“Today Dutch startup QuantWare has launched the world’s first commercially available superconducting processor for quantum computers (QPU). This is the first time superconducting quantum processors have been available ‘off the shelf’, a development with the potential to significantly accelerate the quantum computing revolution.
Quantum technology promises to significantly expand the amount of data computers are able to process, which could have huge implications for fields such as A.I., medicine, business intelligence, and cybersecurity. But the quantum industry is still young and scaling is difficult. Companies building parts for quantum computers need qubits, the microscopic objects that make quantum computing possible, but it is often cost prohibitive for them to produce them themselves. QuantWare’s superconducting QPUs eliminate that barrier and may be instrumental in accelerating the development of the quantum computer market.
Superconducting is the leading and most mature approach to quantum processors - Google achieved “quantum supremacy” in 2019 using superconducting QPUs. While other QPUs are already available “off the shelf”, this is the first time a superconducting QPU has been easily available in productised form, leveling the playing field for quantum experimentation.
QuantWare’s proprietary product, Soprano, is a 5-qubit QPU. In an article published by Ars Technica, QuantWare shared that “the fidelities of each qubit will be 99.9 percent, which should keep the error rate manageable.” 5 qubits is sufficient for the immediate customer base QuantWare expects to attract, namely research institutions and university labs.
“Our Soprano QPU is what the Intel 4004 was for the semiconductor business,” says QuantWare co-founder Matthijs Rijlaarsdam. “Superconducting qubits are highly customizable, easy to control and very scalable. That practicality makes superconducting QPUs by far the most likely candidate for near-term quantum computing applications.”
QuantWare’s products significantly lower the costs traditionally required to create quantum technology. The company has already demonstrated its approach by supplying a QPU to the ImpaQT project, the world’s first multi-company quantum computer.
The world has been promised quantum computers for a long time - computers that can solve problems previously unsolvable by traditional computers, finishing calculations within days or minutes instead of thousands of years. However, large quantum computers are needed in order to have a chance to prove this claim in a challenge known as achieving “quantum supremacy” or “quantum advantage”. However, large quantum processors are only available to large companies like IBM and Google to dominate the field. QuantWare aims to make such processors a possibility for all companies and researchers in the space.
“The race towards useful Quantum Computation is heating up, but still reserved to a small group of companies. By making QPUs more available, we will speed up the development of practical quantum-driven solutions to the world’s biggest problems.” said QuantWare co-founder Dr. Alessandro Bruno.
Another way to achieve “Quantum Advantage” is by designing a chip specifically for a particular application. The startup wants to exploit this by making co-designed QPUs together with software companies to allow them to develop processors specialized in their algorithms.
QuantWare was founded in 2020 by quantum engineer Dr. Alessandro Bruno and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) graduate MSc Matthijs Rijlaarsdam. They met while doing research at QuTech, a quantum technology research institute at TU Delft in the Netherlands. The company recently closed their pre-seed funding round, meaning the company has now raised €1.15M. They plan to quickly expand their team and upgrade their processors towards higher qubit numbers. One of their growth goals for the rest of the year is to expand fabrication capabilities and partnerships - QuantWare hopes to become a collaborative bridge between quantum companies worldwide. The company is already looking for new operational facilities, as they expect to outgrow their current building within months. QuantWare’s first two products, Crescendo and Soprano, are now available for pre-order.”