In this series of posts powered by The Quantum Insider’s proprietary data platform, we will take a look at the major players in the quantum computing (QC) industry by qubit type. In today’s post, which will be the first of eight, the focus is on trapped ion quantum computing companies whose approach to building a large-scale quantum computer leans on trapped ions.
You can also check out our neutral atom quantum computing post!
On the upside, a quantum computer using trapped ions as qubits can operate at room temperature, has very low error rates, and — in theory, at least — is easy to entangle a large number of qubits.
However, there are downsides to using trapped ions: one being they are slow if we compare them to qubits used in other modalities. Another, unfortunately — and this is a big one — is they are difficult to scale due to the complexity of the system, which requires things like vacuums and lasers to control the qubits.
Trapped Ion Quantum Computing Companies
Below is the list of the 6 leading companies working with trapped ion quantum computing technology. Enjoy!
Quantinuum came about in 2021 when Cambridge Quantum Computing, (CQC) a best-in-class software company, merged with Honeywell Quantum Solutions’ high-performing trapped-ion hardware. In the business to scale trapped ion quantum computing and develop applications today to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, Quantinuum is bound to be a force in the years to come.
Quantinuum is led by CEO Ilyas Khan, who founded CQC back in 2014. Tony Uttley, meanwhile — founder and President of Honeywell Quantum Solutions — serves as President and COO of the new enterprise.
2. IonQ (Trapped Ion Computing Company)
Based in College Park, Maryland, IonQ was founded in 2015 by Chris Monroe and Jungsang Kim with $2 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates, a license to core technology from the University of Maryland and Duke University. A trailblazer in the QC industry, IonQ’s mission is to build the world’s best quantum computers to solve the world’s most complex problems, transforming business, society, and the planet for the better
Its unique trapped-ion approach combines unmatched physical performance, perfect qubit replication, optical networkability, and highly-optimized algorithms to create a trapped ion quantum computer that is as scalable as it is powerful, and that will support a broad array of applications across a variety of industries.
Quantum Factory was founded in 2018 in Munich by Alexander Hüsers and Björn Stein. Aiming to develop the first universally applicable ion-based quantum computer, that, unlike other commercialized quantum providers, can efficiently calculate the full spectrum of what is physically possible and thus offers clearly wider and more comprehensive application potential than it is possible today.
4. Alpine Quantum Technologies
Alpine Quantum Technologies (AQT) was founded in 2018 by Rainer Blatt, Thomas Monz and Peter Zoller and is working on general-purpose quantum information processors that will support a broad range of applications in various industries using a scalable trapped-ion approach that combines unmatched physical performance, extraordinary qubit control, and demonstrated optical networkability.
AQT is supported by the Federation of Austrian Industries Tyrol, the FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency and the University of Innsbruck.
5. Oxford Ionics (Trapped Ion Company)
With headquarters in Begbroke, Oxfordshire, Oxford Ionics was founded in 2019 by Chris Ballance and Thomas Harty. The startup is creating high-performance quantum computers by combining the world’s highest quality qubits — trapped ions — with the team’s unique noiseless electronic qubit control technology.
eleQtron develops and operates quantum computers based on trapped ions, RF control and Magnetic Gradient Induced Coupling (MAGIC). Its intermediate-scale quantum processors will be optimized for near-term industrially relevant quantum applications. The startup will also implement breakthrough concepts for scalable quantum processors based on RF-controlled trapped ions. eleQtron will operate MAGIC quantum computers and offer quantum computer performance within a subscription model.
The Siegen, Germany-based company was founded in 2020 by Michael Johanning and Jan Henrik Leisse.