer CryoConcept
CryoConcept is a French company founded in 2000 as a spinoff of CEA that has recently been focusing on the quantum computing market. Air Liquide is a large French multinational company with revenues of €21.92 billion (about $25.7B USD) and 66,000 employees that supplies industrial gases and services to various industries including medical, chemical and electronic manufacturers. It is the second largest supplier of industrial gases by revenues and has operations in over 80 countries. We believe that this type of transaction is indicative of others that we expect to happen in future years as large classical computing companies seek to enter the quantum computing market via acquisitions of smaller quantum startups. For more details on this transaction, you can view the news release on the Air Liquide web site here.
September 29, 2020
D-Wave Announces GA of Their 5000+ Qubit Advantage Processor, Upgraded Software, and Additional Services
D-Wave has announced General Availability (GA) of their long awaited 5000+ qubit Advantage Quantum Annealer. They had first described this machines at the Adiabatic Quantum Computing (AQC) technical conference in June 2018 and previewed the architecture in a press release in March 2019. In conjunction with this announcement, they announce an upgrade to their Hybrid Solver software to handle as many as 1 million variables from the previous 10 thousand and also a new Discrete Quadratic Model (DQM) Solver that can use a set of objects instead of binary variables. Finally, D-Wave announced a new service called D-Wave Launch™ a program designed to jump-start business who have potential problems that can be solved using quantum computers, but need extra support. Click here for the full article.
September 29, 2020 – News Brief
Professor John Martinis to Join Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) in Australia
John Martinis, known for leading the Google hardware team that demonstrated Quantum Supremacy last year, has joined Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC). John joins well-known Australian quantum researcher Professor Michelle Simmons who is a founder of SQC and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, at the University of New South Wales. John’s previous work was with superconducting circuits while SQC’s technology is based upon spin qubits. Although the two technologies are different, one of the challenges of both types of technologies is to solve the wiring problem. If each qubit takes three or more wires to control its operation, this can present a severe challenge when one wants to scale up to 1000, 10,000 or more qubits. Professor Martinis has been studying this problem in recent months and this is one area where we expect Professor Martinis will help contribute to the SQC effort. For more on this development, you can read the news release on the SQC web site here.
September 25, 2020
Baidu Introduces Quantum Leaf, a Cloud Quantum Computing Service
Baidu has jumped into the QaaS (Quantum Infrastructure as a Service) game with an offering they call Quantum Leaf. The main components of this cloud based platform include a software package called Qcompute that is a Python-based open-source SDK, a pulse level generator software called Quanlse, and a simulator to simulate them. These tools can be used with a quantum machine learning platform called Paddle Quantum which Baidu announced in May of this year. Click here for the full article.
September 24, 2020 – News Brief
Zapata Announces Full Commercial Release of Its Orquestra Workflow Manager
We reported earlier this year about Zapata’s announcement of its Orquestra Workflow Manager and the start of its Early Access Program. Now, they have announced the full commercial release of the tools with support for a number of additional different platforms. Orquestra now integrates with the IBM Q computers, Honeywell’s System Model HØ, and Amazon Braket, which in turn give access to IonQ, Rigetti and simulators. Zapata is also planning additional integrations of hardware platforms including photonic based machines, quantum annealers, and dedicated classical hardware later this year. Academic users will be provided free access to Orquestra. Enterprise and government users can receive a two-month free trial. To see more details about the product and request access go to Orquestra.io. To view Zapata’s news release announcing the full commercial release, click here.
September 23, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Network Infrastructure Act Introduced in the U.S. Congress with $100M Proposed Funding
The bill, H.R. 8279, would amend the National Quantum Infrastructure act passed in 2018 to authorize $100 million to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science to develop an infrastructure to support a network of connected quantum computers and technologies. It would cover U.S. fiscal years 2021 through 2025. The funding would be used to perform research on materials, processes, components and integration of these into a network, facilitate the development of the necessary supply chains, develop experimental tools and testbeds, and consider potential application within the DOE. For additional information you can view the text of the bill here, and the status page on the U.S. Congress’s web site here.
September 23, 2020 – News Brief
Microsoft to Offer Toshiba’s Simulated Bifurcation Machine on Azure Quantum
Toshiba’s Simulated Bifurcation Machine (SBM is a custom classical CMOS hardware implementation designed to solve complex optimization problems using what some call a quantum-inspired approach. The quantum-inspired approach uses a deeper understanding of quantum mechanics to create unique solutions to solving large-scale combinatorial optimization problems (known as Ising models) using GPU resources in the Azure cloud. Toshiba will join 1Qbit, Honeywell, IonQ, and QCI as a service provider on the Azure Quantum platform. Access to Toshiba’s SBM is also available on Amazon Web Services with the ability to solve Ising problems of up to 10,000 spins. For more information you can view Microsoft’s announcement of Toshiba’s joining Azure Quantum here, Toshiba’s web page describing the SBM here, and a Toshiba technical paper on the SBM here.
September 18, 2020
IBM Announces a $100 Million Quantum Education and Research Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
IBM has announced a two-part initiative to invest in HBCUs is part of the company’s efforts around social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to unlock economic opportunity and prosperity with a goal of having students become familiar with this technology and have career options rooted in quantum computing. The first part is the establishment of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center which will offer access to its quantum computers, as well as collaborate on academic, education, and community outreach programs. The second part is the donation of more than $100M in assets, including including university guests lectures, curriculum content, digital badges, software and faculty training to select HBCUs by the end of 2020 as part of their Skills Academy Academic Initiative in Global University Programs. Click here for the full article.
