Normal view

There are new articles available, click to refresh the page.
Yesterday — 29 November 2023Main stream

Riverlane Awarded DARPA Quantum Benchmarking Program Grant

29 November 2023 at 11:32
a white antenna with many small balls

Insider Brief

  • Riverlane has been selected for the next phase of DARPA’s Quantum Benchmarking program.
  • The program’s aim is to design key quantum computing metrics.
  • Riverlane will be working with top tier universities such as the University of Southern California and the University of Sydney.

PRESS RELEASE — Riverlane has been selected for Phase 2 of the Quantum Benchmarking program funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The aim of the DARPA Quantum Benchmarking program is to design key quantum computing metrics for practically relevant problems and estimate the required quantum and classical resources needed to reach critical performance thresholds.

Steve Brierley, CEO and Founder of Riverlane, said: “Riverlane’s mission is to make quantum computing useful sooner, starting an era of human progress as significant as the industrial and digital revolutions. The DARPA Quantum Benchmarking program aligns with this goal, helping the quantum community measure progress and maintain momentum as we reach unlock quantum error correction and enable fault tolerance.”

Fault tolerance is increasingly seen as a requirement for reaching useful quantum advantage. To achieve this, the errors that quantum bits (qubits) are prone to must be corrected. Simply put, quantum error correction is the enabling technology for fault tolerance.

Hardware companies, academic groups and national labs have demonstrated significant progress with small quantum error-corrected systems, but there remain many challenges for controlling fault-tolerant devices at scale.

In the DARPA Quantum Benchmarking project, Riverlane is working with top tier universities such as the University of Southern California and the University of Sydney to identify important benchmarks for practical problems especially in the fields of plasma physics, fluid dynamics, condensed matter and high energy physics. The team is building tools to estimate the quantum and classical resources needed to implement quantum algorithms to solve the benchmark problems at scale.

Hari Krovi, Principal Quantum Scientist at Riverlane, explained: “Fault tolerance will result in significant overheads, both in terms of qubit count and calculation time and it is important to take this into consideration when comparing to classical techniques. It has been known for some time that mild speed-ups such as a quadratic speed-up can disappear when the fault tolerance overhead is considered. There are many different approaches to fault tolerance to consider and each one leads to overheads that can vary by many orders of magnitude.”

Krovi added: “One area of consideration is the choice of quantum code to help identify and correct errors in the system. There are many different choices that lead to fault tolerance and each of these leads to different overheads. The Surface Code is a popular choice, and the team is focussing on estimates based on this approach.”

The work being done in this program provides a quantitative understanding of practical quantum advantage and can inform whether and how disruptive quantum computing is in various fields.

AWS Reveals Quantum Chip That Suppresses Bit Flip Errors by 100X

29 November 2023 at 11:28

Insider Brief

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) has introduced a new quantum computer chip focused on enhancing error correction.
  • The company said that the chip, which is fabricated in-house, can suppress bit flip errors by 100x using a passive error correction approach.
  • By combining both passive and active error correction approaches, the chip could theoretically achieve quantum error correction six times more efficiently than standard methods.
  • Image:  Peter Desantis, senior vice president of AWS utility computing products. Credit: AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has introduced a new quantum computer chip focused on enhancing error correction, a pivotal — if not the pivotal — aspect in the evolution of quantum computing. Peter DeSantis, Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Customer Support at AWS, detailed the features and implications of this development in a keynote address in Las Vegas at AWS’s re:Invent conference for the global cloud computing community.

The AWS team has been working on a custom-designed quantum device, a chip totally fabricated in-house, which takes an innovative approach to error correction, according to DeSantis.

“By separating the bit flips from the phase flips, we’ve been able to suppress bit flip errors by 100x using a passive error correction approach. This allows us to focus our active error correction on just those phase flips,” DeSantis stated.

He highlighted that combining both passive and active error correction approaches could theoretically achieve quantum error correction six times more efficiently than standard methods. This development represents an essential step towards creating hardware-efficient and scalable quantum error correction.

In a LinkedIn post, Simone Severini, general manager of quantum technologies at AWS, writes that AWS’s logical qubit is both hardware-efficient and scalable.

He writes that the chip uses a special oscillator-based qubit to suppresses bit flip errors. A much simpler outer error-correcting code protects the phase flip errors.

Severini added, “It is based on a superconducting quantum circuit technology that “prints” qubits on the surface of a silicon microchip, making it highly scalable in the number of physical qubits. This scalability allows one to exponentially suppress the total logical error rate by adding more physical qubits to the chip. Other approaches based on similar oscillator-based qubits rely on large 3D resonant cavities, that need to be manually pieced together.”

Error Correction Progress

DeSantis said that the effort on error correction is important because, despite advancements, qubits remain too noisy for practical use in solving complex problems.

“15 years ago, the state of the art was one error every 10 Quantum operations. Today, we’ve improved to about one error per 1000 Quantum operations. This 100x improvement in 15 years is significant. However, the quantum algorithms that excite us require billions of operations without an error,” DeSantis added.

DeSantis outlined the challenges in current quantum computing, noting that with a 0.1% error rate, each logical qubit requires thousands of physical qubits. He mentioned that quantum computers are not yet where they need to be to tackle big, complex problems. The potential for improvements through error correction represents the surest bet for more practical quantum computing.

“With a further improvement in physical qubit error rate, we can reduce the overhead of error correction significantly,” he said.

Early Stages

Although DeSantis cautioned that the journey to an error-corrected quantum computer is still in its early stages, he emphasized the importance of this development.

“This step taken is an important part of developing the hardware efficient and scalable quantum error correction that we need to solve interesting problems on a quantum computer,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis hopes this development could accelerate the progress towards practical and reliable quantum computing, potentially revolutionizing industries like pharmaceuticals, materials science, and financial services.

Multiverse Computing Pioneers Quantum Digital Twin Project to Boost Green Hydrogen Production

29 November 2023 at 11:25
H2 Hydrogen clear energy Ecological future Alternative concept Environmental technology Blue sky

Insider Brief

  • Multiverse Computing used a digital twin and quantum optimization to boost the efficiency of green hydrogen production.
  • The advance could lead to improving the economics of hydrogen production and reducing a significant source of greenhouse gas.
  • Multiverse’s partners include IDEA Ingeniería and AMETIC, Spain’s digital industry association.

PRESS RELEASE —  Multiverse Computing, a global leader in value-based quantum computing and machine learning solutions, has used a digital twin and quantum optimization to boost the efficiency of green hydrogen production. This work could change the economics of hydrogen production and reduce a significant source of greenhouse gas.

Multiverse’s partners in this work are IDEA Ingeniería, an engineering firm that specializes in renewable projects and digital twins, and AMETIC, Spain’s digital industry association. IDEA developed the digital twin ecosystem for optimizing the generation of green hydrogen. AMETIC is coordinating the overall project.

The quantum digital twin numerically simulates a green hydrogen production plant by using operating parameters of the plant as inputs. By using quantum algorithms to optimize the electrolysis process used for green hydrogen generation, the developed solution achieves a 5% increase in H2 production and associated revenue delivered by the quantum solver compared to the classical solver.

“Electrolysers are currently deployed at a small scale, making hydrogen production costly, so they require significant scale up in an affordable way,” said Enrique Lizaso Olmos, CEO of Multiverse Computing. “This project demonstrates how quantum algorithms can improve the production of green hydrogen to make renewable energy more cost-effective today and in the future.”

Using a classical solver to optimize hydrogen production, the virtual plant delivered 62,579 kg of green H2 and revenue of 154,204 euros. By using quantum-inspired tensor networks with Multiverse’s Singularity, the quantum approach delivered 65,421 kg and revenue of 160,616 euros. This represents a 5% increase in hydrogen production and a 5% increase in revenues produced.

“Green hydrogen will play a significant role in the transition towards a more sustainable and ecological energy landscape,” said Emilio Sanchez, Founder and CEO of IDEA Ingeniería. “The consortium’s continued progress in developing quantum solutions alongside other green technologies can help alleviate the effects of global warming.”

