The last edition in this short series was about companies utilizing the silicon (Si-based) approach for their quantum computing needs. In today’s piece, we take a look at six photonic quantum computing companies that you need to know about in 2022.
Like many classifications, the term photonic quantum computing can be misleading – Xanadu’s approach to building quantum computers is very different to PsiQuantum for example. Nonetheless, we hope this gives a high level overview of the ecosystem.
As always, this data was taken from our very own proprietary data platform. For a more detailed look at the half a dozen listed here or any other list of companies in the growing quantum technologies ecosystem, please click on link to find out more.
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What is Photonic Quantum Computing?
Photonic quantum computing is a type of quantum computing that uses photons as a representation of qubits. It consists of the ring that is used as a photons storage, along with the scattering unit. Determining whether the information they are carrying is 1 or a 0, is left to the direction of the photon travel, but it can also be both 1 and 0 as a product of the quirks of quantum superposition. The scattering unit is used as an encoder, directing the photons onto it as they will enter a cavity containing just a single atom. Interaction between the photon and atom will create a quantum state, such that any changes will affect both of them, without the restrain of the separation distance.
The main advantages are simple components, the ability to run a variety of quantum operations, and most importantly, photonic quantum computers can perform at room temperature, which reduces the size of the extreme cooling systems.
If you want to learn more, we’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of the top quantum computing companies available!
Below is the list of the 6 companies working with photonic quantum computing technology. Enjoy!
6 Photonic Quantum Computing Companies
1. Xanadu Quantum Technologies (Photonics Quantum Computing)
Xanadu Quantum Technologies is a Canadian technology company and a leading photonic quantum computing hardware provider.
Founded in 2016 by CEO Christian Weedbrook, Xanadu’s mission is to build quantum computers that are useful and available to people everywhere. To achieve this mission, the company has taken a full-stack approach and builds hardware, software, and pursues state-of-the-art research with select partners.
Today, enterprises and researchers can begin using Xanadu’s photonic quantum computers through the Xanadu Quantum Cloud (XQC) service and Strawberry Fields application library.
The company is also advancing the field of quantum machine learning (QML) through the development of PennyLane, an open-source project that has become a leading software library among quantum researchers and developers.
2. ORCA Computing
London-based ORCA Computing was set up by experienced scientists and entrepreneurs based on research from Professor Ian Walmsley’s Ultra-fast and Non-linear Quantum Optics Group at the University of Oxford (UK). Within the group, Ian Walmsley, Josh Nunn, and Kris Kaczmarek identified that “short-term” quantum memories could synchronize photonic operations and enable truly scalable quantum computing.
ORCA solves this redundancy problem using the ORCA quantum memory, opening up the promise of quantum photonics without the significant trade-offs of existing approaches.
Based in London, ORCA was founded in 2019 by Ian Walmsley, Richard Murray, Josh Nunn, and Cristina Escoda. We interviewed Richard Murray here.
Made up of a team of quantum physicists, semiconductor, systems, and software engineers, system architects, and more, PsiQuantum is focused on building the world’s first useful quantum computer by taking the photonic approach as they believe in its technical advantages at the scale required for error correction. They attracted headlines with their focus on a 1m qubit quantum computer.
Founded in 2015 by Jeremy O’Brien, Terry Rudolph, Pete Shadbolt, and Mark Thompson, PsiQuantum is based in the heart of technological innovation, Silicon Valley. You can listen to Pete Shadbolt in our documentary here.
4. TundraSystems Global (Photonics Computing)
TundraSystems Global is a Cardiff, Wales-based Photonic Quantum Computing company founded in 2014 by Brian Antao to build from the ground up the many developments from different academic sources such as the University of Bristol, MIT, the UK Quantum Technology Hubs etc. in computational solutions in an all-optical regime using quantum mechanics’ fundamental base.
Its ultimate mission is to design and deliver new quantum technology solutions. The first phase of development is to develop Tundra Quantum Photonics Technology library. This forms part of Tundra System’s strategy, in its quest to develop a complete Quantum Photonics Microprocessor the TundraProcessor. This library should also facilitate the development of the eco-system of Photonic Integrated Circuits to enable the building of complete HPC Systems surrounding the TundraProcessor.
Quandela is a startup focused on the fabrication of performing devices for research in photonics quantum computing and quantum information.
It fabricates unique solid-state sources of quantum light. These sources are used to develop a new generation of Quantum computers based on the manipulation of light.
This Paris-based photonics startup was founded in 2017 by Niccolo Somaschi, Pascale Senellart and Valerian Giesz.
6. QuiX Quantum
QuiX Quantum is a photonic quantum computing startup, located in Enschede, the Netherlands. The company was founded in 2019 by Dr. Hans van den Vlekkert, a veteran of the industry and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Jelmer Renema, an expert in photonic quantum computing, and a team of professors from the University of Twente.
Consisting of a team of quantum-photonics engineers, some with a background in integrated photonics and some in quantum technologies, QuiX’s goal is the continued disruption of quantum computing with our high-tech, scalable, future-proof, plug-and-play integrated photonic solutions.