September 17, 2020 – News Brief
Origin Quantum Launches a New Quantum Cloud Service in China
Origin Quantum, based in Heifei, China, has established its own cloud service and is offering free access to global users. The Origin Quantum Cloud service includes a 6 qubit superconducting quantum computer called the Kuafu KF C6-130 plus four different quantum simulators (or virtual machines) that use different simulation methods including full amplitude, partial amplitude, single amplitude, and noisy quantum virtual machines. They have indicated that various technical indicators such as fidelity and coherence time have reached the international advanced level. The company is currently developing a 24 qubit superconducting version and has plans to offer a 60 qubit version by the end of 2021. For more information, you can view the press article published in Chinese on the Science and Technology Daily web site by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. You can also visit the home page of the Origin Quantum Cloud service to learn more details about the service and access the computers here.
September 17, 2020
CQC and IBM Announce Quantum Random Number Generation as a Service
In what might be the first publicly announced application which exhibits Quantum Advantage, Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and IBM has announced a software application for their IBM Q Network that will provide verifiable quantum random number generation on demand. This service will be available at no additional charge to the 100+ organizations that are members of the IBM Q Network. Click here for the full article.
September 16, 2020 – News Brief
Seeqc Raises $22.4 Million in Series A Funding
This latest funding was led by EQT Ventures with additional participating by FAM AB. The Series A amount includes an earlier funding of $5 million from the Corporate Venture Capital Arm of Merck KGaA and others that we reported on last April. Seeqc is developing a new approach to making quantum computing useful called digital quantum computing which combines classical and quantum computing into an all-digital architecture to address the efficiency, stability and cost issues that often plague quantum computing systems using a CMOS-based analog, microwave control infrastructure. Additional information is available in the Seeqc news release which you can find here.
September 15, 2020
IBM Unveils a Quantum Computing Roadmap that Will Take Them to One Million Qubits and Beyond
IBM has described a quantum computing roadmap that incorporates a number of advancements in future machines that include innovations at the chip, electrical, mechanical, and software technology levels. The goal is to not only improvement the number of qubits in the machines, but also improve the qubit quality metrics so that meaningful error correction algorithms can be implemented in future machines. Click here for the full article.
September 9, 2020 – News Brief
UK Startup AegiQ Receives £1.4m ($1.8M USD) in Funding
The funding was provided by Innovate UK as part of a consortium of companies. AegiQ, a spin-out of the University of Sheffield, is developing quantum photonics based upon III-V semiconductors which are intended to be used in quantum communications applications. Additional information is available in the news release on the AegiQ web site here.
September 9, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Machines and Q-CTRL Partner to Integrate Q-CTRL’s Firmware into Quantum Machines’ Quantum Hardware Platform
We had previously reported on Quantum Machines Quantum Orchestration Platform (QOP), which includes an analog front end and pulse processor called OPX, to provide the electronic signals that control the qubits. The QOP release also included a compiler that could compiler a quantum program in Quantum Machines’ QUA programming language all the way down to the pulse level to control the qubits. Q-CTRL has been focused on developing control firmware that could optimize the timing and shaping of the pulses to maximize the qubit fidelities and the overall computation quality. Their flagship Boulder Opal product has been used with multiple systems and Q-CTRL has stated that it can improve quantum computing hardware by 10 to 100 times for key metrics of error reduction, variability across devices, hardware stability, and reduction of error correlations. Both companies plan to jointly market the combined solution to customers. Additional details are available on the Q-CTRL and the Quantum Machines websites.
September 4, 2020
Google Goal: Build an Error Corrected Computer with 1 Million Physical Qubits by the End of the Decade
Google held a Quantum Summer Symposium on July 22 and 23 of this year and discussed their activities to build a Quantum Computing Data Center, establish a Quantum Computing Service, develop a 1 million qubit processor, and research quantum computing applications. Click here for the full article.
September 3, 2020 – News Brief
NSF Awards the University of Washington $3 Million to Establish an Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies (AQET) Traineeship Program
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has made the award to help train graduate students for work in quantum information science and technology, or QIST. The funding will be for a five year period with the first year being for development and student recruitment with the following four years for operations. The funds will be used for development of QIST courses, recruitment of students, fellowships for some of the AQET trainees, a six to nine month capstone project, and outreach efforts to recruit femaie students. Additional information on this effort can be found in the news release located on the University of Washington’s web site here.
September 2, 2020
Xanadu Introduces a Photonic-Based Quantum Computer in the Cloud
Another new entrant has entered the cloud-based quantum computing market with Xanadu offering a photonic-based versions that have 8 and 12 qubits with a 24 qubit version coming soon. Although others are working on quantum computers using photonic technologies, Xanadu is the first one to make one publicly available in the cloud. Photonic-based quantum computers have some theoretical benefits over superconducting or ion trap versions because they can run at room temperature and do not need expensive refrigeration systems. Also, they can be easily networked using fiber optic cables to create multi-processing clusters that can support many qubits. Click here for the full article.
September 2, 2020
Rigetti Computing Will Lead a £10M ($13.35M USD) Consortium to Install the First Commercial Quantum Computing in the UK
This will be Rigetti’s first installation outside of the United States and the system will be located in Abingdon, U.K. They will be joined by Oxford Instruments, University of Edinburgh, quantum software start-up Phasecraft, and Standard Chartered Bank. The effort will be funded by the government’s Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research & Innovation along with matching funds from the consortium’s partners. Click here for the full article.
