Quantum startup raises $15m for million qbit machine

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Quantum Source (QS) in Israel has emerged from stealth mode with $15m in seed funding to build a photonic quantum computer with millions of qbits.

The company was set up by a group of experienced semiconductor industry executives, with Oded Melamed, CEO, who was the co-founder and CEO of Altair Semiconductor acquired by Sony; Gil Semo, VP R&D, who was among the founding team of Anobit Technologies acquired by Apple and later became the Director of Platform Architecture at Apple in Israel and Dan Charash as chairman, who was the co-founder and CEO of Provigent, acquired by Broadcom.

The other founder is Prof. Barak Dayan, Senior Scientist and founder and head of the Quantum Optics lab at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His research group focuses on a new single-photon-single atom quantum system that couples single, laser-cooled rubidium (Rb) atoms to high-quality WGM chip-based, fibre-coupled optical micro-resonators. By confining light in such a small volume, the electric field of even a single photon is enhanced to a level that allows coherent interaction with a single atom.

The company employs twenty-five physicists and engineers, fifteen of whom hold PhD degrees, working on large quantum computers with millions of qubits through its photonic technology.

Other photonic quantum computing projects

“The difference between small quantum computers that are developed today, with tens or hundreds of qubits, and building efficient, large-scale quantum computers with millions of qubits is huge,” said Oded Melamed, CEO and Co-Founder, Quantum Source.  “The photonic quantum technology that Quantum Source is developing will enable a dramatic leap forward and the realization of quantum computer systems with millions of qubits. These new full-scale quantum computers will have a significant impact on many industries, solving previously computationally impossible problems in multiple sectors, such as drug and material development, finance, and cybersecurity.”

The round was co-led by Grove Ventures, Pitango First, and Eclipse Ventures.

Several companies are developing large scale photonic quantum computers, most notable PsiQuantum in the US which has raised $665m according to Crunchbase to build a system with millions of qbits. In Europe, Q.ant is working on a room temperature photonic quantum computer design, while the QRydDemo is also working on photonic technology and Infineon is involved in several photonic quantum computer projects.

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