The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) recently announced the establishment of the Israel Quantum Computing Center, part of the Israel National Quantum Initiative (INQI). The center will host Israel’s first three quantum computers, including a superconducting device, a photonic device, and a neutral atom device, for both commercial and research use. Led by Quantum Machines, the consortium that will actually establish the center includes Elbit Systems, QuantWare, ORCA Computing, ParTec, Classiq, and, as the title of this article suggests, ColdQuanta.
First of all, how did ColdQuanta get selected?
INQI wants to host a range of qubit technologies within Israel’s new national quantum computing center. One of these technologies will be neutral atoms, which are also referred to as cold atoms. That’s neutral as in charge, as opposed to ions, and cold as in temperature, except cooled by lasers as opposed to dilution refrigerators. According to a paper published in Nature, neutral atoms are inherently scalable and boast long coherence times.
So, scalability and coherence explains why INQI might want to include neutral atoms. Why did they select ColdQuanta?
It turns out that ColdQuanta was part of a collaboration that ran the first quantum algorithm on a neutral atom quantum computer. That certainly counts as leadership in the neutral atom space. Plus, ColdQuanta apparently has deep connections in Israel. They were already partners with Quantum Machines, which has the lead role in the consortium, and Classiq, which is a fellow member of the consortium. ColdQuanta also claims to have multiple customers within the Israeli quantum ecosystem. In addition to those reasons, Super.tech had been engaged in discussions with Quantum Machines regarding providing its software to this initiative, and then it was acquired by ColdQuanta back in May. Therefore, Super.tech’s software will now be part of ColdQuanta’s contribution to the initiative.
What will be ColdQuanta’s specific role?
Thanks to the aforementioned acquisition of Super.tech, ColdQuanta will actually have four roles in this initiative:
1. They will provide, of course, a neutral atom quantum computer.
2.Their SuperstaQ platform will enable a choice of languages, a choice of backends, and comprehensive optimizations to boost performance up and down the stack.
3.SupermarQ will enable application benchmarking on all three quantum computers, empowering users to select the optimal device for each specific use case.
4.They will provide their proprietary quantum cloud access and management platform, which will enable users to submit and manage jobs to all three quantum computers in the center.
How will the initiative balance the software capabilities of multiple participants?
INQI’s goal is to bring all these different software capabilities together. One specific example is that ColdQuanta’s SuperstaQ platform will look to Quantum Machines’s QUA, their universal pulse-level programming language, for opportunities to expand pulse-level optimization.
Beyond the consortium, however, members will be partnering with industrial and academic players all across Israel’s quantum ecosystem. ColdQuanta expects this to result in the development of novel technologies, and those technologies will benefit the consortium’s respective customers around the world.
How long did it take to put the whole initiative together?
ColdQuanta has been involved in this initiative since early this year, and it has reportedly moved quickly. In fact, they report seeing this motivated pace in national initiatives around the world, indicating the scale of the opportunity.
“There is a deep and collective understanding that quantum will have a transformative impact on national economies and their competitiveness,” said Sarah Schupp, VP Marketing & Communications, ”Governments are making substantial investments in national quantum computing programs to ensure they have a seat at the table as the technology develops. Their economies can benefit both in terms of participating in the development, innovation and value created on the supply side and, perhaps equally as important, they get early access on the demand side.”
The Quantum Machines news release only mentions that ColdQuanta will be providing a neutral atom quantum computer to the Israel Quantum Computing Center. The news releases out of Israel don’t even go that far, and simply state that Quantum Machines will have domestic and international partners. But, ColdQuanta’s role is clearly more significant than these news releases suggest. Therefore, it would be interesting to read a detailed breakdown of all the roles of all the consortium members. What is the true value that each member is bringing to the table, and what will the final puzzle look like when all the pieces are assembled?