Recent news items published in 2019 on quantum computing developments are listed below. Click on the hyperlinked item to go to the press release or news article for details. For older news items published in in 2018, click here and for items published in 2015-2017, click here.
November 14, 2019
Fermilab and Partners Receive DOE Grant of $3.2 Million for Illinois Quantum Network
The Department of Energy (DOE) grant will be used to establish the Illinois-Express Quantum Network (IEQNET) which will be an optical quantum network that will connect Fermilab with Northwestern University’s Chicago and Evanston campuses. The grant will cover a four year period and include additional partners from Caltech and the Argonne National Laboratory. The network will use existing fiber-optic cable and will work to support both classical and quantum communication in the same cable. Since all the nodes in this phase are located in the Chicago metropolitan area, the network should not require any intermediate quantum repeaters or trusted nodes to amplify the signals. For more, you can view the news release on the Fermilab web site here.
November 13, 2019
Qnami Closes 2.6 Million CHF ($2.6M USD) Seed Round Financing
The round was led by venture capital fund Quantonation with additional participation from investors ZKB Start-up Finance and High Tech Gründerfond. The funds will support the market entry of Qnami’s first product, a quantum microscope for inspection of magnetic materials at the nanoscale, and further developments of quantum sensing applications. Click here for the full news release on the Qnami web site.
November 8, 2019
IBM and AQT Create Qiskit Support for AQT’s Ion Trap Quantum Processor
IBM and Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) have created a new version of Qiskit (version 0.13) that support ion trap devices. The remarkable point in the announcement is that they were able to complete this port in just three days time indicating the flexibility of the Qiskit software. To support a different backend the project just required a set of decomposition rules to convert from one set of basis gates to the other and it also required a new “provider” which handles the API connections, authentication, as well as job submission and retrieval between Qiskit and the host backend. Once these are available, a user can use the same front end programming and libraries and then compile code which can run on either machine. For more details, you can view IBM’s blog post here and AQT’s new release here.
November 7, 2019
Microsoft Announces Azure Quantum with Partners IonQ, Honeywell, QCI, and 1QBit
Microsoft has announced its intent to offer quantum computing cloud services through its Azure cloud computing platform. The near term hardware platforms that they will support will include IonQ, Honeywell, and Quantum Circuits Inc. (QCI). IonQ and Honeywell are using the trapped ion technology while QCI is using superconducting. Click here for more.
November 1, 2019
QuTech and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Join Chicago Quantum Exchange as First International Partners
The Chicago Quantum Exchange which previously only had members from Illinois and the neighboring state of Wisconsin has added QuTech and the UNSW. The collaboration with QuTech will develop research partnerships in areas such as quantum computing, sensing and communication while UNSW is more focused on quantum computing using their spin qubit technology. In addition, the Chicago Quantum Exchange also includes seven industry partners – IBM, Boeing, Applied Materials, Inc., Cold Quanta, Inc., HRL Laboratories LLC, Quantum Opus LLC, and Rigetti Computing. Click here, for the news announcement on the Chicago Quantum Exchange web site.
October 31, 2019
Volkswagen To Test Real World Traffic Optimization using a Quantum Computer
Volkswagen announced that they will perform a limited test of their quantum traffic optimization algorithms on nine busses in Lisbon, Portugal that will carry passengers during the Web Summit 2019 Conference on November 4-8, 2019. The algorithms have the potential to reduce passenger travel times and improve traffic flow, even during heavy traffic, by calculating individual optimized routes for each bus as it travels its route. Volkswagen has been working on this approach for some time and described the results in March 2017 of a paper study that calculated hypothetical optimized routes for 10,000 Beijing taxis. Although this test will be a limited study, Volkswagen apparently is intent on commercializing this capability once it has reached market maturity. For more, click here to view Volkswagen’s news release.
October 26, 2019
D-Wave Announces First European Site for Next Generation Annealing System
D-Wave has announced that their next generation Advantage™ quantum annealer will be installed at the Forschungszentrum Jülich Supercomputing Center in Jülich, Germany. It will be the first implementation of the Leap quantum cloud-based system outside of North America. The system will be available for use by government and academic customers of Forschungszentrum Jülich and time on the system will also be able to be purchased by European business customers. For more, you can read the news release on the D-Wave web site here.
October 23, 2019
IonQ Receives Additional Funding of $55 Million
This funding round was led by the Samsung Catalyst Fund and Mubadala Capital. Additional participants include ACME Capital, Airbus Ventures, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, Tao Capital Partners, Correlation Ventures and A&E Investment LLC, as well as previous investors Osage University Partners (OUP), New Enterprise Associates (NEA), GV and Amazon. The funds will be used to expand IonQ’s efforts to make its quantum computers commercially available via the cloud and develop next-generation systems for programming these machines. For additional details, you can view the news release on IonQ’s web site here.
October 21, 2019
HQS Quantum Simulations Closes Seed Round Financing of 2.3 Million Euros ($2.6M USD)
The funding was provided by UVC Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), and btov Partners. HQS is current focusing its efforts on enabling chemical and material science companies, such as BASF, Bosch, and Merck, with quantum chemical and advanced material simulations for use on medium-term available NISQ processors. HQS was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. For more, you can view the news release on the HQS web site here.
October 20, 2019
University of Strathclyde Partnership Receives £4.6 Million ($5.9M USD) for Quantum Technology Research
The Scottish university’s technology partnership received the research funding from three sources including £2.6 million in Prosperity Partnership funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation, M Squared invested a further £1.7 million, and Strathclyde has itself contributed £300,000. The goal of their research will be to develop a new experimental platform which offers the potential to be truly disruptive in its ability to scale in the future to extremely large numbers of qubits. For more, you can view the news release on the University of Strathclyde web site here.
October 18, 2019
Nu Quantum Raises Pre-Seed Capital of £650,000 ($842K USD)
The round was led by Amadeus Capital Partners with additional participation from Ahren Innovation Capital, Cambridge Enterprise, IQ Capital, and Martlet Capital. Nu Quantum is a spinout from the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and is developing high-performance single-photon sources and detectors that work at room temperature for QKD applications. Their approach is a little unique because they are working to apply their technology to free-space communications rather than through fiberoptic cables. For more details, you can view a news release on the Amadeus web site here.
October 18, 2019
University of Bristol Receives Another £20 Million ($26M USD) to Establish a Quantum Technology Innovation Center (QTIC)
The investment comes from the West of England Combined Authority and is addition to the earlier £14.97 million ($19M USD) in Local Growth Fund funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership received in 2017. The new funds will be used to extend QTIC for the development of new businesses, products and services to explore emerging and new applications for quantum and other disruptive technologies. More details are available on a news release at the University of Bristol’s web site here.
October 17, 2019
The Netherlands Releases Its National Agenda for Quantum Technology
Like several other nations, the Netherlands has released its plan to become a significant player in the development of quantum technology. Their program is called Quantum Delta NL (or QΔNL for short) and will have a total budget of about 102 million euros per year (about $113M USD). Of this amount 69 million euros ($77M USD) is already covered with existing programs and the remainder will require a new investment. For more, click here.
October 16, 2019
ColdQuanta Receives $1 Million Grant from NASA To Advance Its Quantum Core™ Technology Platform
The grant was received under NASA’s Civilian Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program (CCRPP) and will be used by ColdQuanta to develop significantly smaller cold atom systems with a high level of ruggedness. Their goal is to reduce the size of their self-contained cold-atom instrument from 400 liters to approximately 40 liters and make it suitable for portable quantum atomic devices. For more details, you can view ColdQuanta’s news release here.
October 12, 2019
Rahko Raises £1.3 Million ($1.6 Million USD) in a Seed Round Investment
The round was led by Balderton Capital with additional investors AI Seed and angel investors Charles Songhurst (former Microsoft head of Corporate Strategy), Tom McInerney (founder, TGM Ventures), John Spindler (CEO, Capital Enterprise) and James Field (CEO, LabGenius). Rahko is focusing on creating 2nd generation quantum machine learning (QML) algorithms, ‘parametrized quantum circuits’ that can be trained like deep learning models to be highly robust to noise on today’s quantum computers for use on chemical simulations. Additional details are available in a news release and a blog article posted on Balderton’s web site here and here.