Currently, it’s more expensive to produce green hydrogen than traditional grey hydrogen.1 The traditional method uses electricity—usually generated by coal or natural gas—to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. Green hydrogen is produced from renewable sources.

About 70 million tons of hydrogen are produced every year and used to refine oil and make ammonia-based fertilizer. The grey hydrogen production process generates between 9 and 12 tons of carbon dioxide for every one ton of hydrogen produced.2 Green hydrogen created from renewable sources is a clean-burning fuel that could reduce emissions from heating and industrial processes such as the production of steel, cement, and fertilizer.

Green hydrogen also could enable more efficient energy storage, as compressed hydrogen tanks can store energy for long periods of time and weigh less than lithium-ion batteries. In addition, it could make the transportation industry greener by decarbonizing shipping, aviation, and trucking.

Multiverse’s future plans for the initiative include increasing the input parameters to create a more realistic quantum digital twin and working with an energy company to validate the digital model, and continue working on the improvement of the quantum solution developed.

Before yesterdayMain stream

Alibaba Donates Quantum Equipment to Chinese University

28 November 2023 at 12:05
Alibaba Group

Insider Brief

  • Alibaba Group donates quantum computing equipment to Zhejiang University.
  • The news comes after reports that DAMO Academy close its quantum lab.
  • The move to half quantum operations appears to have been abrupt because the company was recruiting quantum experts just four months ago.

Alibaba Group’s DAMO Academy, the company’s deep tech research since its inception by former CEO Jack Ma in 2017, has chosen to contribute its quantum computing resources to the academic sphere, donating its laboratory and equipment to Zhejiang University, local Chinese sources are reporting.

Zhejiang University is home to a well-respected quantum information group that investigates several quantum computing approaches and architectures.

The news appears to confirm reports from several sources late last week that indicated Alibaba shut down operations at its Quantum Laboratory, amidst a broader reassessment of its research initiatives. Alibaba halted its cloud computing division’s IP and brought in new leadership, CNBC reported last week.

The move also suggests that Alibaba’s quantum efforts will not be absorbed by other units within the company, but will be completely scrapped.

According to the media outlet, Caixin, the decision aligns with Alibaba’s commitment to academic collaboration, providing Zhejiang University, along with other institutions, access to cutting-edge tools to continue quantum research.

The transition occurs shortly after layoffs were reported at the Quantum Lab, affecting over 30 employees amidst budget and profitability revisions.

The outlet reported that the closure of the lab was unexpected. The DAMO Academy had continued to recruit for quantum computing roles into July, suggesting the abruptness of the decision.

Alibaba’s move reflects a broader trend in the tech industry, particularly in the deep tech industry, where commercial entities often partner with academic institutions to advance scientific research.

According to The Quantum Insider’s China’s Quantum Computing Market brief, Alibaba is a diverse tech conglomerate that has been active in quantum since 2015. The company’s Quantum Lab Academy teaching employees and students about the prospects of quantum computing. Alibaba’s Quantum Laboratory is a full-stack R&D service offering an 11-qubit quantum cloud platform. According to some reports, Alibaba invested about $15 billion into emerging technologies such as quantum.

PASQAL and Investissement Québec Launch a $90 Million Quantum Computing Initiative

28 November 2023 at 11:57
Canada Flag

Insider Brief

  • PASQAL announced the launch of a $90 million quantum technology initiative over five years in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
  • The project includes quantum computer manufacturing and commercialization activities, as well as research and development.
  • Officials expect the creation of 53 jobs.

PRESS RELEASE — PASQAL, a leader in the development of neutral-atom quantum computers, announced the launch of a $90 million quantum technology initiative over five years in Sherbrooke, Quebec. The project aims to conduct manufacturing and commercialization activities for quantum computers, as well as research and development in collaboration with academic and industrial partners in quantum computing within DistriQ, a quantum innovation zone. The goal of this innovation zone is to establish Sherbrooke as an internationally renowned quantum hub. The Government of Quebec is providing a $15 million loan in connection with this investment project for the establishment of PASQAL SAS’s subsidiary in the quantum innovation zone, DISTRIQ, based in Sherbrooke. Moreover, the project is expected to create 53 permanent jobs over the course of five years.

Inauguration of Espace Quantique 1: A New Era for Quantum Computing

On November 24, during an official ceremony, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, officially announced the opening of Espace Quantique 1 alongside the Minister of Economy, Innovation, and Energy, and the Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and the Minister for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon. The CEO of PASQAL, Georges-Olivier Reymond, Chief Technical Officer Loïc Henriet, co-founders Christophe Jurczak and Nobel Prize laureate Alain Aspect, were also present.

Strategic Collaboration between PASQAL and Investissement Québec

PASQAL will play a key role in this initiative, not only as a major partner of DistriQ within Espace Quantique 1, but also in the production, development of technological laboratories, training, and funding for new ventures in the quantum field. The initiative stands as one of the most ambitious endeavors in North America within the field of quantum computing.

An Ambitious Initiative for the Future of Quantum in North America

PASQAL’s presence in Sherbrooke represents a major step in the evolution of quantum computing. “Thanks to this unprecedented collaboration between the private and public sectors, we are creating an environment leading to major technological advancements, especially in terms of sustainable development,” emphasizes Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of PASQAL. “We aim to actively participate in the creation of a dynamic ecosystem that will serve as a catalyst for innovation in the quantum industry, while attracting talent and companies from all over the world.”

Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation: The Factory and Espace Quantique 1

In 2024, PASQAL will open a facility at the heart of DistriQ, within Espace Quantique 1, aimed at manufacturing neutral atom quantum computers and the next generation of machines. Quantum Space 1 will also provide a collaborative space of nearly 5,000 square meters dedicated to quantum innovation. Equipped with advanced quantum computers, it will be utilized, among other purposes, by PASQAL as an R&D center, for prototype testing, and for business activities in Canada.

Training and Talent Attraction: PASQAL’s Commitment to Education

DistriQ also focuses on training talent. In this context, PASQAL announced a contribution of $500,000 to the creation of a research chair within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Sherbrooke, which will also benefit from federal and/or local grants.

Support for Startups: The DistriQ Ecosystem and Its Partners

Quantonation, and the Quebec fund Quantacet will collaborate to fund QV Studio, that will support the transition to commercial quantum applications, creating a unique ecosystem within DistriQ for sector startups. This fund aims to invest in around fifteen Quebec-based or foreign companies, especially at the pre-seed or seed stage, that are active within the DistriQ innovation zone. It will foster the development of a strong and internationally competitive Quebec ecosystem in this future-oriented sector.”

Christophe Jurczak, CEO of Quantonation and co-founder of PASQAL, states: “Espace Quantique 1 will become a leading center of innovation, facilitating the transition of quantum startups from concept to commercialization and forming a dynamic community around quantum technologies.”

Scientists Say Quality of Clocks Set Limits For Quantum Computers

28 November 2023 at 11:55
quantum clocks

Insider Brief

  • Calculations show that there are fundamental limits to quantum computing – namely the quality of the clock used.
  • Scientists showed that since no clock has an infinite amount of energy available, it can never have perfect resolution and perfect precision at the same time.
  • Researchers from the Atomic Institute at the Vienna University of Technology led the study.
  • Image: Vienna University of Technology

PRESS RELEASE — There are different ideas about how quantum computers could be built. But they all have one thing in common: you use a quantum physical system – for example individual atoms – and change their state by exposing them to very specific forces for a specific time. However, this means that in order to be able to rely on the quantum computing operation delivering the correct result, you need a clock that is as precise as possible.

But here you run into problems: perfect time measurement is impossible. Every clock has two fundamental properties: a certain precision and a certain time resolution. The time resolution indicates how small the time intervals are that can be measured – i.e. how quickly the clock ticks. Precision tells you how much inaccuracy you have to expect with every single tick.

The research team was able to show that since no clock has an infinite amount of energy available (or generates an infinite amount of entropy), it can never have perfect resolution and perfect precision at the same time. This sets fundamental limits to the possibilities of quantum computers.

