Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) platform launches in UK

Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) platform launches in UK

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The startup built a superconducting quantum computer in 2018 using a 3D interconnect for 4qubits. This is now available via a private cloud service.

Cloud quantum computing services are available through Amazon Bracket and the University of Bristol offered its photonic quantum computer via the cloud back in 2013. The UK government is installing a Rigetti superconducting system just outside Oxford that will also be offered via the cloud.

“The launch of our QCaaS platform is not only a remarkable achievement in the history of Oxford Quantum Circuits, but is a significant milestone in unlocking the potential of quantum computing both in the UK and globally,” said Dr Ilana Wisby, CEO of OQC. “We know quantum computing has the power to be revolutionary but for decades this power and potential has been relatively untested and unverified in the real world. By making our QCaaS platform more widely available to strategic partners and customers, we are offering the world’s leading enterprises the chance to demonstrate just how far-reaching quantum will be within their industries.”

Cambridge Quantum Computing, currently merging with Honeywell’s quantum business, will be the first to be given access to the private cloud to demonstrate its IronBridge cybersecurity platform, which extracts perfect certified entropy from quantum computers to generate unhackable cryptographic keys. 

Cambridge Quantum will have access to one of OQC’s systems, the 4qubit “Sophia”, hosted at the company’s lab that was completed last year.

OQC is now taking registrations to its beta list for enterprise customers looking to take advantage of the technical and commercial benefits of quantum computing in areas such as quantum-enabled fleet logistics to optimise supply chains and manufacturing and the development of materials for energy capture and storage for the future of battery technology as well as more powerful AI algorithms and cryptography.

“We are excited to be working with OQC on their first commercially available product. It has long been recognised that the first “killer app” for quantum computers will be in the area of cybersecurity, and we are looking forward to demonstrating that OQC can generate verifiably quantum cryptographic keys for our IronBridge platform,” said Ilyas Khan, CEO of Cambridge Quantum. “Ilana and her team represent the very best of breed in the hardware sector in the UK and this bold launch of a quantum processor by a company that has very much been in stealth is a reminder of the depth and diversity of the UK’s quantum technologies sector.”

Quantum circuits to date have been built in a two-dimensional plane. In 2D, the intricate wiring required to control and measure the qubits quickly becomes a limiting factor as it introduces noise that harms the coherence of the quantum device and reduces the quality of its output. As the number of qubits grows, the intricacy of the wiring demands more fabrication steps, increasing error rates and cost. 

OQC’s core innovation, the Coaxmon, solves these challenges using a three-dimensional architecture that moves the control and measurement wiring out of plane and into a 3D configuration. This vastly simplifies fabrication, improving coherence and boosts scalability.

The startup has received £2m of UK government support and the National Quantum Technologies Programme and has yet to raise its first round of venture funding, although it has seed funding from the Parkwalk venture fund.

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