October 11, 2019
Q-CTRL and Bleximo Enter Partnership for Quantum Control Firmware
Quantum hardware company Bleximo will be using Q-CTRL’s low-level quantum firmware to make their hardware more resilient against errors. Q-CTRL will be the preferred provider of ‘quantum firmware’ for quantum computing systems that Bleximo brings to market. For more details, you can view the blog article on Q-CTRL’s web site here.
October 10, 2019
Entropica Announces EntropicaQAOA, a Modular Package Implementing QAOA on Rigetti’s QCS
The public release of EntropicaQAOA, a free and open source software package implementing the quantum approximate optimisation algorithm (QAOA) on Rigetti’s Quantum Cloud Service (QCS). These algorithms have applications in machine learning and discrete optimization problems. Details of this software package can be found on a Medium article posted by Entropica here. The documentation for EntropicaQAOA can be found here and the GitHub code for the software can be seen here.
October 4, 2019
Quantum Xchange Introduces a New Type of Quantum Resistant Key Management System
Quantum Xchange, one of the pioneers in providing commercial quantum key distribution services in the United States, has introduced a new product called Phio™ Trusted Xchange (TX). Quantum Xchange views their Phio TX product as complementary to their previously released QKD-based Phio QK system. Phio TX uses an out-of-band symmetric key technique to deliver encryption keys and is different from any of the Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) methods that are under review in the NIST competition. For more, click here.
October 3, 2019
Quantum Algorithms Institute Being Established at SFU Surrey with $17 Million CAD ($12.75 Million USD) Funding from the B.C. Government
Canada’s British Columbia (B.C.) provincial government is providing the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey campus with this five year funding to establish an institute that specializes in building quantum computing software and algorithms. B.C. already has a significant amount of quantum activity with both D-Wave and 1QBit headquartered there. In addition, Simon Fraser University has another campus in Burnaby that also has a Silicon Quantum Technology Lab. Besides performing research, the Quantum Algorithms Institute will provide training for a quantum workforce and help grow a grow the Surrey Innovation Corridor. More details are available on the news release posted on the SFU web site here.
October 2, 2019
Oki Data Uses a D-Wave Quantum Annealer to Optimize Factory Machine Layout and Realize a Quantum Advantage
In what may be the first commercial, real-world use of a quantum computer, Oki Data has announced they’ve used a D-Wave quantum annealer to calculate the optimal machine layout in their LED Management Factory. In doing so, they estimate that they have reduced flow line distances by 28% percent which will help improve productivity in their factory. Because their factory produces multiple products using multiple process flow on multiple machines Oki indicated that such an optimization could not have been achieved even with a supercomputer and required the quantum annealer to calculate the solution. For additional details, see the news release posted on the Oki web site here.
October 1, 2019
Beit Inc. Receives $1.4 Million Seed Round Financing
Beit closed on its first equity financing in a round led by Kindred Capital with additional participating by Manta Ray Ventures, Firebolt Ventures, Charles M. Songhurst, George Armoyan, Data Collective VC, Bloomberg Beta, and Spectrum28. These funds will be used to match a previous grant of $2.6 Million that Beit received from the European Union. Additional details can be found on their news release posted on LinkedIn here.
September 26, 2019
NSF Provides $4M Funding to Brown and Dartmouth for Quantum Research
The grant will be from U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) “Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)” program and will will work to better understand the materials and the exotic quantum states that make these technologies possible. The research team will combine the quantum materials expertise at Brown University with the quantum information science expertise at Dartmouth College. For more details, you can view the press release at the Brown web site here.
September 26, 2019
QC Ware Launches Public Cloud Service named Forge
QC Ware’s Forge quantum cloud service has entered a public beta period and serves as a bridge between the Problem/Data Mapping at the user level to the quantum programs running on the quantum computing hardware or quantum simulators. In between these two points, Forge provides the high level features and the algorithms to implement this. The software is designed to be backend agnostic and will enable running the quantum programs on a variety of hardware platforms and simulators. Click here for more.
September 25, 2019
D-Wave Books First Order for Next Generation Quantum Annealer
D-Wave has announced that the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has signed a contract to upgrade their existing D-Wave processor to the next generation version which D-Wave is now called Advantage™. This will be the third time that LANL has upgraded a D-Wave machine. The processor is based upon D-Wave’s Pegasus architecture that we previously described last March. The Advantage processor is expected to be available in mid-2020 and will also be available on D-Wave Leap cloud computing service. It will contain up to 5640 quantum annealing qubits with improvements in qubit connectivity and other features, but there also may be smaller versions available using the same architecture. For more details, you can see D-Wave’s press release here
September 24, 2019
UMD’s QuICS Receives $3.8 Million Award for QC Research
The University of Maryland (UMD) Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS) has received awards for two programs from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The first is called “Fundamental Algorithmic Research for Quantum Computing (FAR-QC)” to study algorithms for quantum simulation. This program will be performed by a multi-organizational team from government labs, academia, and industry. The Argonne National Laboratory is also involved with this program as reported below. The second is called “Tough Errors are No Match (TEAM)” which will investigate how techniques from classical programming languages might lead to noise-resistant outputs from quantum compilers. Additional information on QuICS’ new awards is available on the UMD’s web site here.
September 23, 2019
Argonne National Laboratory Awarded $4.15 Million for Quantum Research
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided the three multi-year awards as part of the 2019 Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) Quantum Computing and Quantum Network Awards. Argonne will be teaming with other national laboratories, academia, and industry on all three programs and will receive a $4.15 million portion of the $41.3 million that has been awarded to all parties in the programs. The three programs are titled 1) “Fundamental Algorithmic Research for Quantum Computing (FAR-QC)” , 2) “Advancing Integrated Development Environments for Quantum Computing through Fundamental Research (AIDE-QC)” and 3) “Illinois-Express Quantum Network (IEQNET)”. More details about the awards and programs are available in the news release on the Argonne web site here.
September 20, 2019
Less is More. Google is Working on a 54 Qubit Chip
We previously reported on a 72 qubit superconducting chip named Bristlecone that Google first described at the APS conference in March 2018. But in recent technical conferences, Google has been talking about a new 54 qubit chip codenamed Sycamore that may actually have more quantum computing performance than Bristlecone. Click here for more.
September 19, 2019
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) Adopts Cirq as their Software Framework
AQT, a quantum hardware startup that has been working with the University of Innsbruck to develop ion trap based computers, has decided to adopt Google’s Cirq as their software framework for algorithm development. This is an interesting developing considering that Cirq was originally developed to support Google’s own superconducting based machine, but it does show the flexibility of open source Cirq to support other technologies. For more, you can view a brief news release on the AQT web site here and another one from the University of Innsbruck here.
September 19, 2019
Aliro Technologies Raises a $2.7 Million Seed Round
The seed round is being led Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from Crosslink Ventures and Samsung NEXT’s Q Fund. Aliro is a quantum software startup founded by a team from Harvard’s Quantum Information Sciences Lab. They are developing a software stack that will support multiple different hardware platforms. The software will allow a user to program an application at a higher level, have Aliro’s software recommend the best platform for that particular application and then compile low level code for the recommended platform. For more details you can visit Aliro’s news page here.
September 18, 2019
IBM Opens New Quantum Data Center; Introduces New 53 Qubit Machine
IBM has officially opened the new quantum data center in Poughkeepsie, New York that we reported on last January. The center is currently operating ten quantum computers, including five IBM Q Systems One 20-qubit machines, one 14-qubit machine, and four 5-qubit machines with four additional machines scheduled to be installed next month. IBM also announced they will be bringing on-line next month a new 53 qubit machine which will be available to their commercial customers in the IBM Q Network. Although technical details on this machine are not yet available, we do expect it to be significantly more powerful than the current 20 qubit machines. For more, click here.