Quantum calculation steps are like rotations

In our classical world, perfect arithmetic operations are not a problem. For example, you can use an abacus in which wooden balls are threaded onto a stick and pushed back and forth. The wooden beads have clear states, each one is in a very specific place, if you don’t do anything the bead will stay exactly where it was.
And whether you move the bead quickly or slowly does not affect the result. But in quantum physics it is more complicated.

“Mathematically speaking, changing a quantum state in a quantum computer corresponds to a rotation in higher dimensions,” says Jake Xuereb from the Atomic Institute at the Vienna University of Technology in the team of Marcus Huber and first author of the first paper. “In order to achieve the desired state in the end, the rotation must be applied for a very specific period of time. Otherwise you turn the state either too short or too far.”

Entropy: Time makes everything more and more messy

Marcus Huber and his team investigated in general which laws must always apply to every conceivable clock. “Time measurement always has to do with entropy,” explains Marcus Huber. In every closed physical system, entropy increases and it becomes more and more disordered. It is precisely this development that determines the direction of time: the future is where the entropy is higher, the past is where the entropy was even lower.

As can be shown, every measurement of time is inevitably associated with an increase in entropy: a clock, for example, needs a battery, the energy of which is ultimately converted into frictional heat and audible ticking via the clock’s mechanics – a process in which a fairly ordered state occurs the battery is converted into a rather disordered state of heat radiation and sound.

On this basis, the research team was able to create a mathematical model that basically every conceivable clock must obey. “For a given increase in entropy, there is a tradeoff between time resolution and precision,” says Florian Meier, first author of the second paper. “That means: Either the clock works quickly or it works precisely – both are not possible at the same time.”

Limits for quantum computers

This realization now brings with it a natural limit for quantum computers: the resolution and precision that can be achieved with clocks limits the speed and reliability that can be achieved with quantum computers. “It’s not a problem at the moment,” says Marcus Huber. “Currently, the accuracy of quantum computers is still limited by other factors, for example the precision of the components used or electromagnetic fields. But our calculations also show that today we are not far from the regime in which the fundamental limits of time measurement play the decisive role.”

Therefore, if the technology of quantum information processing is further improved, one will inevitably have to contend with the problem of non-optimal time measurement. But who knows: Maybe this is exactly how we can learn something interesting about the quantum world.

SQE, Quantum Blockchains Announce Collaboration to Develop Quantum-Secure Blockchain

28 November 2023 at 11:47
blue and white floral textile

Insider Brief

  • SQE announced it will collaborate with Quantum Blockchains.
  • The partnership leverages SQE’s expertise in quantum security technologies with Quantum Blockchains’ specialized knowledge of blockchain security and advancing quantum cryptography.
  • Dr. Mirek Sopek, CEO of Quantum Blockchains, will also join SQE as a Scientific Advisor.

PRESS RELEASE — SQE, a revolutionary, quantum-secure blockchain platform powered by patent-pending technology, is pleased to announce its collaboration with Quantum Blockchains, an innovative European startup dedicated to enhancing blockchain security and advancing quantum cryptography.

The companies aim to leverage SQE’s expertise in quantum security technologies powered by Simulated Quantum Entanglement and Quantum Blockchains’ specialized knowledge of systems based on Quantum Key Distribution, Quantum Random Number Generators and Post-Quantum Cryptography to explore opportunities to further develop their respective technologies. Additionally, Dr. Mirek Sopek, CEO of Quantum Blockchains, will join SQE as a Scientific Advisor.

“Dr. Sopek is a recognized expert in quantum blockchain, quantum security, quantum key distribution and an authority in quantum computing. His knowledge will be invaluable in standardizing our technology to NIST standards, as well as in further developing our state-of-the-art platform,” said Hamid Pishdadian, SQE’s CEO and founder.

“SQE Holdings, led by renowned American inventor Hamid Pishdadian, holder of numerous United States Patents, is currently pioneering the development of a visionary blockchain technology based on simulated quantum entanglement. In a significant collaboration, Quantum Blockchains, our startup, sees an invaluable opportunity to rigorously test our methodology, which relies on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC), and Quantum Random Number Generation (QRNG) technologies. This partnership allows us to benchmark our approach against SQE’s simulated entanglement technology,” said Dr. Mirek Sopek, CEO and founder of Quantum Blockchains.

The collaboration between these two companies and the shared strength of their technologies creates incredible innovation potential in the development of a quantum-secured blockchain system. SQE and Quantum Blockchains are excited to advance their cooperative efforts as they explore and develop these novel technologies.

Q-CTRL Integrates Error Suppression Technology Into IBM Quantum Services

28 November 2023 at 11:38

Insider Brief

  • Q-CTRL announced that its Q-CTRL Embedded software has been integrated as an option with IBM Quantum’s Pay-As- You-Go Plan.
  • The integration aims to provide user-friendly functionality to address unreliable results on hardware.
  • Q-CTRL’s software automatically addressing the problem of noise and hardware error.

PRESS RELEASE — Q-CTRL, a global leader in developing useful quantum technologies through quantum control infrastructure software, today announced that its Q-CTRL Embedded software has been integrated as an option with IBM Quantum’s Pay-As- You-Go Plan to deliver advancements in quantum computing utility and performance. This integration represents the first time a third-party independent software vendor’s technology solution will be available for users to select in the IBM Quantum Pay-As-You-Go Plan.

The integration aims to provide user-friendly functionality to address the primary challenge facing quantum computing end-users: Unreliable results from algorithms run on today’s hardware.

To get the most out of near-term quantum computers you need to be an expert in an array of technical specializations – algorithms, compilers, error suppression strategies, and error mitigation – without focusing on each of these it’s difficult to get reliable results. The combination of Q-CTRL technology and IBM Quantum services reduces this burden, making it simpler to get useful results from real hardware by automatically addressing the problem of noise and hardware error.

Companies and end-users are seeking streamlined ways to integrate useful quantum computing into their workflows and to better leverage their existing IT expertise. Q-CTRL’s state-of-the-art performance-management infrastructure software, Q-CTRL Embedded, delivers these benefits to users and will now be available as an option within the IBM Quantum Pay-As-You-Go Plan.

Now, any IBM Quantum Pay-As-You-Go Plan user has the option to utilize Q-CTRL’s advanced technology using a single command within their Qiskit environment. And in great news for the community, accessing Q-CTRL’s performance-management software incurs no additional costs to the IBM Quantum Pay-As-You-Go Plan.

“Since we joined the IBM Quantum Network in 2018, we’ve been building the world’s most advanced infrastructure software for performance management in quantum computing,” said Q-CTRL CEO and Founder Michael J. Biercuk. “IBM has built a world-class quantum computing platform with the flexibility needed for experts like Q-CTRL to demonstrate new software able to dramatically improve the success of real quantum algorithms—detailed tests on a suite of benchmarking algorithms showed benefits up to thousands of times. We’re very excited to now bring these tools to the exceptional ecosystem of researchers and businesses building their quantum workflows on IBM hardware.”

  • TRL Embedded delivers enhancements in computational accuracy and efficiency through a simple configuration-free setting. When the performance management option is selected, a fully configured autonomous toolchain is triggered in the background to suppress

Based on recently peer-reviewed research on this topic and new tests on utility-scale quantum systems, benefits can reach up to:

  • 10X increase in the complexity of quantum algorithms they can run (measured through circuit depth), up to intrinsic hardware limits;
  • 100X cost reduction relative to alternative research-grade error-reduction strategies by

reducing the number of experimental “shots” required to suppress errors;

  • >1,000X improvement in the success of quantum algorithms widely used in the

These functionalities, in combination with the IBM Quantum development roadmap, aim to accelerate the path toward quantum advantage and allow end users from research to enterprise to gain strategic advantages they’ve been seeking from their quantum applications.

“At IBM, our goal is to give our users the ability to run valuable quantum workloads beyond what can be simulated on classical computers. A core requirement to this is reducing noise. The noise suppression provided through Q-CTRL’s performance management makes exploring useful quantum circuits even easier. I very much look forward to what our users will be able to do with this newly added error-suppression technology,” said Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and Vice President, IBM Quantum.

