Xanadu, a photonic quantum computing company, announced today the release of the world’s first publicly available photonic quantum cloud platform, according to a press release. Developers can now access Xanadu’s gate-based photonic quantum processors, in 8, 12, and soon 24-qubit machines.
Photonics based quantum computers have many advantages over older platforms. Xanadu’s quantum processors operate at room temperature. They can easily integrate into existing fiber optic-based telecommunication infrastructure, enabling a future where quantum computers are networked. It also offers great scalability supporting fault tolerance, owing to robust error-resistant physical qubits and flexibility in designing error correction codes. Xanadu’s unique type of qubit is based on squeezed states – a special type of light generated by our own chip-integrated silicon photonic devices.
“We believe that photonics offers the most viable approach towards universal fault-tolerant quantum computing with Xanadu’s ability to network a large number of quantum processors together. We are excited to provide this ecosystem, a world-first for both quantum and classical photonics,” said Christian Weedbrook, Xanadu Founder and CEO. “Our architecture is new, designed to scale-up like the Internet versus traditional mainframe-like approaches to quantum computing.”
Xanadu’s partners and customers are currently testing solutions on the pre-release Xanadu Quantum Cloud. These include leading academic institutions, quantum startups, and major national labs including Creative Destruction Labs, Scotia Bank, BMO and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Now the company will be extending access to a number of new enterprise clients who are seeking to leverage quantum computing to solve their most complex problems.
In addition to Xanadu Quantum Cloud, developers will use Xanadu’s open-source tools widely available on Github. These include Strawberry Fields, its cross-platform Python library for simulating and executing programs on quantum photonic hardware and PennyLane, its software library for quantum machine learning, quantum computing, and quantum chemistry. The community for these platforms is growing rapidly. The community includes a vast array of tutorials and educational materials for users of all levels of experience to begin developing and experimenting with quantum applications.
The Xanadu team is hard at work developing the next generation of photonic quantum computers. “We believe we can roughly double the number of qubits in our cloud systems every six months,” said Weedbrook. “Future machines will also offer improved performance and new features like increased qubit connectivity, unlocking more applications for customers.” In addition to the computing market, the company is also targeting secure communication and quantum networking, an area that photonics is poised to dominate. “We are laying the groundwork for our vision of the future: a global array of photonic quantum computers, networked over a quantum internet.”
The enterprise adoption of quantum computing is in the early stages of development, but access to photonic quantum computing over the cloud will – for the first time – give developers across industries and academia the chance to explore potential business applications. Open access educates and drives interest towards new, concrete implementations that demonstrate the future of computing. Xanadu’s processors provide researchers and developers with novel approaches that are unique to solve problems in finance, quantum chemistry, machine learning, and graph analytics.
Xanadu announced a $32 million Series A financing in June 2019. OMERS Ventures led the round with participation from Georgian Partners, Radical Ventures, Real Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and Tim Draper. In addition they have received grants from DARPA and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to advance its work in photonic quantum computing. Xanadu’s total investment to date is $45 million.
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