September 17, 2019
UCSB Receives a $25 Million Grant to Establish the U.S.’s first NSF-Funded Quantum Foundry
The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) has received a six-year $25 Million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a quantum foundry. The foundry will be housed within the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) and will focus on challenges specific to quantum technology. Click here for more.
September 14, 2019
IBM and Fraunhofer Partner on a Quantum Computing Initiative for Germany
IBM and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a German research organization, will work together to promote research and development of quantum computing in Germany. As part of this program, IBM will install an IBM Q System One in one of its facilities in Germany, Fraunhofer will establish a new Fraunhofer Center for Quantum Computing, and the German government will provide funding of 650 million Euros ($719 million USD) through 2022. Click here for more.
September 13, 2019
Nominations Open for U.S. National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee
The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking nominations for members to serve on the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee. This committee will 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. The nomination period is open until October 4, 2019. For more details you can view the announcement on the U.S. Federal Register web site here.
September 12, 2019
Q-CTRL Closes a $15 Million Series A Funding Round
The funding was led by Australia’s Square Peg Capital with additional participation from Sierra Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Main Sequence Ventures, and Horizons Ventures. Q-CTRL will use the funds to double the size of their current 25 person engineering team and to also set up a new office in Los Angeles to support North American customers. Q-CTRL provides software that allows users to better understand and control the sources of errors in the quantum hardware and has developed four different products targeted for a span ranging from novices to experts to help achieve this goal. For more details, you can view their press release here.
September 7, 2019
NSF Awards $2 Million for University of Maryland Led Research on Quantum Machine Learning with Photonics
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided a grant for researchers to study architectures inspired by machine learning and deep learning to implement quantum protocols that are naturally efficient and robust against noise. The project will leverage quantum photonics to develop these quantum machine learning architectures. The program is expected to last four years and includes professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as the lead from the University of Maryland (UMD). For more details, you can view the news release on the UMD web site here and a more detailed award abstract on the NSF web site here.
September 5, 2019
IQM and JoS Quantum Announce a Partnership to Develop an Optimized Hardware/Software Solution for Financial Applications
IQM is developing a scalable hardware solution using some unique technology they are applying to a superconducting qubit design. JoS Quantum is a software company developing quantum software primarily for the finance sector. IQM has agreed to provide hardware that will fit some very specific requirements that are required for the algorithms that JoS is developing. Click here to view the announcement on the IQM web site.
September 5, 2019
IBM Announces New Quantum Tools and Hardware Features for Education
In an effort to get more students, educators, developers, and domain experts with “quantum ready” skills, IBM has rolled out several new offerings, programs and tools for developers, researchers and educators who want to build these skills. The intended audience include undergraduate level college students, self-learners, and professors who may want to use some of this material to create new quantum computing courses. Not coincidentally, this will also build the base of people who are familiar with the IBM Q Experience as well as the Qiskit software platform who might become paying customers in the future. Click here for more.
September 4, 2019
U.S. National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee Being Established
We had previously reported on the passage of the U.S. National Quantum Initiative Act passed by the U.S. Congress in December 2018. One of the provisions in that act was for the President to establish a National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee to provide periodic, independent assessments of development, management, coordination and other activities associated with this program. Membership will include individuals from industry, the scientific community (including the National Academy of Sciences, scientific professional societies, and universities), the defense community, and other appropriate organizations. President Trump has signed an Executive Order to establish this committee. Membership will be limited to not more than 22 members, although no one has been officially named as a member as of yet. For more details you can view the Executive Order on the White House web site here.
September 3, 2019
Qu & Co and Schrödinger Announce Partnership for Quantum Computational Chemistry
The Schrödinger company provides a computational platform to accelerate drug discovery and materials design that is deployed by leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, and electronics companies worldwide. Qu & Co is a quantum-software development firm that develops quantum-computational-chemistry and quantum-machine-learning algorithms and software, As stated in the joint press release, “By bringing together Qu & Co’s expertise in quantum computing and Schrödinger’s deep knowledge and experience in applying quantum mechanics in real-world applications, the collaboration aims to advance the state of the art of quantum computing for quantum chemistry. The collaboration will also explore a hybrid computing framework that leverages the strengths of both quantum and conventional approaches to atomistic simulations.” For more details you can view the full press release on the Qu & Co web site here.
August 30, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Announces $82.1 Million in Quantum Research Awards
The DoE announced two separate award programs that provide a total of $82.1 Million in grants over a 5 year period. The first set of awards provides funding of $21.4 Million to 27 different projects of up to three years in duration related to the use of quantum information science for particle physics and fusion energy sciences. The second set of awards provides funding of $60.7 Million for eight different programs lasting four or five years that will research quantum computing and networking. These programs are in addition to the $37 Million program for quantum chemistry and materials research that we reported on in July. For more details on the first set of awards you can view the DoE news release here and the list of projects here. For the second set of awards you can view the DoE new release here and the list of projects here.
August 29, 2019
QC Ware, SLAC, and Others Awarded $4.2 Million DoE grant for Quantum Computational Chemistry Research
The U.S.’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is leading a project consortium that also includes QC Ware, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University to research new ways of using hybrid classical-quantum computing to better understand complex material and chemical systems with a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). The focus will be to study how photochemistry simulations can predict the outcomes of chemical reactions induced by light. The research will use the AIEM+MC-VQE (Contracted Variant of the Variational Quantum Eigensolver within the context of the Ab Initio Exciton Model) methodology as discussed in a recent arXiv posted paper and deploy it on actual quantum computing hardware. This award was part of the overall $37 Million funding initiative for materials and chemistry research in quantum information science announced last month by the DoE. For more details on this particular award, you can view the press release from QC Ware posted here.
August 28, 2019
Atos Announces Quantum Learning Machine Agreements with Xofia (Houston, Texas) and C-DAC (Pune, India)
Atos, which has developed a high-performance, 40 qubit, quantum circuit simulator called the Quantum Learning Machine has announced they will be providing this technology to Xofia, a quantum software startup in Houston, Texas, and C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) in Pune, India. Xofia will access the machine remotely and will focus on use cases related to energy and healthcare. C-DAC, a national R&D organization under the Indian Government’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, will have a machine on-site to support their newly created Quantum Computing Experience Centre. For more details, you can view the news releases on the Atos web site for Xofia here and for C-DAC here.
August 27, 2019
Call for Presentations for the Q2B 2019 Conference
The Q2B 2019 Conference will be held in San Jose, California on December 10-12, 2019. If you are interested in presenting on Day 3 you can submit a proposal at https://q2b.qcware.com/submit-a-talk/. The proposal topics should be related to research and applications in the areas of Optimization (Track A), Quantum Machine Learning (Track B), or Simulation (Track C). The number of available presentation slots is limited and Q2B organizer team will select the most appropriate talks from the ones submitted.
August 26, 2019
Alpine Quantum Technologies Receives €10 Million ($11M USD) Funding
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) announced that it has received 10 Million Euros in funding from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG and the University of Innsbruck. This follows an existing investment by the IVT private foundation of the Tyrolean Industrial Association for start-up financing and pre-seed financing by Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH. AQT has been working with IQOQI Innsbruck and the University of Innsbruck to develop an ion trap based quantum computer. They are planning to have a demonstration machine available with product maturity in 2022. For more details, click here for a news release (in German) on the University of Innsbruck web site.
August 21, 2019
Xanadu Partners with BMO and ScotiaBank to Develop Proof-of-Concept of a Quantum Monte Carlo Algorithm
Xanadu announced that they are working with the BMO Financial Group (part of the Bank of Montreal) and Scotiabank to benchmark the potential for using quantum Monte Carlo algorithms in the future. Monte Carlo algorithms are very important to the financial community for optimizing different portfolio under different possible market scenarios and currently consume a tremendous amount of classical computing resources. Xanadu helped develop a quantum version and tested it on their own quantum simulator running on a classical computer. Although production use of the quantum Monte Carlo algorithm will require the development of more powerful quantum hardware, the simulation results indicated that speedups of a hundred or thousands of times faster should be achievable when these algorithms are run on future quantum computers. For more, you can view Xanadu’s press release here.