QuantumDiamonds Raises €7 Million in Seed Funding to Advance Nano-scale Imaging Technology

27 November 2023 at 17:14
diamond beach, iceland, free wallpaper

Insider Brief

  • QuantumDiamonds has successfully raised €7 million in seed funding.
  • The funding round was led by venture capital firms IQ Capital and Earlybird.
  • Quantum Diamond executives say the funds will help scale up the company’s drive toward commercialization.

QuantumDiamonds, a Germany-based quantum sensing company, has successfully raised €7 million in seed funding, is reporting. The funding round was led by prominent venture capital firms IQ Capital and Earlybird, indicating a significant interest in the company’s innovative approach to nano-scale imaging.

“We are at the forefront of revolutionising sensing technology through our work at QuantumDiamonds, advancing both semiconductor manufacturing and breakthroughs in other critical fields such as biology and chemistry on a global scale,” Kevin Berghoff, Co-Founder and CEO at QuantumDiamonds, told “The funding will enable us to move towards the launch of our first commercial product, supported by the expansion of our quantum engineering team. Our ultimate goal is to build a robust global quantum sensing platform that transcends boundaries and catalyses transformative advancements in various scientific disciplines.”

Specializing in the development of atom-sized quantum sensors, QuantumDiamonds is investigating the way magnetic fields are imaged, according to the news outlet. Utilizing defects in synthetic diamonds, known as nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centerds, the company’s technology provides a non-destructive method for capturing highly sensitive measurements at atomic and molecular levels. This cutting-edge technique could represent a significant leap forward in sensing technology, with potential to impact several industries drastically.

The core technology harnesses the unique properties of these NV centers to detect and measure various physical quantities with unprecedented precision. Such technology is not only crucial for the advancement of semiconductor manufacturing but also shows promising applications in medical diagnostics and battery development.

According to, A working prototype is already in the testing phase with four of the world’s top semiconductor manufacturers, showing that QuantumDiamonds is making strides towards refining its product for commercial use.

The fresh influx of capital will help the team scale up operations and accelerate the hiring of quantum engineers, a critical step as the company transitions from prototype to product.

The €7 million Seed funding consists of a €3 million investment by a consortium of investors, including IQ Capital, Earlybird, Onsight Ventures, First Momentum, Creator Fund, UnternehmerTUM, as well as several angel investors with backgrounds in the semiconductor industry. Complementing the private investment, the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator and the Bavarian state have contributed an additional €4 million in grant funding.

QSimulate Closes a $2.5 Million Financing Round to Boost Businesses in Europe and Asia

27 November 2023 at 11:53

Insider Brief

  • Quantum Simulation Technologies, Inc. — QSimulate — announces that it has closed a $2.5M financing round led by quantum technology investment firm 2xN.
  • The financing round was led by financing round led by quantum technology investment firm 2xN.
  • Funds will support QSimulate’s quantum physics-based drug-discovery platform.
  • Image: QSimulate

PRESS RELEASE — Quantum Simulation Technologies, Inc. — QSimulate — announces that it has closed a $2.5 million financing round led by quantum technology investment firm 2xN. The other investors in this round are UTokyo IPC and Kyoto iCAP. The proceeds will support QSimulate’s rapidly expanding business centered on its quantum physics-based drug-discovery platform, QSP Life. QSP Life currently includes QUELO, QuValent, and QuantumFP, spanning small-molecule lead optimization to covalent inhibitor design, and to ultra-high-throughput molecular fingerprinting.

Powerful quantum predictions today

QSimulate uses proprietary quantum physics-based algorithms to faithfully predict answers to large-scale biological problems. QSimulate’s technology in its products, such as QUELO and QuValent, have enabled the first quantitative application of quantum mechanics to drug design, providing predictions with unprecedented fidelity, and opening up the computational study of new therapeutic classes. Through quantum-inspired representations, QSimulate’s quantum engine scales to thousands of atoms and simulates the dynamical processes that govern biological and drug interactions.

The foundation for a quantum future

QSimulate offers a foundational technology for future quantum hardware. In a multi-year partnership with Google Quantum AI (see details in a recent Google Research blog article), QSimulate has played a key role in the development of fault-tolerant quantum computing algorithms for chemical, material, and biomolecular problems. These contributions provide a roadmap for algorithm design in the quantum future supported by the existing QSimulate technologies.

Quantum towards digital molecular discovery

QSimulate’s strategic developments position the company for the digital discovery era. Through the incorporation of physics-based AI, QSimulate’s learning models discriminate between AI truth and AI hallucinations in molecular design. In combination with QSimulate’s existing quantum simulation innovations, QSimulate is building the technology platform of the digital molecular discovery era.

Niels Nielsen, co-founder of 2xN commented: “We are thrilled to lead the funding round and forge a partnership with QSimulate. Our strategy at 2xN is to back scientists and entrepreneurs who are world leaders in their field and QSimulate is a great example of that.

QSimulate stands at the forefront of revolutionizing drug design and material science, and we’re convinced they’re only scratching the surface with their already state-of-the-art QM-based simulation methods. With quantum computing on the rise, the interplay between classical and quantum computing will define the future of computation. QSimulate is well-positioned to benefit from this, having on board both quantum and classical simulation experts. The ongoing collaborations with JSR Corporation and Google Quantum AI are a testament to QSimulate’s pioneering position in harnessing quantum mechanics for drug discovery and materials innovation, setting a new industry benchmark.

Our investment in QSimulate is not merely a fiscal alliance; it’s an expedition into a quantum-imbued future teeming with endless scientific and industrial revelations. The quantum horizon is vibrant, and with QSimulate, we’re not just gazing at it; we’re sailing towards it at full steam!”

OQC Announces $100 Million Series B, Availability of OQC Toshiko

27 November 2023 at 10:50
OQC Toshiko

Insider Brief

  • OQC announces at the Global Investment Summit that SBI Investment, Japan’s premier VC fund, is leading OQC’s $100 million round.
  • The company also announced the public availability of OQC Toshiko, an enterprise-ready quantum computing platform.
  • OQC says funding will pave the way for R&D to bring enterprise-ready quantum to businesses globally.

PRESS RELEASE — OQC, the global leaders in quantum compute-as-a-service (QCaaS), today announced the public availability of OQC Toshiko, the world’s first enterprise ready quantum computing platform, and that SBI Investment, Japan’s premier VC fund, is leading OQC’s $100m round.

OQC Toshiko is a powerful next generation 32-qubit platform, deployed to commercial data-centres, enabling businesses to tap into ground-breaking technology from anywhere in the world, seamlessly and securely.

OQC’s $100m round will pave the way for industry-leading R&D furthering its ability to bring enterprise ready quantum to businesses globally.

OQC Toshiko – world’s first enterprise ready quantum computing platform

Quantum computing is a world changing $1.3 trillion opportunity with the power to not only reshape and transform entire industries but ignite and catalyse entirely new ones. Today, quantum computers are predominantly located in labs, making secure access the biggest barrier to wider business adoption of this groundbreaking technology.

With OQC Toshiko, an upgradeable 32-qubit platform, OQC has brought quantum computing to commercial data centres, thereby enabling secure and easy access for customers. This world-first platform is especially important for customers handling sensitive data, in sectors such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, energy, defence and government.

Bringing quantum into data centres makes it possible to offer hybrid compute, integrated quantum and HPC, to the market. OQC has achieved this by adopting an advanced networking infrastructure, Digital Fabric Interconnect, to enable secure, hybrid compute for customers.

To bring quantum out of the lab and into the enterprise, OQC is collaborating with leading global companies including Equinix, NVIDIA, AWS and McKinsey. OQC Toshiko is available today in private preview with expanding availability across public cloud and data centre fabric in the coming months.

OQC believes in a brighter future for all enabled by quantum and is passionate about championing diversity in tech. OQC Toshiko is named after the first female Japanese physicist, Toshiko Yuasa.