September 1, 2020 – News Brief
Zurich Instruments Introduces the SHFQA 8.5 Ghz Quantum Analyzer that can Measure Up to 64 Qubits
As the number of qubits on a chip continues to increase, it is become more and more important for hardware designers to improve the integration of the supporting electronics in order to reduce the size of the instrument racks and handle the complexity of the cables that connect to the qubits. With this in mind, Zurich Instruments has introduced the SHFQA Quantum Analyzer which integrates in a single instrument a full real-time readout setup for up to 64 superconducting or spin qubits. The unit is available in either 2 or 4 channel configurations with each channel able to handle up to 16 qubits. It operates in a frequency range from 0.5 to 8.5 GHz and provides a clean analysis bandwidth of 1 GHz and simplifies operation because it does not need for mixer calibration. The unit is controlled using Zurich Instruments LabOne software and seamlessly integrates with other Zurich Instruments products including the HDAWG Arbitrary Waveform Generator and the PQSC Programmable Quantum System Controller. For additional information you can view a Zurich Instruments press release announcing the product here and also a product page on their web site here.
September 1, 2020 – News Brief
IBM Releases a 65 Qubit Processor with a Quantum Volume of 32
The processor is now available to IBM clients and has the backend identifier Manhattan. It has good error rate metrics, but perhaps not quite a good yet as the 27 qubit Montreal device which IBM reported a quantum volume of 64 last month. The Manhattan device has the OpenPulse interface enabled which may allow a user to optimize the qubit control pulses to achieve better qubit fidelity metrics in the future. Information on this new device is currently limited but you can view a Twitter post announcing its release here.
August 29, 2020 – News Brief
Google and Collaborators Achieve the Largest Quantum Chemical Simulation to Date
In a paper just published in Science Magazine titled Hartree-Fock on a superconducting qubit quantum computer the Google AI Quantum team and collaborators was able to model the binding energy of H6, H8, H10 and H12 chains as well as the isomerization of diazene. These represent the largest quantum chemical simulation that we are aware of, with the largest simulation requiring 12 qubits, 72 two-qubit gates, and 114 one-qubit gates. The Hartree-Fock calculations of molecular electronic energies were performed on Google’s 53 qubit Sycamore processor. Google has released the code for the experiment which utilizes the OpenFermion quantum chemistry software library and a Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) approach to mitigate errors. Since this experiment only used 12 out of the 53 available qubits, this approach should be extensible to even more complex chemical simulations in the future. Additional information is available in a Google AI blog posting here, an abstract of the article here (the full article is also available behind a paywall), and an arXiv preprint of the article here.
August 28, 2020
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Announces Members of the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee (NQIAC)
One of the provisions of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act, approved in December 2018, was to appoint an advisory committee composed of members from industry, universities, Federal laboratories, and other Federal Government agencies to provide guidance to the government regarding the National Quantum Initiative (NQI). It will include assessments of trends and developments in quantum information science and technology (QIST), implementation and management of the NQI, whether NQI activities are helping to maintain United States leadership in QIST, whether program revisions are necessary, what opportunities exist for international collaboration and open standards, and whether national security and economic considerations are adequately addressed by the NQI. Click here to view the full article and the names of the newly announced members.
August 28, 2020 – News Brief
Japanese Quantum Software Company JiJ Raises 200 Million Yen ($1.9M USD) in Series A Funding
The funding was provided by three Japanese venture capital companies, Anri, Deepcore, and Mira Souzou. Jij specializes in providing Ising machine and quantum annealing solutions for challenging industrial optimization problems. The company is using both the quantum and quantum-inspired techniques and is utilizing platforms from D-Wave, Microsoft Azure, NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi and others. The company’s founders all came from the Nishimori Lab at the University of Tokyo which is well known for its pioneering research in quantum annealing. For more, you can view the news release on the Jij web site here.
August 28, 2020 – News Brief
Seeqc Receives $150,000 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Award from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
The award was made for Seeqc’s proposal of “Highly Manufacturable Fluxonium Qubits at 300mm Wafer Scale”. The fluxonium qubits are superconducting qubits which have longer coherence times and could help build high fidelity circuits with large numbers of qubits. The Phase 1 activity will be to establish the design and process parameters for the circuit designs. It is expected that this will be followed by a Phase 2 that will actually build the qubits on 300 mm wafers. For more, you can read the news release issued by Seeqc on their web site here.
August 27, 2020
Quantum Computing Inc. Announces New Support for Cloud-Based Quantum Computers with their Mukai Software
We had reported in January on an announcement by Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) of their Mukai software product which can be used to create applications to solve complex optimization problems. At the time, the software was designed to run on classical computers with a future capability to be run on real quantum computers at a later date. Now, QCI has announced Mukai support for four cloud-based quantum computers including IonQ, Rigetti, and D-Wave through Amazon Web Services and also IBM through their IBM-Q network. Mukai not only serves as a software development platform it can also serve as an execution platform to provide simplified access to the cloud quantum computers for its users. Click here for the full article.
August 26, 2020
U.S. Announces $965 Million in Funding to Establish Five Quantum Information Science Centers
The White House Office of Technology Policy (OSTP), National Science Foundation (NSF) and Department of Energy (DOE) announces U.S. government funding of $625 Million to establish these centers which will be led by five different DOE national labs. An additional $340 million will be contributed from the private sector and academic institutions. These investments will be in additional to the $75 million in funding for three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes announced by the National Science Foundation last month. The centers will be led by the Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A total of 69 organizations including national labs, universities, and companies will participate in the effort in over 22 U.S. states, Canada, and Italy. Click here for the full article.