August 14, 2019
Feedback Sought on the Quantum Flagship Strategic Research Agenda
The European Union’s Quantum Flagship has issued the first draft of their Strategic Research Agenda and they are seeking feedback from the quantum community. Comments are due by September 2, 2019. Click here to download the documents and additional details on how to submit your comments.
August 14, 2019
Quantum Flagship Use Case Survey
The European Union’s Quantum Flagship QFlag Applications and Markets Team is conducting a quantum technology use case survey and is inviting members of the quantum community to respond and provide their views. The answers will be used to subsequently organize workshop themes to discuss the possibilities enabled by quantum technology. The survey responses are due by September 9, 2019 and you can access the survey and additional details here.
August 8, 2019
Xanadu and Multiverse Computing Sign Partnership Agreement to Develop Financial Applications for Optical Quantum Computers
Multiverse Computing is an early-stage start-up based in San Sebastian (Spain) that is exploring applications of quantum computing in finance. Multiverse Computing’s team consists of world renowned experts known for their innovative approaches to financial and macro-economics problems. Xanadu is building a room temperature optical quantum computing device and providing specialized quantum software. They recently showed their first public demonstration of their pre-alpha photonic quantum cloud at the Creative Destruction Lab.
July 31, 2019
Qu & Co Releases an Open-Source Quantum-Code-Chemistry Package
Qu & Co, an Amsterdam based quantum-software developer, has released quantum-code-chemistry, an end-to-end stack which compiles and executes quantum-chemistry algorithms for current-day NISQ level quantum processors. This package implements the popular Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) algorithm, which shortens the quantum circuit depth by applying a quantum-classical hybrid optimization scheme and makes it better suited for the current generation of small and noisy quantum processors. Qu & Co is one of Rigetti’s QCS Development Partners and has made the software executable on Rigetti’s Quantum Cloud Services platform as well as a wide range of simulation back ends. For more details, you can read Qu & Co’s news release here and access links to install the software and related documentation here.
July 26, 2019
ProteinQure Secures $4 Million in Seed Round Financing
ProteinQure, a company building the computational methods needed to unlock the full potential of protein therapeutics (biologics) has raised $4 million in a seed round led by Felicis Ventures with participation from 8VC, Golden Ventures, iNovia, Global Founders Capital and angel investor Tom Williams. Their computational platform combines biophysical models with statistical and machine learning approaches leveraging advances in computing architectures including GPUs, TPUs, specialized circuits, and quantum computers. More details are available at their posting on Medium.com here.
July 24, 2019
UK Government Plans to Fund an Additional £33 Million ($41M USD) for Quantum Commercialization Projects
The UK Research and Innovation organization announced that the application period will be open from August 5, 2019 to October 30, 2019 for a program that provides grants for development of new products and services that exploit second generation quantum technologies. The funding will come from the UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and be divided between two classes of projects. The funding for large collaborative projects will total £27 million ($33.6M USD) for projects that have individual budgets of £2 to £10 Million and last 18-36 months. The funding for smaller projects will total another £6 Million ($7.5M USD) with each project having a maximum funding of £500,000 and lasting between 6-18 months. Both types of projects should have a focus on speeding up commercialization, as opposed to pure research, and must be led by UK based business that intend on developing and exploiting the resulting technology within the UK. For more details, you can view the announcement on the UK Government’s web site here.
July 24, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Announces Awards of $37 Million for Quantum Chemistry and Materials Research
Twenty projects were selected for investigations into projects aimed at synthesizing and observing material and chemical systems with exotic quantum properties as well as efforts to use quantum computing to better understand complex material and chemical systems. The projects are expected to last for three years and will be led by seventeen university and three DOE labs. For more details you can view the DOE announcement on their web site here and the list of selected projects here.
July 21, 2019
UK Government Announces £94 Million ($117M USD) Funding for Quantum Technology Research Hubs
As part of the UK’s UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) organization announced second phase funding grants to four of the UK’s Quantum Technologies Research Hubs. The £94 million amount is a follow-on to the initial funding of £120 million (about $150M USD) that started in December 2014. Click here for more.
July 16, 2019
Application Period Open for Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) Quantum Enterprise Fellows Program
To encourage more quantum startup companies in the U.K., in 2016 Britain’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded a pioneering skills and training hub at the University of Bristol, the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC). The centre, which offers a 12-month paid fellowship provides early career scientists and researchers who have a potentially commercially viable quantum technology with the coaching, mentorship, and resources to create an investable business proposition and start an early stage company Click here for more.
July 13, 2019
Microsoft Releases Open Source Version of their QDK
We reported last May that Microsoft was intending to make their Quantum Development Kit (QDK) open sourced and now they have done it. The goal is to broaden the support for this platform and enable a broader community to contribute algorithms, applications, and advances in applications, optimization, and tooling. Microsoft’s QDK now has a few notable features including an optional Python interface, support for Jupyter notebooks, and a translator to OpenQASM, which is the quantum assembly language used by IBM in their Quantum Experience. This last feature should allow someone to write a program in Microsoft’s Q# language, translate it to OpenQASM and run it on the IBM quantum processors. There is also an OpenQASM Reader that can translate the other way around so that Qiskit programs can be translated and run on Microsoft’s simulators. For more details about this new release, you can visit Microsoft’s recent blog article here, the main web page for the Quantum Development Kit here, and the Microsoft Quantum GitHub archive here.
July 12, 2019
Airbus to Hold Webinars on Their Quantum Computing Challenge Problem Statements
In order to encourage quantum researchers to think about how they can use quantum computing to solve real world problems, Airbus has created a Quantum Computing Challenge competition and ask for researchers to submit proposals on how they might use a quantum computer to solve these problems. They have created five specific challenges related to aircraft design and operations and will be holding webinars to have the Airbus experts describe the problems in more detail. Click here for more.
July 11, 2019
Rigetti Computing Acquires QxBranch
Rigetti announced today that they have acquired QxBranch in an all-equity transaction with the goal of expanding their full-stack capabilities at the application layer. Details of the financial terms were not disclosed. Michael Brett, CEO of QxBranch will join Rigetti as the Senior Vice-President of Applications and Dr. Ray Johnson, Board Chair of QxBranch, will join the board of Rigetti as an independent director. Click here for more.
July 9, 2019
IQM Receives €11.45 Million ($13 Million USD) in Seed Funding
Finish company IQM announced that they have received about $13 Million in a seed funding round from Matadero QED, Maki.vc, MIG Fonds, OpenOcean, Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment), and Vito Ventures. The company is a spinout from Aalto University (Aalto) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). They are developing what they call a second generation quantum processor based upon superconducting technology that will have proprietary technology to reduce the time for logic gates, readouts, and qubit resets. These improvements will increase the processing speed and reduce the error rates. For more details you can view IQM’s news release here.
July 6, 2019
Preliminary Proposals for $94 Million NSF QLCI Program Due August 1, 2019
As part of 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 computation, quantum communication, quantum simulation and/or quantum sensing. The total budget for the QLCI program will be up to $94 million and the selected proposals are expected to foster multidisciplinary approaches to specific scientific, technological, educational workforce development goals in these fields. Click here for more.
July 3, 2019
Rigetti Computing Selected as one of the Technology Pioneers of 2019 by the World Economic Forum
Rigetti was chosen as one of 56 early to growth stage companies chosen for this award that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations. These companies have the potential to make a significant future impact on business and society in years to come. For more details you can view Rigetti’s news release here.
July 2, 2019
Utimaco and ISARA Team to Provide Quantum-Safe HSMs
Utimaco, a leading supplier of Hardware Security Modules (HSMs), will be partnering with ISARA Corporation to utilize ISARA’s Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) software and provide a quantum-safe (Q-safe) firmware extension for their Utimaco Cryptoserver products. This will enable their customers to establish encrypted communications that cannot be broken by a future quantum computer using Shor’s algorithm. Click here for more.