SBI Investment, Japan’s premier venture capital fund, leads $100m round

At the Global Investment Summit today, OQC announced that SBI Investment, Japan’s premier venture capital fund, is leading OQC’s $100m Series B raise. New investors in the round have been confirmed in addition to existing investors, Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC), Lansdowne Partners, and OTIF, acted by manager Oxford Investment Consultants (OIC).

The ongoing round is the UK’s largest ever Series B in quantum computing enabling industry-leading R&D that paves the way to quantum advantage and furthers OQC’s ability to bring next generation platforms of hundreds of qubits to businesses globally. OQC’s announcements at the Global Investment Summit today, cement OQC and the UK as a global leader in quantum technology.

Commenting on the news, Ilana Wisby, Chief Executive Officer at OQC, said: “To solve the world’s most pressing challenges – from climate change to accelerated drug discovery – we need to put quantum computers in the hands of humanity and at the fingertips of our most brilliant minds. We’re proud to be pioneering enterprise ready quantum with our customers, partners and investors.”

Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc., a wholly owning parent company of SBI Investment Co., Ltd., said: “Quantum computing is a game changer for financial services and many other sectors, unlocking unprecedented power, speed and accuracy that will redefine the industrial landscape. As Japan’s premier venture capital firm, SBI Investment is proud to lead a $100m Series B round of OQC, a global leader in quantum computing.”

Eugene Bergen President, EMEA at Equinix, said “As the world’s digital infrastructure company, Equinix continues to partner with the very best to accelerate innovation by facilitating secure, high-bandwidth access to cutting-edge technology such as quantum computing for thousands of organisations worldwide. The inclusion of OQC’s quantum computer into our global interconnection ecosystem on Platform Equinix® reinforces our dedication to fostering innovation and continues to push the boundaries of what is possible. We are thrilled by the great partnership with OQC that enables us to stay ahead in innovation to help organisations across the globe address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Addressing the grand challenges of tomorrow requires the seamless integration of quantum with the GPU-accelerated supercomputing of today,” said Tim Costa, director of HPC and quantum at NVIDIA. “By combining OQC Toshiko with the NVIDIA GH200 Grace Hopper Superchip through NVIDIA CUDA Quantum, a platform for integrated quantum-classical computing, OQC can better empower businesses and researchers to make breakthroughs across industries and in critical scientific domains.”

Mike Sewart, Chief Technology & Operating Officer, QinetiQ said: “QinetiQ is delighted to welcome the latest innovation from Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC). QinetiQ regularly conducts experimental studies on a range of problems including optimisation, chemistry and machine learning and we’ve seen great results from OQC’s technology to date. QinetiQ’s focus is very much on identifying the areas where quantum computing can add real value for our government and defence customers. This involves mapping complex customer requirements to currently available hardware and algorithms, as well as considering the practical elements of future solution design, including the validation and assurance of quantum applications in real-world operational scenarios. QinetiQ’s quantum team looks forward to working closely with OQC and their technology in order to drive future capability developments in this emerging but important field for defence.”

Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, UK Government said: “OQC is leading the way in seizing the potential of quantum computing, which can help discover new drugs, boost cybersecurity and manage financial systems to improve our lives and drive growth. “Today’s news will support businesses to scale up by tapping into this technology and is another vote of confidence in the resounding strength of the UK’s quantum capability. “Our National Quantum Strategy will help us go even further, backed by £2.5 billion over the next 10 years to help unlock untold advances in healthcare, green tech and beyond.”

Minister for Investment Lord Johnson, UK Government said: “We are a global leader in quantum computing, and the levels of innovation from companies like OQC is exactly why we are fast on the way to becoming a Science & Tech Superpower. The UK has a rapidly growing quantum sector which is no.1 in Europe for the number of start-ups and in attracting private investment – around $850m in the past 10 years. In March we published a National Quantum Strategy which more than doubles our public investment in quantum to £2.5 billion over the next 10 years, and already we are investing £100 million into new quantum research hubs to ensure the UK stays at the forefront of this vitally important technology.”

Prior to Series B, OQC raised £41 million including the largest Series A in quantum in the UK at that time. In 2023, OQC’s team grew to over 100, attracting talent from across the globe. The team has built and deployed OQC Toshiko platforms to colocation data centres expanding its operations in the UK, Japan and Spain.

Companies wanting to test this groundbreaking technology can join the private preview, and mark a key moment of quantum computing entering the mainstream.

Reports: China’s Alibaba Shuts Down Quantum Lab

25 November 2023 at 14:49

Insider Brief

  • Media and insiders report that Alibaba’s quantum laboratory has closed down.
  • Some reports suggest more than two dozen employees have been fired.
  • Many experts are speculating whether this move is a reaction to the company’s underlying financial woes, or a sign of weakness in the quantum industry as a whole.
  • Image: Alibaba Group Headquarters, Thomas LOMBARD, designed by HASSELL, architects. Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China

Chinese media and anonymour industry insiders with connections to China are reporting that Alibaba’s quantum laboratory, which began with considerable fanfare about three years ago, has been closed down.

DoNews reported this week that Alibaba’s DAMO Academy –Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook —  has closed down its quantum laboratory due to budget and profitability reasons. The budget ax claimed more than 30 people — possible among China’s brightest quantum researchers — lost their positions, according to the news outlet’s internal sources. For further claims of proof, DoNews reports that the official website of DAMO Academy has also removed the introduction page of the quantum laboratory.

According to the story, translated into English: “Insiders claimed that Alibaba’s DAMO Academy Quantum Laboratory had undergone significant layoffs, but it was not clear at that time whether the entire quantum computing team had been disbanded.”

Media further suggest that many of the DAMO Academy quantum team members who were laid off have begun to send their resumes to other companies.

According to The Quantum Insider’s China’s Quantum Computing Market brief, Alibaba is a diverse tech conglomerate that has been active in quantum since 2015. The company’s Quantum Lab Academy teaching employees and students about the prospects of quantum computing. Alibaba’s Quantum Laboratory is a full-stack R&D service offering an 11-qubit quantum cloud platform. According to some reports, Alibaba invested about $15 billion into emerging technologies such as quantum.

What’s not immediately clear is the scope of the closure. Industry experts wonder whether this is a sign that the move could portend a larger, if note global, quantum tech downturn. However, at least initial indicators suggest Alibaba’s move might be a necessary, but practical tactic to stem Alibaba’s shaky business position. Yahoo Finance reported that Alibaba’s stock crashed last week, losing $26 billion in valuation in just two days. The news may also be a sign of underlying weakness in China’s once bustling tech leadership.

What’s next for Alibaba’s once world-leading quantum ambition is unknown.

The media sources repot: “Although it is currently unclear whether Alibaba will continue to choose other teams to attempt quantum R&D in the future, this change still inevitably causes a sense of regret.”

USTC Achieves Zero-knowledge Proof Based on Device-Independent Quantum Random Number Beacon

24 November 2023 at 15:43
quantum random number generator

Insider Brief

  • Chinese researchers realized a set of random number beacon public services with device-independent quantum random number generators as entropy sources and post-quantum cryptography as identity authentication.
  • Pan Jianwei and Zhang Qiang of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) led the team.
  • Obtaining true random numbers has become the key to improving the security of NIZKP.
  • Image: A flowchart demonstration of the experiment (Credit USTC)

PRESS RELEASE — A research team led by Prof. Pan Jianwei and Prof. Zhang Qiang of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), in collaboration with research teams from other institutes, has realized a set of random number beacon public services with device-independent quantum random number generators as entropy sources and post-quantum cryptography as identity authentication.

Zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) is a cryptographic tool that allows for the verification of validity between mutually untrusted parties without disclosing additional information. Non-interactive zero knowledge proof (NIZKP) is a variant of ZKP with the feature of not requiring multiple information exchanges. Therefore, NIZKP is widely used in the fields of digital signature, blockchain, and identity authentication.

