The quantum computing ecosystem is expanding in all directions

Maybell’s Icebox Dilution Refrigerator condenses a room-sized cryogenic setup into a system slightly larger than your kitchen refrigerator to cool quantum devices to the temperatures needed. Picture: Maybell Quantum

It’s hard to keep up with all the news coming out of the quantum computing industry these days. The quantum ecosystem is growing in all directions, from university boardrooms to corporate boardrooms and producing new hardware, software and partnerships.

Denis Mandich, CTO of quantum entropy startup Qrypt, said the race to make qubits at scale is a win-win competition.

“If you make this scalable quantum computer, your advantage is so great that you’ll leave everyone in the dust,” he said. “That’s why so much money is being poured into this sector and why companies are hiring at an incredible rate.”

Qrypt is a member of the Quantum Consortium which tracks vacancies among member organizations including corporations, academic institutions, national laboratories, and government agencies. There are more than 600 ads in the CEQQ directory from the beginning of April.

“It’s a knife fight to get people to this point,” he said.

Mandich said each country has outspent the United States on quantum investments because leaders recognize this is also a national race.

“Whoever is there first has an immediate commercial interest because people will pay tomorrow if it evolves,” he said.

This roundup of quantum news ranging from hardware advancements, benchmarking work, or strategic investments shows why there are so many jobs and why it’s hard to fill them.

Accenture Ventures invests in quantum chemistry

The Good Chemistry Company received a vote of confidence through a strategic investment from Accenture Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of the advisory firm. The company’s QEMIST Cloud is an integrated platform designed for developers. Computational chemistry developers can use the platform to build chemical simulation apps and workflows with emerging algorithms in quantum chemistry, machine learning, and quantum computing.

Carl Dukatz, global head of quantum computing at Accenture, said in a press release that a new class of scalable cloud-based technology is emerging to support the next generation of chemistry, materials science and design. structural. Accenture Ventures did not disclose terms of the investment.

Pasqal partners with Siemens and Microsoft

Siemens Digital Industries Software funds a research project with Pasqal to advance multi-physics simulation by quantum computing. The company will use its proprietary quantum methods to solve complex nonlinear differential equations and improve design and test software for Siemens products. Pasqal specializes in quantum computing based on neutral atoms.

Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO and founder of Pasqal, said the work will focus on creating more accurate digital twins for automotive, electronics, energy and aerospace customers. Pasqal’s quantum technology controls atoms with equal numbers of electrons and protons with optical “tweezers” and laser light to design full-stack processors with high scalability and long coherence times, according to the company. The company’s software-independent processing units operate at room temperature with less energy.

In March, the French company announced a partnership with Microsoft to provide access to its technology through Azure Quantum. Dr. Krysta Svore, a distinguished engineer and vice president of quantum software at Microsoft, said Pasqal’s services will provide Azure Quantum users with new computing possibilities. The Pasqal system will be available later this year.

Zapata and IonQ Win DARPA Award

Zapata and IonQ announced at the end of March a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Multimillion-Dollar Prize for Quantum Benchmarking. The funds will support the creation of software tools to perform hardware-specific resource estimates for quantum computers. The collaboration includes teams from:

  • Aalto University, Finland
  • IonQ
  • Sydney University of Technology
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • Computer Zapata

Yudong Cao, CTO and founder of Zapata Computing, said the program will focus on hardware-specific resource estimation.

“The main priority is to build and integrate software tools across a wide range of the quantum stack, abstract program description, compiler tool chains, error correction and mitigation, to low-level physical control of quantum hardware systems,” Cao said. “For Zapata in particular, this program will also be an opportunity to test and develop our Orquestra platform for the large-scale digital experiments needed to create the quantum benchmarks.”

The research team began work in March and expects the project to last three years.