July 1, 2019
D-Wave Announces Cloud Access Contract with Japanese Startup Sigma-i
Although the specific dollar (or yen) amount was not revealed, D-Wave indicated that this is the largest quantum cloud access contract they have received so far. Sigma-i is a startup formed by researchers from Tohoku’s University Quantum Annealing Research & Development group with the aim of coupling their quantum expertise with D-Wave’s powerful quantum computing systems to bridge the gap between industry and academia, and usher in a new era of quantum computing in Japan. You can find the press release on D-Wave’s web site here.
June 27, 2019
D-Wave Announces General Availability of D-Wave Hybrid Software
We previously wrote last December about D-Wave’s developer preview release of the D-Wave Hybrid software. It appears the software has matured enough that D-Wave has officially designated it as suitable for general availability. As previously indicated, D-Wave asserts that many, if not most, real world application will best be solved by a combination of classical and quantum computers working together. For more details about this you can see their recently released white paper titled Three Truths and the Advent of Hybrid Quantum Computing and see their press release announcing general availability of the software here.
June 25, 2019
Xanadu Raises $32 Million CAD ($24M USD) in Series A Financing
The investment was led by OMERS Ventures with additional participation from Georgian Partners, Radical Ventures, Real Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, and Tim Draper. Xanadu, based in Toronto, Canada, has a goal of being a full-stack quantum computing company but has important differences with some of the others. First, their technology is based upon an integrated photonic chip technology which can run at room temperature. Second, their approach uses qumodes rather than qubits, which can encode information in a continuous variable. Third, although their software will eventually support their own hardware they are also supporting other quantum programming and hardware platforms from Rigetti, IBM, Project Q, and Microsoft. And finally, they are apparently fans of the Beatles because Xanadu has named its software programs after songs from this famous rock group. For more information you can read their press release here.
June 22, 2019
IBM QC Expands to Africa By Adding Wits University to the Q Network
IBM, which boasts that they have users of the IBM Q Experiences from all seven continents, has added University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in South Africa as an official member of their IBM Q Network. Wits will serve as a gateway for researchers from 15 other universities who are part of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). You can find more details at IBM’s news release which you can find here.
June 14, 2019
Riverlane Raises £3.25M ($4.1M USD) Seed Round
The round was led by venture capital investors Cambridge Innovation Capital and Amadeus Capital Partners, with the participation of Cambridge Enterprise. The company is working on quantum simulation engines focusing on materials design and drug discovery. For more details, you can view their news releases here.
June 11, 2019
UK Government To Provide £153m ($194M USD) for Quantum Computing
In comments at London Tech Week, UK acting Prime Minister Theresa May indicated the government plans to invest £153m ($194M USD) in quantum computing. These funds will be supplemented by an additional £205m ($261M USD) from industry for a total investment of £358m ($455M USD) between the two. You can read additional details on the NS Tech website here.
June 8, 2019
The Proceedings and Videos of the TQC+NISQ Conference are Now On-line
The QuICS center at the University of Maryland hosted a conference last week on the Theory of Quantum Computation, Communication and Cryptography immediately followed by a Workshop on Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum Technologies. Kudos to the QuICS team for already having the proceedings and videos posted online. Many of the talks are quite good. Click here for a link to the proceedings and here to view the videos.
June 7, 2019
U.S. Government Issues a New RFI and Reopens Another One
The U.S. government’s Department of Energy has issued a new Request for Information (RFI) to establish two or more Quantum Information Science Centers. The inputs will be used to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeking applications for two or more DOE QIS Centers to support the National Quantum Initiative enacted by Congress in December 2018. The reopened RFI concerns the National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science and asks suggestions on ways the government can address the specific policies described in the National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science report. Click here for more details on these two RFI’s.
June 5, 2019
HQS Quantum Simulations and Merck KGaA Announce a Three-Year Cooperation Deal for Quantum Chemistry Research
HQS Quantum Simulations, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, develops quantum algorithms to predict molecular properties for performance materials, specialty chemicals and pharmaceutical companies. Merck KGaA (known as the EMD Group in the U.S. and Canada) is a multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and life sciences company headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany. Note that Merck KGaA is a completely separate company from Merck & Co. which is based in the United States. The goal of the research is to use the resulting quantum simulation software to accelerate research and development processes for customers and widen the understanding of chemical and physical interactions which leads to better products and processes. For more information, you can view the news release from Merck KGaA here.
June 4, 2019
Phasecraft Closes a £750K (about $952K USD) Seed Round Investment
The round was led by the UCL Technology Fund with additional participation from Parkwalk Advisors and the London Co-Investment Fund. Phasecraft is developing software for quantum computers and was cofounded by academics at UCL and the University of Bristol. For more details, you can view the news release at the UCL Technology Fund web site here.
May 31, 2019
Microsoft Releases QDK Version 0.7 and Integrates 1QBit’s QEMIST Materials Simulation Platform
Microsoft has released another update to their Quantum Development Kit called version 0.7. New features include additional Q# language features, a further expansion of their Quantum Katas with community contributions and a new numerics library. This release also includes some significant enhancements to Microsoft’s Quantum Chemistry Library. It now includes support for unitary couple cluster methods (UCC) and provides a seamless integration with 1QBit’s Quantum-Enabled Molecular ab Initio Simulation Toolkit (QEMIST), a materials simulation platform which includes algorithms for variational quantum eigensolvers (VQE). Click here for more details.
May 28, 2019
Poland Funding 17 Million Zlotys ($4.4M USD) for Quantum Computing Research
The Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) is providing this grant to the TEAM-NET project for quantum computing research led by Professor Marek Kuś at the Centre for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. The focus of the investigations will be on characterizing and optimizing quantum computing operations performed by qubits. Other institutes participating in the program include the Astronomy and Applied Computer Science group at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, and the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Informatics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice. For more details, you can view the FNP news release here.
May 27, 2019
Microsoft and Brilliant.org Partner to Offer a New Quantum Computing Course
Microsoft has team up with Brilliant.org, an online education company specializing in math and science topics, to create a new interactive course on quantum computing. The 33 chapter course starts with some of the basic concepts of quantum computing and ends showing a few example problems including the knapsack problem and a quantum simulation of a hydrogen molecule. For more, click here.
May 22, 2019
Peter Chapman Named President and CEO of IonQ
Peter Chapman was previously the Director of Engineering for Amazon Prime and will take over the CEO role from IonQ co-founder Christopher Monroe who will become the company’s Chief Scientist. It should be noted that Amazon Web Services is one of the investors in IonQ and also that we currently show seven open positions related to quantum computing for Amazon Web Services on our jobs page. In addition, one of the key early applications expected for quantum computing is to help commercial companies improve their logistics and Mr. Chapman’s experience at Amazon Prime should be very beneficial for this. For more details you can view IonQ’s news release here.
May 21, 2019
Kiutra Closes Seven-Figure Seed Round Funding
A consortium comprising lead investor High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), deep-tech VC investor APEX Ventures and the UnternehmerTUM Initiative for Industrial Innovators is investing a seven-figure sum in kiutra, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) founded in 2018. The new capital will be used to strengthen global sales and distribution, further increase production capacities, and expand the basic technology for the rapidly growing quantum technology market. For more details, you can view the news release here.
May 16, 2019
D-Wave Develops a Lower-Noise Quantum Annealer
D-Wave has developed a lower noise version of their D-Wave 2000Q processor and has made it available on-line via their Leap quantum cloud service. They indicated that this enhanced processor uses the same basic design as the 2000Q but uses different materials in its construction which improve the noise. In conjunction with their announcement, D-Wave also released a white paper that compares the performance of the enhanced processor with the previous version. The data show roughly a 25X improvement in solution time with the enhanced processor. Click here for more.
May 14, 2019
Northwestern University Joins the Chicago Quantum Exchange
Northwestern is the newest member of the Chicago Quantum Exchange which already includes the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Laboratory, the University of Illinois a Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These organizations will collaborate on the research and development of quantum technology. For more information, you can read the press releases on the University of Chicago and the Northwestern University websites.