Since it is difficult to implement a true random number generator, deterministic pseudorandom number algorithms are often used as a substitute. However, this method has potential security vulnerabilities. Therefore, how to obtain true random numbers has become the key to improving the security of NIZKP.

Beacon Public Service System

The  researchers, who published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on Nov. 2, built a beacon public service system based on device-independent quantum random number generator (DIQRNG). The system could broadcast generated random numbers to the public in real time, ensuring the security of the random numbers during the broadcast process.

To ensure the security of the broadcast process, researchers adopted a quantum secure signature algorithm that could resist quantum attacks. The algorithm guaranteed the integrity and authenticity of the random number during transmission.

By utilizing the received random numbers from DIQRNG, the research teams constructed and experimentally verified a more secure NIZKP protocol. The new protocol was able to eliminate potential security hazards and further improved the security of NIZKP.

This research was the first to combine three different fields: quantum nonlocality, quantum secure algorithm, and zero-knowledge proof, and significantly improves the security of zero-knowledge proofs, in which the constructed public-facing random number service has important potential applications in fields such as cryptography, the lottery industry, and social welfare.

In the future, with the continuous development and application of quantum technology, it is expected to see more innovative solutions based on the principles of quantum mechanics, which will provide strong support for solving the challenges in the field of information security.

Is Quantum Artificial Intelligence Close? Understanding The Challenges of Quantum AI

23 November 2023 at 14:54
Employee using AI computing simulation

A recent Forbes article got the quantum community’s dander up — and I’m not even sure what dander is.

The article — Quantum Artificial Intelligence Is Closer Than You Think — claims that quantum AI is imminent and it’s transformative power will soon be realized.

While it’s important to maintain enthusiasm and it’s completely understandable to be excited about the possibilities of quantum AI, timelines — short or long — are historically problematic to make about scientific progress, particularly progress on AI — and forget about predicting progress on quantum AI.

We’ll try to break down the argument about quantum AI’s imminent arrival with some real challenges that could temper the “closer than your think” prediction.

First, the pace of AI advancement, while impressive, is not solely contingent on processing power. AI also requires vast amounts of data for training, and the development of algorithms that can leverage quantum computing is still in its infancy. The notion that AI will be ‘supercharged’ by quantum computing presupposes that quantum computers will soon be capable of running these algorithms efficiently, which is currently not the case.

Further, quantum computers excel at solving particular types of problems, but they are not universally superior — nor are they expected to be — to classical computers for all tasks. Therefore, the transformative impact of quantum computing on AI may be more nuanced and specialized than the broad revolution implied.

Maybe generative AI has triggered some of this excitement. Indeed, generative AI has absolutely demonstrated remarkable capabilities, but its practical applications are still being explored and understood. The history of technology is littered with examples of innovations that promised to revolutionize the world but instead found a more modest place within it. This is not to understate the potential of quantum AI, but to acknowledge that its integration into the fabric of society and business often takes longer and is more complex than initial projections suggest.

As for quantum computing, while strides have been made, it remains a technology that is largely experimental and not ready for widespread practical application. Quantum computers are prone to errors and require conditions that are difficult to maintain, such as extremely low temperatures. They are also extraordinarily expensive and complex to operate, which will likely limit their accessibility and integration into mainstream business operations in the near term. In other words, to get to quantum AI, we just need quantum.

Let’s look beyond the technological hurdles. There are ethical, legal, and socio-economic considerations that also play a significant role in the adoption of new technologies. Quantum AI’s impact is as much about governance, trust, and accessibility as it is about technical capability.

Science is often caught between cynicism and hype, and this is certainly not meant to be a blanket statement against the prospects of quantum AI. The potential for quantum AI is there and scientists and entrepreneurs are busy bringing it into fruition. It’s also true that machine learning can benefit quantum computing right now. For example, scientists are using machine learning techniques to find new quantum algorithms and optimize quantum operations. Researchers are also using machine learning to improve error-correction for quantum computing.

Could there be a breakthrough to shorten this timeline? Most people didn’t see the breakthrough potential of large language models, so scientific leaps should not be ruled out.

However, while the potential of quantum computing to accelerate AI is indeed a fascinating prospect, it is essential to recognize the current state of quantum technologies. As of now, they are not poised to catalyze a new computing revolution within the next decade; rather, they represent a long-term aspirational goal. The research community is still grappling with fundamental questions about how to make quantum computers reliable, scalable, and useful for a broad range of applications.

We can hope quantum AI is closer than we think, but we should probably think it’s not as close as we hope.

Quantum Connect Launches Austria’s First Quantum Machine Learning Community

23 November 2023 at 10:38

Insider Brief

  • Machine learning experts are collaborating to launch Austria’s first national quantum machine learning initiative.
  • The consortium includes Gradient Zero, Anaqor, QMware and PQM.
  • The initiative aims to build an active community dedicated to the research and development of quantum machine learning applications.

PRESS RELEASE — A consortium of machine learning and quantum computing experts – Gradient Zero, Anaqor, QMware and PQML – is launching Quantum Connect (, Austria’s first national quantum machine learning initiative.

The initiative aims to build an active community dedicated to the research and development of quantum machine learning applications for future use in various Austrian industries and public administration.

Developing machine learning applications that can benefit from quantum computing requires not only ML expertise, but also knowledge of the specific quantum hardware platforms and the combination of infrastructure, quantum mathematics, and machine learning. This combination of skills is difficult for individual companies to achieve, which underlines the need for interdisciplinary collaboration between all stakeholders to enable broader access to quantum machine learning. Quantum Connect brings together experts and industry partners to create a unified platform for knowledge and technology sharing.

The initiative was launched by Gradient Zero, a leading Austrian machine learning company, and funded by PQML. Through the partnership with QMware, the leading European quantum cloud company, and Anaqor, a pioneer in the European quantum ecosystem with its platform PlanQK, Quantum Connect was born.

PlanQK, a community-driven platform and ecosystem for quantum applications, with its established user base, will form the technological cornerstone of Quantum Connect and drive the exploration and development of quantum machine applications.

While Quantum Connect leverages PlanQK as a DevOps platform, QMware provides unmatched back-end efficiency by delivering its innovative hybrid quantum computing approach – a combination of classical high-performance and quantum computing resources – to run quantum applications on both simulated and native quantum hardware.

Quantum Connect offers machine learning developers direct and easy access to a fully functional quantum system. Quantum Connect is dedicated to advancing quantum machine learning and building an active community in the field.

“We are excited to launch Quantum Connect with our partners QMware and Anaqor to bring Quantum Machine Learning to Austria and beyond,” says Jona Boeddinghaus, COO at Gradient Zero. “We can’t wait to connect learners of all ages and experience levels and provide tutorials and infrastructure to those who want to dive into the world of Quantum and AI.”

Kipu Quantum Joins The DLR QCI Project BASIQ

22 November 2023 at 18:02
Battery pack color level of battery capacity

Insider Brief

  • Kipu Quantum GmnH joins DLR’s project “BASIQ: Battery materials simulation using quantum computers”.
  • The project is part of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative.
  • It runs over a period of 3 years and is financed by the DLR QCI with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

PRESS RELEASE — Kipu Quantum GmbH, a German quantum software company focusing on developing application-dependent and hardware-specific quantum algorithms that are commercialized as enterprise solutions, joins DLR’s project “BASIQ: Battery materials simulation using quantum computers”, which is part of the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative (DLR QCI).

The project runs over a period of 3 years and is financed by the DLR QCI with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. It is led by the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics. BASIQ’s goal is to develop battery material simulations on an atomistic level for gate-based quantum computers, considering the crucial material components of a battery cell. This requires the development of quantum algorithms for very different classes of materials, the part of the project involving Kipu Quantum’s technology.

Kipu Quantum’s algorithms rely on a one-of-a-kind digital and digital-analog compression technology requiring orders of magnitude less circuit depth to solve a given problem. This will solve industrially relevant problems at least a decade earlier than other approaches. Even on today’s hardware, Kipu Quantum holds several performance records in use cases such as protein folding, portfolio optimization, factorization, and logistics modeling, now supporting the BASIQ project with quantum mechanical simulations of materials and chemical processes.