August 26, 2020 – News Brief
60 Qubit Superconducting and 32 Qubit Ion Trap Quantum Computers Under Development
In a recent talk given by Professor Zhu Xiaobo of the Shanghai Research Institute of the University of Science and Technology China, he disclosed they expect to achieve development of a 60 qubit superconducting processor with 99.5% fidelities by the end of this year. This would be comparable, with a few more qubits, to the Google Sycamore quantum supremacy device that Google announced last October. Professor Xiaobo further indicated a goal of achieving a 1,000 qubit device within five years. Additional details are available (in Chinese) on the Shanghai news website Thepaper.cn.
In a news release by The Optical Society (OSA), they announced that Junki Kim of Duke University will describe a new 32 qubit full-connected ion trap device at the inaugural OSA Quantum 2.0 conference on September 14, 2020. The work is part of a multi-institutional NSF-funded Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design (STAQ) project led by Kenneth Brown at Duke University. You can view OSA’s news release on their web site here and we expect additional information will be available after the OSA Quantum 2.0 conference.
August 20, 2020
IBM Reaches Quantum Volume 64 with Improved Software and Qubit Controls
Not to be outdone by Honeywell, who announced a quantum volume level of 64 in June, IBM has announced that they too have reached this level with their IBMQ_Montreal device which is based upon their Falcon processor family. The interesting thing about this improvement was that it was reached solely through the use of improved software. The IBMQ_Montreal device itself has been available since last July. Click here for the full article.
August 19, 2020 – News Brief
Indiana University Creates New Master of Science Program in Quantum information Science
The Master of Science in quantum information science will involve an intensive, one-year, multidisciplinary program with tracks that tie into physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, engineering and business. It’s offered through the Office of Multidisciplinary Graduate Programs in the University Graduate School. Most of the faculty who will teach the classes are members of the newly established IU Quantum Science and Engineering Center. There is a growing number of programs being formed to provide Master’s degrees in quantum technology due to the increasing demands for a growing quantum workforce. Harrisburg University is creating a list of those institutions developing such Master’s programs. This is still a work in progress but you can find the preliminary version here.
August 15, 2020 – News Brief
White House Proposes a 20% Increase in U.S. Quantum R&D Funding for FY2021 U.S. Budget
In a report issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) proposing funding for Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Information Science, OSTP proposed raising the QIS R&D budget to $699 million in FY2021 from the previously enacted $579 million in FY2020, a 20.7% increase. FY2021 starts on October 1, 2020 and runs through September 30, 2021. The budget would be allocated to funding programs at the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NIST, NSF, and NASA and is part of the multi-year U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act passed in December 2018. For more, you can view the Artificial Intelligence & Quantum Information Science R&D Summary: Fiscal Years 2020-2021 document here.
August 14, 2020
Amazon AWS Announces General Availability of their Quantum Cloud Service
We had previously written about Amazon’s announcement in December last year to provide a quantum cloud service. They have been running the service in a beta test mode to selected customers for the past several months and now have announced General Availability for any AWS customer. The service is currently offering access to the D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealing processor, the Rigetti Aspen-8 superconducting gate level processor, and the IonQ ion trap processor. In addition, the service also includes a high power state vector simulator (SV1) that can simulate circuits up to 34 qubits on AWS classical cloud computers. Along with the hardware and simulators, AWS is also providing its own Amazon Braket Python SDK that is an open source library to design and build quantum circuits and submit them to Braket quantum processing units (QPUs) as tasks and monitor their execution. The SDK also includes a lower performance quantum gate simulator that can handle up to 25 qubit simulations and runs on the user’s notebook. Click here for the full article.
August 7, 2020 – News Brief
University of Arizona Receives $26 Million from the NSF to Lead a New Center for Quantum Networks
The Center for Quantum Networks (CQN) will have as core partners Harvard, MIT, and Yale with a key focus to research advanced quantum materials and devices, quantum and classical processing required at a network node, and quantum network protocols and architectures. CQN also aims to demonstrate the first U.S.-based quantum network that can distribute quantum information at high speeds, over long distances, to multiple user groups by creating a versatile Quantum Network Testbed and making it available as a national resource. Additional institutions participating in the project include Brigham Young University, Howard University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Oregon and the University of Chicago. The initial $26 million grant will cover five years with an option to have an additional five year grant for $24.6 million. For more, view the news release on the University of Arizona web site here.
August 6, 2020 – News Brief
NSF Awards $9.75 Million to the Quantum Computing & Information Science – Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF) Program
The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) QCIS-FF program supports departments and schools in U.S. institutions of higher education that conduct research and teaching in computer science, information science, and computer engineering, with the specific goal of encouraging hiring of tenure-track and tenured faculty in quantum computing and quantum communication. The schools receiving this award include Columbia, Harvard, Indiana University, North Carolina State University, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Tufts, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Davis, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, University of New Mexico, and University of Washington. For more, click here to view the news release on the NSF web site.
August 6, 2020 – News Brief
IP Group Announces a £12 Million ($15.6M USD) Investment Partnership in Quantum Technologies
The partnership is an accelerator in quantum technologies to provide seed funding for projects lasting up to two years related to second generation quantum techniques or direct supporting technologies. Examples of eligible projects include those dealing with quantum connectivity, situational awareness, imaging and sensing, and computing. The funding will come in the form of a mixture of grants and equity and the projects must be between £125k and £2m in size. The portion coming from grants can be up to £1m and is funded through the UK Research and Innovation agency’s Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge. Applications will be accepted until either the May 31, 2022 or until the funding runs out. Additional details are available in the accelerator information page here and also a news release from the IP Group here.