May 10, 2019
NXM Labs Introduces Quake, a Hybrid Solution for Quantum Resistant Cryptography
The NXM Quake (Quantum Augmented Key Encapsulation) solution combines both a classical and a quantum key encapsulation algorithm (for example, NTRU) for extra security in public key encryption. Click here for more.
May 9, 2019
U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is Seeking White Papers for Research on Use of Quantum Resistant Algorithms
The Request for White Paper (RWP) is being issued to conduct research, development, and testing activities associated with evaluating quantum-resistant algorithms, and cryptographic solution that can be used to enable quantum-encrypted information transfer using symmetric encryption. This is the first step of a multi-phase process to award a prototype OTA (Other Transaction Authority) for a project to a vendor. The deadline for submission of the white paper is May 31, 2019. More details are available in a FedBizOps notice here.
May 8, 2019
IBM Revamps the IBM Q Experience to Provide Jupyter Notebook Support and Releases a New Version of Qiskit
IBM is now beta testing a new version of the IBM Q Experience that provides the ability to run Qiskit using Jupyter notebooks. Previously IBM had only provided Qiskit tutorials that could run on Jupyter notebooks, but the program writing, compiling, and simulation needed to be run on the user’s local machine. And the latest release of Qiskit includes the introduction of a Pulse module for building tools for Pulse commands, new transpiler optimization passes to improve efficiency in circuit depth, implementation of several new algorithms in the Aqua library module and many other added features and bug fixes. Click here for more.
May 6, 2019
Microsoft Plans to Open Source their Quantum Development Kit
Microsoft has announced that they will make an open source release of their Quantum Development Kit (QDK) later this summer, including their Q# compiler and quantum simulators. Previously, Microsoft had only made certain sample programs and libraries, such as their quantum chemistry library, open source but had kept the core portion of their quantum software proprietary. Microsoft will be joining IBM, Rigetti, D-Wave, Google, and others in making their quantum software open source with the intention of encouraging new external innovations as well as making the software more attractive and transparent for developers. For more details, you can view Microsoft’s blog announcement here.
May 4, 2019
Quantum Circuit Simulation on the World’s Fastest Classical Supercomputer
A team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, NASA, University of Illinois, and Google recently posted a paper showing simulation results that were run in Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Part of the reason for this exercise was to establish a methodology for determining quantum supremacy and to set the standard for the largest circuit a quantum computer needs to surpass in order to declare quantum supremacy against the best classical computer. Click here for more.
May 4, 2019
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Awards IBM $7.5 Million Contract for IBM Q System Access
The agreement will provide AFRL three years of remote access to the IBM Q System for experimental purposes through April 30, 2022. It will cover IBM’s quantum computers ranging from approximately 20 to 50 qubits. Click here to see the notice (about two-thirds down the page) on the U.S. Department of Defense contracts award page.
May 3, 2019
SpeQtral Receives a $1.9 million Seed Round Investment
The seed round was led by Space Capital, the venture fund of Space Angels, the world’s leading space investors. Additional investors participating in the round include Shasta Ventures, Golden Gate Ventures and SGInnovate. SpeQtral (formerly S15 Space Systems) is developing space-based, quantum communication built on technologies developed at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore. The team has developed technologies that harness the unique properties of quantum physics to enable encryption methods that can secure communications with forward security. Additional details are available on their news release here.
May 2, 2019
U.S. Government Funding Opportunity for Development of Quantum Algorithms
The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) together with the National Security Agency (NSA) is soliciting proposals to develop new quantum computing algorithms for hard computational problems, develop insights into the power of quantum computation, and consider issues of quantum complexity and computability. Click here for more.
April 26, 2019
Qunnect Awarded $120,000 SBIR for Quantum Communications Network Research
Qunnect is a spin-off venture from the Quantum Information Technology Group at Stony Brook University in New York. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for Qunnect’s development of portable, room temperature quantum entanglement sources for quantum communications. Qunnect is also researching quantum repeater technology to extend the distance of quantum communications networks over fiberoptic cables. Click here for more details on the award.
April 25, 2019
IBM Expands the IBM Q Network to Include a Number of Global Universities
IBM’s intent is to partner with these universities to accelerate joint research in quantum computing, and help the development of curricula to prepare students for quantum computing careers. Depending upon the institution, the universities will either access IBM’s quantum computers through an IBM Q hub or have direct access to IBM’s most advanced commercially available quantum systems. In addition, IBM will collaborate with several of the universities for various joint-research projects. For more details, you can view IBM’s press release here.
April 20, 2019
Canadian Government is Providing $41 Million CAD in Funding For QC and AI Related Research in the Waterloo, Canada Region
The $41 million CAD funding ($30.6 million USD) will be provided to four organizations including the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab ($20M CAD), Isara ($7.2M CAD), High Q Technologies ($6.5M CAD), and Cognitive Systems ($7.3M CAD). The funding is being provided by FedDev Ontario, as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund, to help support the organizations’ respective projects. For more details on this funding and the associated projects, you can read the article posted on the Waterloo Regional Record website here.
April 19, 2019
CQC and Q-CTRL Develop Extensions to IBM’s Qiskit that Provide Further Improvements
There were announcements this week from both Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and Q-CTRL that show how these two software companies can beat IBM at its own game and provide software for IBM’s Q hardware that improves upon IBM’s own implementations in Qiskit. CQC published a paper that shows a lithium hydride molecule simulation that displays a >50% improvement using their t|ket> software. And Q-CTRL announced a new product called Open Controls that works with IBM’s Qiskit to improve quantum circuit control. Click here for more.
April 17, 2019
Zapata Raises $21 Million in Series A Financing
The financing round was led by Comcast Ventures and Prelude Ventures, with participation from new and existing investors Pitango Ventures, BASF Venture Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Pillar VC, and The Engine. Zapata will be using the funds to further the development of their hardware-agnostic quantum software platform with a focus on applications in the computational chemistry, machine learning, and optimization areas. For additional details, you can read their news release here.
April 5, 2019
Archer Exploration Starts Carbon-Based QC Chip Development Project
Archer Exploration in Australia has started a project they call 12CQ with the aim of building a carbon-based quantum computing device (chip) capable of room-temperature quantum information processing. The development will take place at the University of Sydney Research & Prototype Foundry Core Research Facility at the Sydney Nanoscience Hub which will provide a world-class infrastructure, equipment, and engineers required to build the chip. Click here for more.
April 4, 2019
Chinese Scientists Set New Quantum Factoring Record
In a technical paper titled Factoring larger integers with fewer qubits via quantum annealing with optimized parameters, Chinese scientists have disclosed they have successfully factored the number 1005973 into its two semi-prime numbers, 997 and 1009. The factoring was performed on a D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealing machine and required 89 qubits. Click here for more.
April 3, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) To Provide Up to $40 Million for Research Into New QC Algorithms and Software Tools
The U.S. DOE has released Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for both government labs and non-government organizations for research aimed at developing new algorithms and software for quantum computers. The effort seeks to move beyond the current relatively limited applications available on quantum computers toward more robust algorithms and application software that can be used on a practical level to tackle a range of scientific problems. Click here for more.
March 30, 2019
Groovenauts to Release World’s First Business Service Powered with Quantum Computing Technology
Japan based Groovenauts, Inc., developers of the non-programming machine learning service MAGELLAN BLOCKS, will release in April the world’s first business optimization service using the D-Wave 2000Q quantum computer via the cloud. The service will analyze vast numbers of numerical combinations to find optimal shipping routes and plan staff schedules. These tasks which require significant manpower to solve will be more efficient and accurate with this service than with procedures used by customers today. Click here to view Groovenauts’ news release describing their service in more detail.
March 29, 2019
Quantum Platform Updates; D-Wave, Microsoft
D-Wave announced that they have expanded their Leap quantum cloud service to 33 new countries in Europe and Japan. This service, first announced in October, 2018 was previously only available in the U.S. and Canada. More details are available in D-Wave’s press release here. Also, Microsoft announced that they had added support for cross-platform Python host applications as well as the capability of using Q# code in Jupyter notebooks. Their March Quantum Development Kit update includes tutorials and samples on using the new Q# Jupyter kernel. For more details, you can view Microsoft’s blog on their Jupyter notebook support here and documentation on how to use the Q# package for Python here.