“We are especially happy about this collaboration as it fully complies with our mission to bring our algorithms to industry-relevant use cases and proof our concept,“ said Prof. Enrique Solano, co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Kipu Quantum.

“With everything we do in our day-to-day work, we focus on solving real-world problems with the ultimate goal to create a leading edge for our customers,” said Dr. Daniel Volz, co-founder and CEO at Kipu Quantum. “Joining the DLR QCI project BASIQ significantly contributes to taking us further down this road.”

Rare Metal Could Offer Revolutionary Switch For Future Quantum Devices

22 November 2023 at 17:36
quantum trigger

Insider Brief

  • Researchers report they discovered a material that could help create a quantum device switch that flips between being an insulator and superconductor.
  • These opposing electronic states exist within purple bronze, a unique one-dimensional metal composed of individual conducting chains of atoms.
  • The research was led by University of Bristol scientists.
  • Image: A representation of emergent symmetry, showing a perfectly symmetric water droplet emerging from a layering of snow. The ice crystals in the snow, by contrast, have a complex shape and therefore a lower symmetry than the water droplet. The purple colour denotes the purple bronze material in which this phenomenon was discovered. Credit: University of Bristol

PRESS RELEASE — Quantum scientists have discovered a rare phenomenon that could hold the key to creating a ‘perfect switch’ in quantum devices which flips between being an insulator and superconductor.

The research, led by the University of Bristol and published in Science, found these two opposing electronic states exist within purple bronze, a unique one-dimensional metal composed of individual conducting chains of atoms.

Tiny changes in the material, for instance prompted by a small stimulus like heat or light, may trigger an instant transition from an insulating state with zero conductivity to a superconductor with unlimited conductivity, and vice versa. This polarised versatility, known as ’emergent symmetry’, has the potential to offer an ideal On/Off switch in future quantum technology developments.

Lead author Nigel Hussey, Professor of Physics at the University of Bristol, said: “It’s a really exciting discovery which could provide a perfect switch for quantum devices of tomorrow.

“The remarkable journey started 13 years ago in my lab when two PhD students, Xiaofeng Xu and Nick Wakeham, measured the magnetoresistance — the change in resistance caused by a magnetic field — of purple bronze.”

In the absence of a magnetic field, the resistance of purple bronze was highly dependent on the direction in which the electrical current is introduced. Its temperature dependence was also rather complicated. Around room temperature, the resistance is metallic, but as the temperature is lowered, this reverses and the material appears to be turning into an insulator. Then, at the lowest temperatures, the resistance plummets again as it transitions into a superconductor. Despite this complexity, surprisingly, the magnetoresistance was found to be extremely simple. It was essentially the same irrespective of the direction in which the current or field were aligned and followed a perfect linear temperature dependence all the way from room temperature down to the superconducting transition temperature.

“Finding no coherent explanation for this puzzling behaviour, the data lay dormant and published unpublished for the next seven years. A hiatus like this is unusual in quantum research, though the reason for it was not a lack of statistics,” Prof Hussey explained.

“Such simplicity in the magnetic response invariably belies a complex origin and as it turns out, its possible resolution would only come about through a chance encounter.”

In 2017, Prof Hussey was working at Radboud University and saw advertised a seminar by physicist Dr Piotr Chudzinski on the subject of purple bronze. At the time few researchers were devoting an entire seminar to this little-known material, so his interest was piqued.

Prof Hussey said: “In the seminar Chudzinski proposed that the resistive upturn may be caused by interference between the conduction electrons and elusive, composite particles known as ‘dark excitons’. We chatted after the seminar and together proposed an experiment to test his theory. Our subsequent measurements essentially confirmed it.”

Buoyed by this success, Prof Hussey resurrected Xu and Wakeham’s magnetoresistance data and showed them to Dr Chudzinski. The two central features of the data — the linearity with temperature and the independence on the orientation of current and field — intrigued Chudzinski, as did the fact that the material itself could exhibit both insulating and superconducting behaviour depending on how the material was grown.

Dr Chudzinski wondered whether rather than transforming completely into an insulator, the interaction between the charge carriers and the excitons he’d introduced earlier could cause the former to gravitate towards the boundary between the insulating and superconducting states as the temperature is lowered. At the boundary itself, the probability of the system being an insulator or a superconductor is essentially the same.

Prof Hussey said: “Such physical symmetry is an unusual state of affairs and to develop such symmetry in a metal as the temperature is lowered, hence the term ’emergent symmetry’, would constitute a world-first.”

Physicists are well versed in the phenomenon of symmetry breaking: lowering the symmetry of an electron system upon cooling. The complex arrangement of water molecules in an ice crystal is an example of such broken symmetry. But the converse is an extremely rare, if not unique, occurrence. Returning to the water/ice analogy, it is as though upon cooling the ice further, the complexity of the ice crystals ‘melts’ once again into something as symmetric and smooth as the water droplet.

Dr Chudzinski, now a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “Imagine a magic trick where a dull, distorted figure transforms into a beautiful, perfectly symmetric sphere. This is, in a nutshell, the essence of emergent symmetry. The figure in question is our material, purple bronze, while our magician is nature itself.”

To further test whether the theory held water, an additional 100 individual crystals, some insulating and others superconducting, were investigated by another PhD student, Maarten Berben, working at Radboud University.

Prof Hussey added: “After Maarten’s Herculean effort, the story was complete and the reason why different crystals exhibited such wildly different ground states became apparent. Looking ahead, it might be possible to exploit this ‘edginess’ to create switches in quantum circuits whereby tiny stimuli induce profound, orders-of-magnitude changes in the switch resistance.”

Autumn Quantum: UK’s Autumn Statement Presses For QC Capable of 1 Trillion Operations by 2035

22 November 2023 at 16:40
Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, London, UK

Insider Brief

  • The 2023 Autumn Statement unveiled a number of measures that will support the UK’s tech sector.
  • The government is building on the £2.5 billion ten-year National Quantum Strategy.
  • One of the key goals is to have UK-based quantum computers capable of running 1 trillion operations by 2035.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a number of measures that will support the UK’s tech sector in the 2023 Autumn Statement, including a major boost for the nation’s quantum sector — and a major challenge.

The statement acknowledged the government is exploring the use of quantum technologies in the public sector. While the reaction was generally positive, some members of UK’s ecosystem wanted to see more emphasis on post-quantum cybersecurity.

According to the statement: “The National Quantum Computing Centre is supporting government and industry to explore how quantum computing could be applied and HMG has launched a Catalyst fund bringing together quantum innovators and government departments to identify and develop near- and longer-term applications.”

Hunt said that the government is building on the £2.5 billion ten-year National Quantum Strategy by publishing a set of quantum missions, including a mission to have accessible, UK-based quantum computers capable of running 1 trillion operations by 2035, with operational and algorithmic advancements in critical economic sectors.

Other missions focus on quantum networks, medical applications, navigation, and sensors for infrastructure.

The Missions

According to the strategy, these missions, developed through collaborations among government, industry, and experts, aim to leverage quantum computing power, advanced navigation systems, precision sensors, and enhanced medical diagnostics to drive economic and societal benefits.

The strategy also plans to roll out the world’s most sophisticated quantum network, laying the groundwork for a future quantum internet. This network will amplify computing power, ensure nationwide connectivity, and foster early commercial opportunities, all while positioning the UK as a leader in quantum networking standards.

Healthcare is another priority, with every NHS Trust set to benefit from quantum sensing solutions by 2030. This initiative will focus on early diagnosis and advanced surgical procedures for conditions like dementia, epilepsy, and cancer. The goal is to integrate quantum-enabled products within the NHS, boosting the medical device industry and improving patient outcomes.

Quantum navigation systems are mentioned in the plan, with deployment on aircraft expected by 2030. These systems will offer unprecedented accuracy and resilience, independent of satellite signals, which is crucial for sectors like robotics and drones.

