- Microsoft announced a series of initiatives with Photonic.
- Photonic announced it raised $100 million in a funding round led by Microsoft and BCI, along with other investors.
- The moves underscore a dramatic push toward the practical use of quantum computers.
- Image: Photonic’s novel approach—photonically linked silicon spin qubits.
It was quiet in quantum, until it wasn’t. In a slew of announcements this morning, Microsoft announced a blockbuster deal with Photonic Inc. that may be the biggest in the industry this year.
Microsoft executives announced:
- Photonic raised $100 Million USD from BCI, Microsoft, and other investors.
- Microsoft and Photonic will work together to the power global quantum ecosystem.
- Photonic’s new architecture will accelerate quantum computing’s transformational benefits.
Analysts at The Quantum Insider report the moves show the burgeoning potential of quantum technologies. The partnership will create a joint effort that is designed to unlock the next evolutionary stages in quantum networking and enhance the quantum computing ecosystem with unprecedented capabilities.
Stephanie Simmons, Chief Quantum Officer, told The Quantum Insider:
“Today marks a big reveal in the history of quantum technology development. Alternative quantum networks and computers are small-scale, unreliable, and distinct technologies. The world has been eagerly awaiting the new capabilities that quantum technologies will bring – they have been waiting for scalable, reliable quantum technologies. Today we are sharing a new quantum architecture where the network is the computer – and in doing so, it offers a direct path to large-scale, reliable, networked quantum computing. We are looking forward to unlocking the technology’s potential across a vast range of industries and application spaces”
Here is a breakdown of this sweeping new collaboration:
Microsoft and Photonic’s Strategic Partnership
The collaboration between Microsoft and Photonic is engineered to advance quantum computing and networking, with a special focus on creating scalable, long-distance quantum communication systems and supercomputing capabilities. It’s also important to note that the partnership involves the integration of Photonic’s quantum technology with Microsoft Azure Quantum Elements.
Investment in Photonic
Photonic’s recent funding achievement of $100M USD, led by Microsoft and others, including the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), has raised the company’s total funding to $140M USD. This investment is a strong vote of confidence in the company’s innovative approach to quantum computing.
Photonic’s Quantum Architecture
Photonic has announced an inventive approach to quantum computing that employs photonically linked silicon spin qubits. This new architecture is aimed at creating a scalable, fault-tolerant and networked quantum computing platform. It is designed to be manufacturable, environmentally versatile, and capable of rapid intra-network qubit communication.
Leveraging a unique silicon spin-photon interface technology, Photonic is at the forefront of distributed computing. The architecture enables horizontal scaling and integrates quantum error correction for improved reliability. The implications of these advancements are significant, offering enhanced security for digital communications and transformative potential in fields such as climate modeling and pharmaceutical development.
Company Growth and Expertise
Photonic is expanding its global footprint with new offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. The company boasts one of the most significant teams of quantum silicon experts, led by people like Dr. Stephanie Simmons, Chief Quantum Officer, and Dr. Paul Terry, CEO.
Jason Zander, Executive Vice President at Microsoft, expresses excitement about the collaboration with Photonic, stating:
“We are thrilled about joining forces with Photonic in improving the world through quantum technologies. There is an opportunity to ignite new capabilities across the quantum ecosystem extending beyond computing, such as networking and sensing, and unlocking applications and scientific discovery at scale across chemistry, materials science, metrology, communications, and many other fields. The capabilities we aim to deliver with Photonic can enable this vision and bring about quantum’s impact far more quickly than otherwise possible.”
Quantum Networking and Its Phases
The partnership intends to tackle quantum networking in three stages. The first stage focuses on achieving entanglement between separate quantum devices. The second stage aims to demonstrate a quantum repeater that can capture and maintain quantum information for a brief period. The third stage aspires to develop a fault-tolerant quantum repeater that operates seamlessly with the Azure cloud, thus removing distance as a barrier in the network and enabling a global quantum internet.
Co-Innovating for Scientific Discovery
Simmons, founder and Chief Quantum Officer at Photonic, underscores the significance of global collaboration for the advancement of quantum computing:
“It will take a global ecosystem to unlock the full promise of quantum computing. No company or country can do it alone. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Microsoft to bring forth these new quantum capabilities. Their extensive global infrastructure, proven platforms, and the remarkable scale of the Azure cloud make them the ideal partner to unleash the transformative potential of quantum computing and accelerate innovation across the quantum computing ecosystem.”
Azure Quantum and Photonic Integration
As part of their co-innovation collaboration, Microsoft plans to integrate Photonic’s unique quantum hardware into Azure Quantum Elements. This strategic move is aimed at empowering scientists with the best offerings in the ecosystem, with a firm commitment to scaling quantum supercomputing in the future.
Photonic’s Vision and Growth
Photonic is focused on building a scalable, fault-tolerant, and unified quantum computing and networking platform, with its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, and additional offices in the US and UK. The company’s commitment to a native telecom networking interface and the manufacturability of silicon places it at the cutting edge of quantum technology.
In summary, the partnership between Microsoft and Photonic is setting the stage for a quantum revolution. By infusing substantial investments, pioneering quantum architecture, and leveraging their combined expertise, they are forging a path to a future where quantum supercomputing and networking are not just possible but practical and widespread.