March 27, 2019
Bo Ewald Takes the Helm at ColdQuanta
ColdQuanta announced today that it has appointed Robert “Bo” Ewald as President and Chief Executive Officer. Bo is well known in the quantum community having served as President of D-Wave U.S. for the past several years. He also has had previous executive experience at Silicon Graphics, Cray Research, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and several other companies. Click here for more.
March 23, 2019
University of Washington, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Microsoft Form the Northwest Quantum Nexus
The three organizations located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States will join in this coalition to: form cross-disciplinary research teams in quantum technology; cultivate a quantum-ready workforce; promote public-private partnerships; translate quantum information science to testbeds and relevant application areas and; develop a vibrant quantum ecosystem and economy in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more you can view the announcement news release on the University of Washington web site here or go to the Northwest Quantum Nexus web site here.
March 16, 2019
Intel and IBM Publish Research Papers Combining QC and AI
A lot of folks are researching using quantum computing to work with artificial intelligence algorithms. Recently, IBM and Intel received some attention (primarily because they have larger PR departments than most others) for papers they recently published that combine concepts from quantum computing (QC) and artificial intelligence (AI). IBM published a paper showing how quantum computing can be used on a supervised learning algorithm to classify data using a technique called feature mapping that is optimized for use with NISQ machines. And Intel described an approach to use the latest advancements in AI algorithms to better understand quantum physics phenomena. Click here for more.
March 16, 2019
IBM Releases Version 0.1 of Qiskit Ignis
IBM has released a new module in their Qiskit suite called Qiskit Ignis.
Qiskit Ignis is a framework for understanding and mitigating noise in quantum circuits and devices. It provides tools for characterizing the error characteristics of a quantum device, verification experiments to verify gate and small circuit performance and mitigation experiments to develop mitigation routines at the microwave pulse level to reduce errors. Click here for more.
March 8, 2019
Atom Computing Has Received a $225,000 SBIR Grant from the NSF for Neutral Atom Research
The grant was provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) to research “Spatially Modulated Light For Trapping And Addressing Of Alkaline-Earth Neutral Atom Qubits”. The objective of their work will be to demonstrate qubits with very long trapped coherence times. This is a Phase I project that will last one year. Click here for details on this grant.
March 7, 2019
Intel and Enterprise Ireland Provide €150,000 ($168K USD) Support to the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) for Research on Natural Language Processing Using a Quantum Computer
In one of the more unusual applications of QC that we have seen, ICHEC will be using Intel’s software quantum simulator, called qHiPSTER, to develop a natural language processing algorithm known as a distributional compositional semantics model, which describes how information flows between words in a sentence to determine the sentence’s meaning. Once the algorithm is developed it would be ready to run on real quantum computers, once they are available, to achieve higher performance. Click here for more details.
March 7, 2019
University of Wisconsin-Madison Has Joined the Chicago Quantum Exchange
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will be joining the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Fermi National Laboratory in this partnership of American Midwest institutions researching quantum computing. The university has expertise in three areas of qubit technology including neutral atoms, superconducting, and silicon quantum dots along with additional expertise in quantum sensing that it will bring to the Chicago Quantum Exchange. You can view UW-Madison’s news release here.
March 6, 2019
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Upgrades D-Wave Computer
D-Wave is upgrading the D-Wave 2X computer originally installed in 2016 to the latest D-Wave 2000Q version. Besides increasing the number of available qubits from over 1000 to more than 2000, the D-Wave 2000Q provides additional annealing control features that can help provide more accuracy and better performance. This is the second field upgrade that D-Wave has publicly announced. The first occurred in 2017 when they upgraded the D-Wave 2X machine at the NASA Ames Research Center to the D-Wave 2000Q. To date, D-Wave has been the only quantum company that has installed a machine for use remotely at a customer’s site, which can be more challenging than providing access to an in-house machine via a cloud service. For more details, you can view D-Wave’s press release here.
March 5, 2019
IBM Achieves Higher Quantum Volume with the IBM Q System One Design
IBM has provided new data on the improved system performance of their IBM Q Systems One design through the use of minimization of vibrations, custom control electronics to provide cleaner signals, and more precise temperature controls. The result has been a doubling of a power measure they call Quantum Volume over their previous design. To read the full article click here.
March 5, 2019
Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) Introduces “Ironbridge”, a Certifiable Quantum Cryptographic Device
Ironbridge generates random cryptographic keys using a 4-qubit photonic quantum processor. Although other hardware random number generators exist using other mechanisms, this is the first commercial device to take advantage of the quantum phenomena of entanglement to produce what the company claims is a certifiable random quantum key. For more details about Ironbridge, you can click here to see CQC’s news release along with a short video at the bottom that explains the operation of the device.
March 5, 2019
DARPA Schedules Proposers Day for New ONISQ Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is sponsoring a Proposers Day to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of an anticipated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices (ONISQ) program. The Proposers Day will be held on March 19, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. The event will be webcast for those who would like to participate remotely. Click here for more.
March 2, 2019
D-Wave Previews Their Next Generation Quantum Annealing Machine
In a press release, D-Wave provided a preview of their next generation quantum annealing machine codenamed Pegasus. In the press release, D-Wave highlighted key advances in this new architecture including an increase of qubit connectivity from 6 to 15, lower noise and an increased qubit count to over 5000 qubits. Click here for more.
March 1, 2019
Sydney Quantum Academy Being Established with a $15.4 Million AUD ($10.9M USD) Grant
The Australian state of New South Wales has provided a $15.4 million AUD grant to the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Macquarie University, and the University of Sydney to establish this academy. An additional $20 million AUD ($14.1 million USD) will be provided by the universities themselves and unnamed industry partners. Click here for more.
February 28, 2019
Intel, Bluefors, and Afore Develop First Cryogenic Wafer Prober
Intel has teamed up with dilution refrigerator manufacturer Bluefors and MEMS (Micro-electro-mechanical-systems) specialist Afore to develop a wafer prober that can operate at cryogenic temperatures. Intel will be utilizing this device to characterize and speed feedback of their silicon spin qubit device built on their 300 mm manufacturing line in Oregon. Click here for more.
February 27, 2019
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Now Accepting Applications for Their 2019/2020 Quantum Machine Learning Incubator Stream
The Quantum Machine Learning Incubator Stream at CDL-Toronto brings together entrepreneurs, investors, AI experts, leading quantum information researchers, and quantum hardware companies to build ventures in the nascent domain of quantum machine learning and quantum optimization. Participants are eligible to receive US$80k equity investment from three prominent venture capital firms, office space in downtown Toronto, and intensive technical training from industry and academic leaders in quantum computing and machine learning. The program will be held from July 2019 to June 2020 with a Wave 1 application deadline of March 14, 2019 and a final application deadline of May 19, 2019. Click here for more details.
February 23, 2019
Australian ARC Centre of Excellence CQC2T receives $33.7 Million AUS ($22.0M USD) in Funding for Quantum Research
The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney has been awarded $33.7 million in funding from the Australian government to continue its development of a quantum computer. More details are available at the UNSW web site here.
February 22, 2019
IBM/Princeton Sponsoring a Summer Quantum Undergraduate Research Program
IBM and Princeton are sponsoring a 10 week quantum undergraduate research program to provide students with the unique opportunity to do both academic and industry summer research. Click here for more.
February 21, 2019
Videos of the Q2B 2018 and the QIP 2019 Conferences are Now Online
Videos of the presentations from the Q2B 2018 (Quantum for Business Conference held in December 2018) and the QIP (Quantum Information Processing Conference held in January 2019) are now available on YouTube. Click here to access the Q2B 2018 videos and presentations and click here to access the QIP 2019 videos.