Finally, the strategy addresses critical infrastructure resilience. By 2030, mobile, networked quantum sensors will enhance situational awareness across transport, telecoms, energy, and defense sectors. This will facilitate the monitoring and maintenance of infrastructure, ensuring safety and efficiency.


Technology and quantum technology leaders from across the nation are responding positively to the autumn statment.

Steve Brierley, Founder & CEO of Riverlane, said that the statement shows UK’s commitment to building a quantum ecosystem.

“The quantum computing mission announced today shows the scale of the UK ambition to maintain a lasting, critical role in the global quantum ecosystem,” said Brierley. “Now the industry has proven that building a quantum computer is possible, the next step is to develop the key technologies that can correct the billions of errors currently preventing these devices from becoming useful. It’s great to see the UK commit to becoming more focused in this direction, building on the key areas where it already has an advantage.”

Stuart Woods, Chief Operating and Strategy Officer at Quantum Exponential, called the missions “bold” and “visionary.”

“The missions are bold and contain some genuinely exciting and visionary thinking. The plan to implement quantum technology wide scale in the NHS to save money is particularly welcome and our expertise in medical quantum sensing is already world-class – this could greatly accelerate point-of-care diagnostics. There is a concern however that with the government’s financial commitment as it stands, it will struggle to translate visionary thinking to practical, implementable action. Based on the US’s 2022 CHIPS Act, adequately funding these missions could cost £25bn; the National Quantum Strategy Missions statement instead makes no financial commitment. While it’s encouraging to see a commitment from the government across the spectrum of quantum technologies, it is simply not practical for the UK to strive for ‘world-leading’ status in such a range of deep technologies with a £2.5bn, inadequately defined national quantum strategy.”

Ashley Montanaro, co-founder and CEO of Phasecraft, welcomed the continued commitment.

“The UK is a global leader in quantum computing and we’re delighted to see continued commitment from the UK Government to support the industry,” said Montanaro. “Among other applications, quantum computers will enable rapid and accurate modelling of novel materials that are vital for the clean energy revolution. The development of quantum algorithms and software is crucial if the hardware is to fulfil its true potential – breakthrough algorithms can reduce the cost of solving problems by factors of a million or more. We expect that efficient algorithms will enable the earliest quantum advantages to be realised in the next few years.”

Montanaro added, “The long-term support for work on quantum hardware, algorithms and software provided by the UK’s Quantum Computing Mission is essential to help the industry go beyond these early advantages and will enable quantum computers to deliver a host of scientific and technological breakthroughs of great benefit to society.”

Because quantum computers pose security risks for today’s encryption systems, the government should prioritize post-quantum cybersecurity.

Ali El Kaafarani, CEO of founder and CEO of Oxford University spinout and quantum-safe cryptography company PQShield said: “As the technical community had high hopes that the Chancellor’s speech would mention funding the field of quantum science, it’s great to see the government’s ambition to make the UK a leader in quantum technology addressed in the full Budget. It is crucial that the government does not forget that quantum computers pose a severe threat to our data and demonstrates its commitment to funding a secure quantum transition. A key action the UK government can take, alongside this investment, is encouraging the rapid adoption of the US Government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) post-quantum cryptography standards, which will help scale the mass adoption of quantum computing in the future.”

Andersen Cheng, Co-founder and Chairman, of Post-Quantum, echoed the need for additional focus on PQC. “It’s been encouraging to see the government begin to place a greater emphasis on quantum in consecutive budgets. However, there is a clear imbalance at play – prioritising the computing elements, without giving as much thought to the very real security threats these machines pose. What is not being recognised is that quantum computers will not be superior to classical computers in every area – classical machines will continue to be used for the majority of tasks we undertake today. However, quantum computers are vastly superior when performing big analysis on small amounts of data – precisely the quality needed to break the encryption used to secure the UK’s entire digital infrastructure.”

Quantum Motion had a unique perspective on the statement. The company’s founders met with Jeremy Hunt and George Freeman MP at their labs and Downing Street this year to help determine the direction of the “Quantum Missions” and UK strategy.

CEO James Palles-Dimmock, said, “The UK is a global leader in quantum computing, with the world’s second highest number of quantum computing startups, providing a magnet for talent and investment. As a result, we’re well placed to challenge the dominance of markets like the US in creating the giant technology brands of the future. The Autumn Statement today is the second stage of a strategy created back in 2013, which provided the seeding to bring innovations out of universities, and will now provide funds to support early stage companies. The government consulted with the quantum industry to narrow down the moonshots so we can tackle the key challenges in building a useful quantum computer by 2035. The National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) is an important catalyst for this activity and will act as a showcase for the state-of-the-art in quantum computing.”

Classiq, NVIDIA Collaborate on Quantum Center For Life Sciences

22 November 2023 at 14:57
quantum life sciences center

Insider Brief

  • Classiq unveiled a new industry initiative, the Quantum Computing for Life Sciences & Healthcare Center.
  • The collaboration includes NVIDIA and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.
  • Critical Quote: “The opportunities for quantum computing and especially the software that drives it are growing very quickly. The new Quantum Computing for Life Sciences & Healthcare Center aspires to bridge the gap between quantum theory and practice with tangible benefits in life sciences, healthcare and beyond.” — Classiq CEO Nir Minerbi

PRESS RELEASE — Quantum software pioneer Classiq unveiled a new industry initiative, the Quantum Computing for Life Sciences & Healthcare Center, formed in collaboration with NVIDIA and the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. The initiative will champion the development and implementation of quantum algorithms and applications, targeting their transformative potential on life sciences and healthcare.

Quantum computing, with the potential to process multifaceted data at unparalleled speeds, may play a pivotal role in reinventing domains like drug discovery, molecular analysis and bespoke medical treatment strategies. Beyond these domains, quantum computing may also be leveraged to address the challenges within supply chain and treatment coordination. By optimizing pharmaceutical supply chains, quantum may ensure the timely and efficient delivery of critical medications. For example, by aiding in treatment coordination, it could streamline patient care, ensuring optimized and personalized therapeutic journeys based on individual medical histories and real-time health data.

Classiq CEO Nir Minerbi said, “The opportunities for quantum computing and especially the software that drives it are growing very quickly. The new Quantum Computing for Life Sciences & Healthcare Center aspires to bridge the gap between quantum theory and practice with tangible benefits in life sciences, healthcare and beyond.”

In collaboration with NVIDIA, Classiq will establish a multifaceted research landscape. Leveraging NVIDIAH100 Tensor Core GPU capabilities, along with the integration between the NVIDIA CUDA Quantum programming platform and Classiq’s software infrastructure, the center is set to offer a robust environment for quantum-centric innovations and training non-quantum experts.

“Integrated quantum-classical computing holds great potential for powering breakthroughs in life sciences and healthcare, but many challenges to realizing that potential remain yet to be addressed,” said Tim Costa, Director of High-Performance Computing and Quantum at NVIDIA. “The Classiq Quantum Computing for Life Sciences & Healthcare Center, built on NVIDIA CUDA Quantum, aims to help researchers tackle these challenges and push the boundaries in applying quantum computing to problems in this critical area.”

Initiating the center’s collaborative approach is the renowned Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital). Celebrated for its progressive technological adoptions and pioneering AI integrations since 2014, this institution embodies the future-ready ethos of the healthcare sector.

Prof. Roni Gamzu of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center said, “Clinical and operational activities are typically managed at Ichilov Hospital through smart, data-driven computing systems. We are proud of our achievements but at the same time very much aware that currently available tools are not efficient enough to provide solutions to the steadily growing complexity of our systems. For this exact reason, we are delighted to announce the opening of the first quantum computing lab here at Ichilov. Together with Classiq and NVIDIA, we will break the boundaries of data science for the benefit of medicine and patients. I am convinced that this unique initiative will pave the way for a radically novel approach to data management in health organizations to the benefit of our patients and society at large.”

With the Quantum Computing for Life Sciences & Healthcare Center, Classiq and its collaborators are poised to tap into quantum capabilities to propel life sciences and healthcare into a future with potential for greater precision, efficiency and innovation.