August 5, 2020
U.S. Government and Industrial/Academic Partners form a National Q-12 Education Partnership for Middle and High School Students
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) along with industrial, academic, and professional society partners Amazon Web Services (AWS), Boeing Co, Google, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Montana Instruments, Microsoft Corp, Rigetti, Zapata, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, APS, IEEE, OSA, and SPIE have created the National Q-12 Education Partnership with the aim to support and grow a quantum workforce that is diverse and equitable. The unique aspect of this program is that it is focused on providing quantum education to middle and high school students (K-12) rather than those at universities. Activities will include developing educational materials, providing tools for hands-on experiences, and supporting pathways to quantum careers. Click here for the full article.
August 4, 2020 – News Brief
Rigetti Announces Closing of $79M Series C Financing
We had previously written about this investment in March, but the final amount and the names of the investors were not available at the time. This new announcement shows the round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with additional participation from Franklin Templeton, Alumni Ventures Group, DCVC, Morpheus Ventures, and Northgate Capital. When the SEC Form D was filed earlier this year, the amount as $71 million, so apparently Rigetti was able to get an additional investment of $8 million for this round over the past several months. Additional information about this financing can be found in the news release issued by Rigetti here as well as a blog article from Morpheus Ventures on why they decided to invest in Rigetti here.
July 31, 2020 – News Brief
IBM and the University of Tokyo Set Up a Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium (QIIC) in Japan
The consortium will be headquartered at the University of Tokyo and will be joined by other organizations including Keio University, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mizuho, MUFG, JSR, DIC, Toyota, Mitsubishi Chemicals and IBM Japan. The goal will be to accelerate quantum computing activities in Japan, improve student skills, and enable future discoveries and practical applications. The consortium will be part of the IBM Q network and will have access to machines in the IBM Quantum Computation Center located in the U.S. and in 2021, to an IBM System One quantum computer scheduled to be installed in Japan. Additional details can be found in the news release on IBM’s web site here.
July 30, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Software Company Classiq Raises $4M
The finding was provided by Entrée Capital. Israeli-based Classiq is working to provide software at a higher level of abstraction than the gate level quantum circuits that are required in other quantum software packages. Their goal is to enable higher productivity for algorithm designers with their software so the designers can concentrate their efforts on the needs of their application rather than developing the individual gates to match the intricacies of the quantum hardware.
July 29, 2020
U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Weighs In on Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC)
In the aftermath of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) selection of candidates for Round 3 of the PQC selection process, the NSA has posted comments on what types algorithms they are favoring for national security and commercial use cases. The NSA has reviewed the security of many of the algorithms and has concluded that they are confident of the security and performance characteristics of lattice-based schemes that have a strong dependence on well-studied mathematical problems also believe that hash-based signatures provide well-understood security for certain niche solutions. Click here for our full article.
July 28, 2020 – News Brief
Q-CTRL Announces Professional Services Offering to Help Customers Apply the Principles of Control Engineering to Quantum Cloud Computers
Many enterprise organizations are looking at utilizing the growing number of quantum cloud offerings in order to provide quantum solutions to their difficult problems in finance, logistics, telecommunications, transportation, pharmaceuticals, and more. While developing the right quantum programs and algorithms to solve these problems is a challenging task, an even greater challenge is to optimize the programs to get the maximum performance out of noisy hardware. Some cloud vendors are providing users with the capabilities of programming their machines down to the microwave pulse level for this, but figuring out how to do this requires very specialized knowledge and tools that most end users do not have. In order to help with this, Q-CTRL has formed a Professional Services team that will work with end users to help achieve the most from the cloud computers they are using. The team will show users how Q-CTRL’s custom designed tools can be used for hardware calibration and characterization, stabilizing hardware against performance variations, utilize machine learning to suppress errors, optimize algorithms, and benchmark performance. For more details on Q-CTRL’s Professional Services, you can read a news release announcing it here.
July 28, 2020 – News Brief
UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine Each Receive a $1.5 Million Gift for Quantum Research
The gifts were provided to the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) by businessman Roy T. Eddleman and will be used to support quantum research at each school. The Santa Barbara center will be called the Roy T. Eddleman Center for Quantum Innovation while the Irvine institute will be called the Eddleman Quantum Institute. The gifts will extend over a three year period and will supports a variety of quantum science-related activity, including research, graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. For more information about these gifts, you can view the news release from UCSB here and another news release from UCI here.
July 27, 2020 – News Brief
Xanadu Provides Support for Honeywell Ion Trap Computer with their PennyLane Software
PennyLane is a cross-platform Python library for quantum machine learning, automatic differentiation, and optimization of hybrid quantum-classical computations and Xanadu has now added a new plug-in that supports Honeywell’s ion trap computer. This adds to the collection of other platforms supported by PennyLane including IBM’s Qiskit, Rigetti Forest, Google Cirq, Microsoft QDK, Alpine Quantum Technology (AQT), Project Q, and Xanadu’s own photonic quantum computer. The software is currently in beta release and provides access to Honeywell’s ion-trap computing hardware over the cloud for those who have credentials for the Honeywell Quantum Solutions platform. Additional details are available on the PennyLane-Honeywell Plugin documentation here and the code is available on the corresponding GitHub site here.