February 16, 2019
DOE Providing $12 Million in Grants for QIS Research of Particle Physics
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in a program named QuantISED will be providing funding to support research in using quantum computers and information systems to advance understanding of particle physics and also draw on insights from particle physics to advance QIS. The programs are expected to last two years and will be open to universities, national laboratories, industry, and nonprofits. The deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is March 5, 2019 and the deadline for submitting the final application is April 16, 2019. For more details you can view the general press release here, the Funding Opportunity Announcement for universities, industry, and nonprofits here, and a companion announcement for DOE labs here.
February 14, 2019
IBM Publishes their Qiskit Roadmap for 2019
IBM is planning several new improvements in the 2019 releases of Qiskit. The improvements will be made in the Qiskit Terra, Qiskit AER, Qiskit Aqua, and Qiskit Chemistry modules. They will also introduce a new module called Qiskit Ignis that will include a set of tools for characterization of errors, improving gates, and enhancing computation in the presence of noise. The improvements in the other modules will increase efficiency, improve scalability, introduce new features, and add flexibility to the software. For more details you can view IBM’s blog article that describes the planned changes in more detail here.
February 6, 2019
NIST Requesting Comments on Two Quantum Resistant Digital Signature Algorithms
In addition to NISTs Post-Quantum Cryptography selection program to standardize cryptography algorithms that are resistant to breaking by a quantum computer, NIST intends to approve two stateful-hash based signature standards for limited use. They are working in coordination with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and expect to approve their use for a limited range of signature applications, such as code signing, where most implementations will be able to securely deal with the requirement to keep state. NIST has issued a Request for Public Comments before taking any action. For more details, click here.
February 2, 2019
2019 Quantum MattersTM Science Communication Competition
The Museum of Science, Boston has announced the launch of the national Quantum MattersTM Science Communication Competition, inviting quantum researchers and enthusiasts from around the country to submit their best ideas for inspiring young people to explore the ground-breaking fields of quantum science and technology. Click here for more details about this competition. The deadline for entry is March 1, 2019.
February 2, 2019
Korea to Invest 44.5 Billion Won ($39.7M USD) in Quantum Computing Research
The South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) has announced it will provide funding of 44.5 billion won ($39.7 million USD) over a five year period to expand Korea’s quantum computing research base and develop core technology for quantum computing. The funds will be provided to 33 quantum computing research groups including 7 key team for core quantum computing technology. A significant goal of this program is to develop a 5 qubit quantum process with more than 90% reliability by 2023. For more information, you can view an article on the BusinessKorea web page here.
February 1, 2019
ColdQuanta to Sponsor Neutral Atom QC Research at the University of Wisconsin
ColdQuanta, a Colorado based supplier of components for quantum technology applications announced they will sponsor an undisclosed amount of funding for the continued development of cold neutral atom quantum computing devices at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. They stated that they were attracted to the UW-Madison technology because of its ability to rapidly scale the number of qubits with good fidelity and a high level of interconnectivity. Part of ColdQuanta’s intent is to move up the chain and market quantum devices based on this neutral atom technology in addition to the component level products they currently sell. Click here to view the news release on the ColdQuanta web site.
January 31, 2019
Rigetti Opens Their Quantum Cloud Service (QCS) for Public Beta
Rigetti Computing is opening their Quantum Cloud Service (QCS), which we reported on last September, for public beta testing. QCS will be using the hybrid quantum-classical architecture that Rigetti has been promoting and will use the new Aspen architecture QPUs (Quantum Processing Units) that Rigetti announced in August. Click here for more.
January 30, 2019
NIST Announces Round 2 Candidates for Their PQC Standardization Process
As we previous described, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is working on a multi-year program to select recommended public key encryption algorithms that will be quantum resistant and expected to eventually replace the RSA and Elliptic Curve algorithms in use today. Originally, 69 different algorithms were submitted at the beginning of Round 1 in November 2017 with five being subsequently withdrawn. After a 14 month evaluation period, NIST has narrowed the field down to 26 candidates split between 17 algorithms intended for use with key establishment and encryption applications and 9 algorithms intended for use with digital signature applications. NIST’s evaluation of the Round 2 candidates is expected to last for another 12-18 months and result in either an announcement of which algorithms have been selected or that a Round 3 analysis will be needed. Click here to view a listing on the NIST web site of which algorithms have made it into Round 2 and click here for a more detailed status report with comments on the evaluation criteria and additional information on each of the chosen algorithms.
January 26, 2019
Rigetti Discloses Improved Qubit Quality Metrics with their New Architecture
In a series of blog postings, Rigetti Computing disclosed significantly improved qubit quality metrics for their new Aspen architecture. Their measurements indicated best case T1 relaxation times of over 110 microseconds and best case two-qubit gate fidelities as high as 99.2%. Click here for more.
January 25, 2019
Quantum Circuits Inc. (QCI) Opens Up New Facility
The new 6,000 square feet (about 550 square meters) facility is located in New Haven, Connecticut and will house both development and in-house manufacturing for QCI’s quantum computer activities based upon their superconducting technology. Key members of the QCI team came from the Department of Applied Physics at Yale University. For more, you can view QCI’s news release on their web site here.
January 21, 2019
German Research Centre Forschungszentrum Jülich Awarded 36 Million Euros ($41M USD) for Quantum and Neuromorphic Computing Research
The grants are being provided by the German Federal Government and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The funds will be provided through the year 2020 and cover these two new areas of emerging computing technology. The news release did not describe what portion of these funds has been allocated to quantum computing versus neuromorphic computing, but we expect it to be many millions of euros. To view the announcement from Forschungszentrum Jülich, click here.
January 19, 2019
U.S. Department of Energy Will Provide $45 Million for Quantum Related Chemical and Materials Research
These grants will fund research into design and discovery of novel systems and materials relevant to the development of quantum information science and also the use of quantum computing to solve problems in chemical and materials science research. The funding will be over a three year period and is open to national laboratories, universities, and non-profits. Click here for more.
January 15, 2019
Sandia National Laboratories Receives $42 Million Funding for Four New Quantum Research Projects
The $42 million in funding is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research Programs for four new projects that will last 3-5 years, depending upon the specific project. The funding appears to be separate to the projects that will be funded by the National Quantum Initiative Act that was signed into law in December. Click here for more.
January 14, 2019
India to Invest Rs 80 Crores ($11.34M USD) in Quantum Computing Research
India’s Department of Science and Technology has initiated a three year program called QuEST (Quantum-Enabled Science and Technology) to help lay the groundwork for building quantum computers in India. After this first phase is complete, the Indian government expects to fund a follow-on phase 2 with a larger budget of Rs 300 crores (about $45.5M USD). Click here for more details about this QuEST program.
January 12, 2019
NIST Announcement of PQC Round 2 Candidates Has Been Delayed
We had previously reported that NIST was planning on announcing the round 2 Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) algorithm candidates at the Real World Crypto Symposium on January 10th. However, due to the U.S. Government shutdown that did not occur. We do expect this announcement to be made shortly after the shutdown is over and we will post this information once it is released.
January 7, 2019
IBM Unveils New Packaging Design, New Quantum Computation Center and New Name for their Quantum Computer
IBM has unveiled a new packaging design for their IBM Q quantum computer, now called the IBM Q System One. The design leverages IBM’s decade’s worth of experience designing large mainframe computers to provide a distinctive look and packages the system in an airtight sealed and laminated glass cube. And in a sign that IBM is preparing for increased usage of their quantum technology from members of the IBM Q Network, they are establishing a new IBM Q Quantum Computation Center to expand their IBM Q commercial quantum computation program. Click here for more details on IBM’s announcement.
January 2, 2019
IBM Releases Version 0.7 of Qiskit Terra and Version 0.4 of Qiskit Aqua
IBM has released their next version of Qiskit Terra with improvements in visualization, transpiler improvements, backends and shot memory. A key goal in this release is to improve the internal infrastructure to provide more transparency, stability and extensibility that will help enable additional feature enhancements in future releases. They have also released an updated version of Qiskit Aqua, their library of algorithms for building domain-specific applications. Click here for more.