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    Seven Companies Awarded Contracts to Develop Quantum Computing Testbeds in the UK

    ByByron Bekker

    Feb 11, 2024
    Seven Companies Awarded Contracts to Develop Quantum Computing Testbeds in the UK

    The race to develop scalable quantum computing technology continues as seven quantum hardware companies have secured contracts to build testbeds at the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) in Oxfordshire, England. The contracts, awarded through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, aim to accelerate the development of quantum computing with a funding injection of £30 million ($37.8 million) from the UKRI Technology Missions Fund and the NQCC.

    The winners of the contracts are Aegiq, Infleqtion, ORCA Computing, Oxford Ionics, Quantum Motion, QuEra Computing, and Rigetti. Each company will contribute to the diverse range of qubit architectures, which offer potential pathways to fault-tolerant quantum computing.

    ORCA Computing’s testbed, named Asteroidea, is focused on integrating multiple photon sources within a single system. This approach will hasten the development of quantum computing applications by harnessing the power of photon-based computing while maintaining compatibility with high-performance computing clusters.

    Aegiq will introduce Artemis, a compact photonic quantum computer, along with a dedicated user interface that seamlessly integrates with the NQCC testbed ecosystem. Artemis utilizes Aegiq’s innovative integrated photonic chip technology and employs a low-loss silicon nitride platform from QuiX Quantum.

    Infleqtion and QuEra Computing will develop hardware systems based on neutral atoms, while Rigetti will construct a testbed with 24 superconducting qubits. Oxford Ionics, on the other hand, will showcase a trapped-ion platform built upon technology originally developed at the University of Oxford. Lastly, Quantum Motion aims to create a demonstration platform that leverages spin qubits within a silicon-chip architecture.

    The NQCC testbeds will offer a valuable environment for quantum computing leaders to experiment and advance their respective technologies. Through these developments, the hope is to accelerate the adoption of quantum solutions in various sectors, from optimizing power grids and train schedules to enhancing brain imaging techniques.

    In addition to the contracts, £15 million in funding from the Quantum Catalyst Fund will be distributed to further support the progress of quantum computing initiatives. With these combined efforts, the United Kingdom remains committed to pushing the boundaries of quantum computing and unlocking its immense potential.

    An FAQ based on the key topics and information in the article:

    1. What is the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) in Oxfordshire, England?
    The NQCC is a research facility that supports the development and advancement of quantum computing technology.

    2. How many quantum hardware companies have secured contracts to build testbeds at the NQCC?
    Seven quantum hardware companies have secured contracts to build testbeds at the NQCC.

    3. How much funding has been provided for the development of quantum computing?
    The development of quantum computing has received a funding injection of £30 million ($37.8 million) from the UKRI Technology Missions Fund and the NQCC.

    4. What are the names of the companies that have won the contracts?
    The companies that have won the contracts are Aegiq, Infleqtion, ORCA Computing, Oxford Ionics, Quantum Motion, QuEra Computing, and Rigetti.

    5. What are qubit architectures?
    Qubit architectures are the different designs and configurations of qubits, which are the fundamental building blocks of quantum computers.

    6. What is ORCA Computing’s testbed focused on?
    ORCA Computing’s testbed, named Asteroidea, is focused on integrating multiple photon sources within a single system.

    7. What is Aegiq introducing?
    Aegiq is introducing Artemis, a compact photonic quantum computer, along with a dedicated user interface that seamlessly integrates with the NQCC testbed ecosystem.

    8. What types of hardware systems will Infleqtion and QuEra Computing develop?
    Infleqtion and QuEra Computing will develop hardware systems based on neutral atoms.

    9. What will Rigetti’s testbed feature?
    Rigetti’s testbed will feature 24 superconducting qubits.

    10. What platform will Oxford Ionics showcase?
    Oxford Ionics will showcase a trapped-ion platform built upon technology originally developed at the University of Oxford.

    11. What platform will Quantum Motion aim to create?
    Quantum Motion aims to create a demonstration platform that leverages spin qubits within a silicon-chip architecture.

    12. What is the purpose of the NQCC testbeds?
    The NQCC testbeds provide an environment for quantum computing leaders to experiment and advance their respective technologies.

    13. How will quantum solutions be applied in various sectors?
    The hope is to accelerate the adoption of quantum solutions in various sectors, such as optimizing power grids, train schedules, and enhancing brain imaging techniques.

    14. What additional funding will support quantum computing initiatives?
    £15 million from the Quantum Catalyst Fund will be distributed to further support the progress of quantum computing initiatives in addition to the contracts.

    Definitions:
    – Quantum computing: A type of computing that utilizes quantum mechanics principles to perform calculations and solve complex problems more efficiently than classical computers.
    – Qubit: The basic unit of information in a quantum computer, analogous to the bit in classical computing.
    – Photon-based computing: The use of photons, particles of light, in the processing and manipulation of quantum information.
    – High-performance computing clusters: Groups of computers interconnected to work together in parallel, enabling faster processing and analysis of large amounts of data.
    – Trapped-ion platform: A quantum computing architecture that uses ions trapped in an electromagnetic field to encode and manipulate qubits.
    – Spin qubits: Qubits that are based on the intrinsic angular momentum, or spin, of particles, such as electrons, rather than their physical position.

    Suggested related link:
    National Quantum Computing Centre