July 25, 2020 – News Brief
Elyah Introduces Qubit Workbench, a Visual Quantum Programming Tool
Qubit Workbench is a graphical quantrum programming tool that can handle over 100 qubits. It also includes a built-in simulator and a capability to download printable versions of .TEX files. A free version is available that allows creating programs for up to 6 qubits and paid versions to provide the full capability of the software are available for both individual designers and enterprises. For more information, you can view the product announcement issued by Elyah here and also a description of the Qubit Workbench on the Elyah web site here.
July 25, 2020
Innovare Advancement Center to Provide Over $1 Million in Grants for University Quantum Research During a Pitch Competition September 1-3, 2020
Innovare Advancement Center, a new technology accelerator in Rome, New York that was recently created in partnership by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), Griffiss Institute (GI), Oneida County (OC), and State University of New York (SUNY), announced it will host a “$1,000,000 International Quantum U Tech Accelerator” event on September 1-3, 2020. This event will provide one year grants for up to 18 university proposer groups, both nationally and internationally, for $75,000 each for research in the areas of quantum communications, quantum computing, quantum sensing and quantum timing. For additional information about this competition and directions on where to submit a proposal, click here.
July 24, 2020 – News Brief
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Will Offer the World’s First Bachelors Degree in Quantum Engineering
UNSW in Sydney, Australia will offer a Bachelor of Quantum Engineering (Honours) degree that will train students in advanced electronics and telecommunication engineering, specializing in how to design and control complex quantum systems. The degree will cover nanoelectronics, microwave engineering and quantum technologies for advanced sensors, secure communications and computing. Although other universities, such as the University of Wisconsin – Madison, offer an M.S. Degree in Physics – Quantum Computing, this is the first program we are aware of that offer a bachelors degree focused on quantum technology. While many of the early quantum industry players have been staffed with researchers holding PhD degrees in Physics, as the industry expands it will need more workers who can help implement the technologies rather than working on theoretical concepts. For more on this new program at UNSW, you can view a recent news release announcing it here and a full description of the program here.
July 24, 2020 – News Brief
Quandela Receives First Round Financing To Accumulate a Total of 1.5 Million Euros ($1.75M USD) of Investment
The round was led by Quantonation with additional participation from Bpifrance. Quandela provides single photon sources for quantum communications and optical quantum computers and has already delivered products to customers in Russia and Australia and has orders from additional European customers. Additional information is available in a news release on the Quandela web site here.
July 24, 2020 – News Brief
Quantum Xchange Releases Version 2.0 of Phio Trusted Xchange (TX) Which Supports Both QKD and PQC
There has been a lot of news this week regarding advancements in both physics-based QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) and math-based PQC (Post Quantum Cryptography) for quantum resistant cryptography. Most organizations involved only work in one area or the other, but Quantum Xchange is taking a different approach and releasing a crypto agile appliance that supports all forms of quantum keys — both physics and math-based. It is also uniquely capable of making traditional keys quantum-safe — bringing an immediate heightened level of security to any encryption environment. Version 2.0 of the Phio Trusted Xchange (TX) features a dynamic GUI, allowing security administrators to see in real-time the routing and transmission of quantum keys throughout the enterprise for improved key management, performance, and data-security optimization. For more details on Quantum Xchange’s product release, you can view their news release here.
July 23, 2020
Department of Energy (DOE) Unveils Blueprint for a U.S. Quantum Internet
In an event held at the University of Chicago, the U.S. DOE unveiled a blueprint for creating a quantum internet in the United States. The network would start with a network being constructed in the Chicago area between the University of Chicago, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, and the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois. A 52 mile testbed loop for this network has already been constructed in the Chicago suburbs and is one of the longest land-based quantum networks in the U.S. This testbed will be extended soon to connect Fermilab and will have a length of 80 miles. DOE intends to proceed and connect up all 17 of their national labs to establish the backbone of the quantum internet. Click here for more.
July 22, 2020
NIST Selects 7 Finalists and 8 Alternates for Round 3 of the PQC Standardization Program
As part of the ongoing program to develop a quantum resistant Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) standard which started in 2017 with 69 candidate algorithms, NIST has announced they have finished their analysis for Round 2 which began in January 2019 with 26 algorithms and are now proceeding to Round 3 with seven finalists and eight alternates.The algorithms in the finalist group will be evaluated and those that are selected will be recommended for standardization at the conclusion of Round 3. The algorithms in the alternate group were chosen because they may potentially provide better security, better performance, better suitability for certain use cases or have a potential for further improvement, but NIST believes these algorithms will require additional analysis. They will continue to be analyzed during Round 3 and some of them will be selected for Round 4. At the conclusion of Round 4 some of these alternate algorithms may also become recommended standards. Click here for more details in the full article.
July 21, 2020
NSF Establishes Three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes with $75 Million in Funding
We reported last year on the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) “Big Ideas” concept to fund bold long-term research and process ideas, the NSF is setting up the Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes (QLCI) to perform research in the focus areas of quantum technology. Today, the concept has turned into a reality with NSF’s announcement in partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy of three Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes. For more, click here to read the full article.
July 21, 2020 – News Brief
ORCA Computing Raises a Pre-Seed Round of £2.9 Million ($3.7M USD)
The round was led by Atmos Ventures with additional participation from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) and Quantonation. ORCA has also received three grants from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. ORCA is developing a quantum computer using a novel photonic approach that uses quantum memories and optical fiber cable. This will enable them to leverage many components originally designed for the telecom industry, which can simplify some of the design and procurement requirements. ORCA plans to initially develop a prototype, scaled down quantum computer which will be used for learning and as a development tool for partners. They believe their approach will make it easier to scale up the number of qubits and intend on creating systems that can reach 100,000 qubits or more. For more information on ORCA, you can view the news release here.