NVIDIA announces quantum progress

At the GTC conference in March, NVIDIA shared an update on his quantum work. The company’s cuQuantum is now in general release, while its cuQuantum DGX device is in beta. CEO Jensen Huang announced a new quantum compiler: nvq++, which targets the Quantum Intermediate Representation, a specification of a low-level machine language that quantum and classical computers can use to communicate. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be among the first to use this software.

These projects position NVIDIA strategically at classical and quantum inflection points, where classical advantage gives way to quantum value, according to Gartner analyst Chirag Dekate.

Maybell Quantum leaves stealth mode

Maybell Quantum left stealth mode in March with the Icebox, a new design for quantum hardware. The founders reduced the cooling system needed to run specialized equipment to the size of a kitchen refrigerator. The Colorado company has more than a dozen patent-pending innovations, including Flexlines. These quantum wires offer “leading-edge performance and density, while transmitting a fraction of the heat and vibration of traditional wiring,” according to the company. There are 4,500 of these wires in a single cooler, which is three more items in a tenth of the space, said Maybell’s technical director, Dr. Kyle Thompson.

New research center in Melbourne

Quantum Brilliance plans a joint research and development center with La Trobe University and RMIT University to develop high-performance and scalable diamond-based quantum microprocessors. the Diamond Quantum Materials Research Center will develop manufacturing techniques.

Dr. Marcus Doherty is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Quantum Brilliance, Director of the Diamond Quantum Science and Technology Laboratory at the Australian National University, and Head of the Australian Army’s Quantum Technology Roadmap.

Professor Chris Pakes, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Industry Engagement at La Trobe University, said the partnership will utilize the two universities’ expertise in diamond growth, surface and engineering imaging, and combine it with the industry experience and manufacturing capabilities of Quantum Brilliance. Quantum Brilliance uses impurities in synthetic diamonds, and a carbon atom is replaced by a nitrogen atom in the lattice of the crystal, to generate qubits.

Q-CTRL opens a research institute

Q-CTRL is also supporting expanded quantum research through a partnership with the Paul Scherrer Institute. Dr Cornelius Hempel, group leader for ion trap quantum computing at the university, said efficient and automated debugging and calibration procedures will be a critical aspect of day-to-day operations as computers quantum will get bigger and bigger.

“Q-CTRL’s hardware-independent, but hardware-compatible tools will be very helpful in finding optimal control solutions that ensure consistent performance across larger qubit arrays,” he said.

Both teams have experience in quantum computing based on trapped ions, including specialized approaches to error correction. The Institute has an existing research partnership with ETH Zurich through a quantum computing hub which opened in May 2021.

Agnostiq: Benchmarks must be application-specific

SaaS startup Agnostiq has submitted a new research paper that recommends a more practical approach to measuring advances in quantum computing: use benchmarks that correspond to the application in question. Agnostiq conducted its research with a portfolio optimization task to determine whether quantum computers have actually improved over time for specific use cases.
Findings include:

One of the most important findings was that high-quality wallets were produced using quantum circuits that required a larger number of gates than previously demonstrated. This shows that the quality of hardware for performing combinatorial optimization has improved because increasing the number of gates produces more noise, the researchers say. Other findings include:

Maximum solution quality was observed at higher depth (p = 4) over 3 qubits on an IonQ trapped ion machine.
An IBM machine with the lowest qubit quality (quantum volume = 8) performed best of all IBM machines tested.
Variability should be considered with all benchmark numbers, as quantum computers currently give variable results (up to 29%) depending on when the machines were accessed.

Agnostiq head of R&D Santosh Kumar Radha said the research was driven by the fact that each quantum hardware paradigm has its own set of performance metrics and each team improves in different dimensions.

“We recognized the need to better understand how these non-trivial improvements translate to real-world applications.” Radha said.

Agnostiq develops software tools that make quantum and high-performance computing resources more accessible to businesses and developers. Its open-source Covalent workflow orchestration platform is designed to manage and execute tasks across heterogeneous compute resources.

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