$8m for UK CMOS quantum computing chip

$8m for UK CMOS quantum computing chip

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

A UK startup has raised $8m from European investors to develop a scalable CMOS processor for a fault tolerant quantum computing system.

Quantum Motion Technologies (QMT) in Leeds, UK, uses spin electronics architectures developed at UCL in London and Oxford University. This is regarded as a key way to create a scalable quantum computing processor in standard CMOS process technology but a small fraction of the funds raised by US startups such as Rigetti and PsiQuantum (see below).

“There are many ways to create a quantum computer, but to achieve true fault tolerance and thus explore the deepest and most powerful algorithms, electron spins in silicon may prove to be the best – or even the only – practical solution,” said co-founder Prof Simon Benjamin of Oxford University.

The new funding was led by INKEF capital, a Dutch based venture capital company. The round was supported by new investors Octopus Ventures and the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF) as well as existing investors Oxford Sciences Innovation, Parkwalk Advisors and IP Group.

Quantum Motion is developing silicon spin-based qubit architectures which are compatible with standard CMOS fabrication and so provide easier scaling to thousands and millions of qubits. This is particularly important to allow the qubit redundancy that is required to make a fully functional, fault tolerant, quantum computer, but also gives the near-term opportunity of easy integration in a hybrid quantum/classical computer.

The company was founded in 2017 by Benjamin, Prof. John Morton at UCL and commercial director D. James PallesDimmock. “Silicon electronics has already transformed our society over the past decades, and it has huge potential to deliver the scalable platform that can realise the most profound impacts of quantum computing. We’re very excited to be working with a dream-team of well-aligned investors to achieve this goal,” said Prof Morton

Robert Jan Galema, Managing Partner at INKEF capital, added: “The microprocessor only really took off when scalable production hit, and complexity, price and size could be reduced. As such, it is no surprise that a lot of learnings and technology behind the silicon microchip can be leveraged for building a scalable quantum computer that is not the size of a football stadium. The QMT team is uniquely positioned to build such a qubit architecture, based in silicon” 

Dr. Manjari Chandran-Ramesh, Investment Director at IP Group and Acting Chair of QMT, said: “We are delighted to welcome such high-quality new investors to join us in supporting the next chapter at Quantum Motion. The company is a great example of a top ‘deep tech’ start-up coming out of the stellar Quantum Computing research in the UK.”

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