July 21, 2020
QC Ware Releases New Version of their Forge Software Which Includes New QML Data Loading Algorithms
QC Ware has release a new version of their Forge software which includes two algorithms they call the Forge Parallel Data Loader and the Forge Optimized Data Loader that they say are a breakthrough and can implement loading of classical data into qubits very efficiently without using QRAM. The new release also includes additional features including simulation using GPU’s over the cloud, improved performance on the D-Wave quantum annealer, automatic importing and translation of IBM Qiskit and Google Cirq circuits, and others. Read our full article that covers it here.
July 20, 2020 – News Brief
D-Wave Extends Leap 2 Cloud Service to India and Australia
When the D-Wave’s Leap quantum computing cloud service was first introduced in October 2018, it was only available in the U.S. and Canada. Then in March 2019 they expanded availability of the service to 33 new countries in Europe and Japan. Now, D-Wave has expanded the service to two additional countries, India and Australia, bringing the total number of supported countries to 37. This service will include all the latest features they have available in the latest version of the platform called Leap 2 which D-Wave announced in February of this year. For more information, you can view the news release available on the D-Wave web site here.
July 18, 2020 – News Brief
Thirty-one Percent of Life Sciences Companies Intend to Evaluate Quantum Computing This Year
In a poll conducted at a recent industry webinar, 82% of life science companies believe that quantum computing will have an impact for their industry within the next ten years. Also, 31% of the respondents indicated that are beginning quantum computing evaluations this year with another 39% planning to start evaluations next year or are looking at it. The poll was conducted by three organizations including the Pistoia Alliance, the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C), and QuPharm that have memberships from a broad array of quantum, life sciences, and healthcare companies. These three organizations have come together to create a Community of Interest (COI) to help organizations address the key issues that need to be solved to take advantage of the capabilities of quantum computing. Quantum Computing can have a significant potential impact in such areas as drug discovery, precision medicine, accelerated genomics and proteomics correlation, as well as the calculation of multiple probabilities and outcomes. Additional information regarding this poll and the activities of these organizations to incorporate quantum computing in life sciences applications can be found in the news release on the QED-C web site here.
July 17, 2020 – News Brief
Honeywell Releases Model H0, a Six Qubit Ion Trap Computer, for General Availability Over the Cloud
The Honeywell System Model HØ quantum computer is now available commercially for those wishing to purchase access. The system can be programmed using an Open QASM API to leverage a variety of frameworks and simulations can be achieved with several open source simulation tools. Honeywell offers two types of access modes including a Queued access mode as well as a Reserved mode which provides pre-scheduled, exclusive use of the machine. Usage of the machine is metered through the use of Honeywell Quantum Credits (HQC) which are a representation of the size of a quantum computational job run on the system and can be purchased in increments of 1000 units. The Honeywell machine possesses some unique features include high fidelity, fully connected qubits, mid-circuit measures with qubit reuse capabilities and high resolution rotations. Additional details about this machine and information on how to purchase access credits can be found on Honeywell’s web site here.
July 17, 2020 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Becomes the First Startup-Based Hub in the IBM Q Network
CQC has a long relationship with IBM and was part of the initial group of IBM Q startup partners in 2018 and received an investment from IBM in January 2020. Being named a hub in the IBM Q Network now allows them to serve as a reseller and will allow them to resell time on the IBM Q systems to their customers while the customers are working with CQC on advanced application development. This can be a nice advantage to end users because it allows them to have short term access to IBM’s premium quantum computers and try them out before deciding to enter into a longer term direct relationship with IBM or one of the other hubs for purchasing time on the premium systems. In contrast, IBM other software partners can provide their software to end users but those end users would need to contract directly with IBM or a hub to obtain premium access. Additional details are available in the news release posted on the CQC website here.
July 16, 2020 – News Brief
ProteinQure Collaborates with AstraZeneca to Accelerate the Research and Development of Peptide Therapeutics
The collaboration will combine ProteinQure’s expertise in computational methods and structure-based drug design while AstraZeneca will conduct experimental validation, drawing on the company’s extensive expertise in biologics. The goal will be to to explore this vast peptide therapeutic space and design peptide libraries with broad applicability in drug discovery. This is another example of quantum companies working with pharmaceutical companies. Earlier this year we reported on Seeqc’s investment from the venture capital arm of Merck KGaA. For more release on this activity, you can view the news release here.
July 11, 2020 – News Brief
Atos Announces a Quantum Annealing Simulator
Atos, which has been offering a dedicated box called the Quantum Learning Machine that performs gate-level quantum computer simulation, has announced a new capability that will allow it to perform quantum annealing simulations. The Quantum Learning Machine will be able to perform perfect, noiseless simulations of a few thousand qubits in a few seconds and is fully tunable to allow users to experiment with different parameters in the simulation. This device provides a competitive alternative to D-Wave’s quantum annealers as well as Fujitsu’s Digital Annealer. Atos’ Quantum Annealing Simulator will be available in Q4 2020. For more, see Atos’ press release announcement located on the their web site here.
July 11, 2020
IBM Expands their IBM Q Program with New Hardware, Software, and User Programs
IBM made several smaller announcements in the past week that show continued expansion of their quantum computing efforts. These include additional machines, a new optimization module, a special advanced access program for academic researchers, receipt of five thousand pre-registrations to their Qiskit Summer School and a published paper on Quantum advantage with noisy shallow circuits. Click here for more.
July 10, 2020 – News Brief
QuantumCTek IPOs on the Shanghai STAR Market with a Record First Day Jump
QuantumCTek, China’s leading quantum networking company, had an IPO (Initial Public Offering) on Thursday with an initial offering price of 36.18 yuan ($5.18 USD) and hit a close price by the end of the day of 370.43 yuan ($52.90 USD) to achieve an increase of 924% on its first day. The stock price did decline slightly on Friday to 338.05 yuan ($48.28 USD) but is still well above its issue price. In terms of market cap, it would translate to about $414 million USD at the issue price and is now at $3.8 billion USD as of Friday’s close. In comparison, the company achieved in its last fiscal year about $37 million USD in revenue with a net income of about $7 million providing a Price/Sales ratio of 111 and a Price/Earnings ratio of about 542. QuantumCTek provides quantum networking equipment at the component, system and software levels utilizing QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) for secure quantum resistant encryption. The company was formed in 2009 and is the first quantum company to have an IPO in China. Additional details are available in this report from the Nikkei Asian Review.
July 10, 2020 – News Brief
Q-CTRL Partners with Advanced Navigation to Apply Quantum Control Engineering to Quantum Sensing
Advanced Navigation is an Australian company, as is Q-CTRL, that builds ultra-precise, AI-based navigational technologies and robotics for sea, air, land and space across commercial and defense domains. The goal of the partnership will be to apply Q-CTRL’s quantum control technology to enhance the performance of Advanced Navations PNT (Position, Navigation, and Timing) systems. These systems can enable precise navigation for autonomous vehicles, defense, and space applications when GPS systems are not available. Although there are several companies who are providing quantum control technology for the quantum computing market, this is the first instance that we are aware of that is taking this technology and applying it to quantum sensing applications. For more details, you can view the press release on the Q-CTRL web site here.
July 9, 2020 – News Brief
Seven New Corporate Partners Join the Chicago Quantum Exchange
The new partners include Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Quantum Design, Qubitekk, Rigetti Computing, and Zurich Instruments. They join previously announced corporate partners including Boeing, IBM, Applied Materials, Inc., Cold Quanta, HRL Laboratories, LLC, and Quantum Opus, LLC. bringing the total number of corporate partners to 13. The Chicago Quantum Exchange is a hub for the research and development of quantum technology and is anchored by the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University. The new partners will work with the Chicago Quantum Exchange on projects ranging from quantum communication hardware to quantum computing systems and controls to finance and cryptography applications. Additional details are available in the news release on the Chicago Quantum Exchange’s web site here.
July 8, 2020 – News Brief
PQShield Raises £5.5 Million ($6.4M USD) in Seed Funding
The funding was provided by Kindred Capital, Crane Venture Partners, Oxford Sciences Innovation and additional angel investors. PQShield is a spinout of Oxford University formed in 2018 and is developing both hardware and software Post Quantum Cryptography solutions to enable quantum resistant communications. They are an active participant in NIST’s Post Quantum Cryptography standardization process and they are working with several candidate algorithms that are being evaluated as part of Round 2 selection process. For more on this funding, you can read the news release on the PQShield web site here.
July 7, 2020 – News Brief
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Partners with Pasqal to Provide Support for Pasqal’s Neutral Atom Based Quantum Computer
CQC announced they are collaborating with Pasqal to provide support for Pasqal’s neutral atom based quantum processor with CQC’s t|ket> quantum software development platform. They will provide an additional backend for t|ket which already supports a wide range of backends including IBM Q, Rigetti’s pyQuil, Google’s Cirq, Microsoft Q#, AQT, Honeywell, ProjectQ, and Pyzx. The software not only translates machine independent algorithms, but also optimizes the circuits for the physical qubit layout of each target platform. Besides CQC, Pasqal has also formed partnerships with Rahko to provide solutions for advanced chemistry problems and also with Google to provide direct support for Pasqal’s system with Google’s Cirq software platform. Pasqal recently released a preprint paper titled “Quantum computing with neutral atoms” in which they stated that their approach provides intrinsic scalability to the 100-1,000 qubits range and will have prospects for universal fault tolerant quantum computing and applications beyond quantum computing. Additional details about the CQC-Pasqal partnership can be found in the news release available on the CQC web site here.
July 7, 2020
Three European Companies Receive Venture Investments
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC), QuiX and Qblox have all announced new venture capital investments for undisclosed amounts. The investment in CQC was made by Singapore-based Serendipity Capital. Netherlands-based QuiX received its investment from investment from FORWARD.one and Oost NL. Qblox, also based in The Netherlands received its investment from UNIIQ, an investment fund set up by a consortium of Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the Province of Zuid-Holland regional development agency InnovationQuarter. For more, click here.
July 3, 2020 – News Brief
Menten AI and Qubit Pharmaceuticals Receive Venture Funding for Quantum Drug Discovery
Menten AI received a seed round financing of $4 million from investors Khosla Ventures, Uncork Capital, and Social Impact Capital. Their goal is to to create the next generation of protein-based drugs using machine learning and quantum computing. Qubit Pharmaceuticals received pre-seed funding from Quantonation for an undisclosed amount. They are a a spin off from CNAM, CNRS, University of Texas at Austin, Sorbonne University and Washington University developing a software suite for the discovery and testing of drug candidates running on supercomputers, and eventually quantum computers, to codesign new drugs with pharma and biotech companies. Additional details about Menten AI can be found on their web site here and for details about Qubit Pharmaceutical’s funding round, you can click here.
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