Delft start-up to sell off-the-shelf quantum processors

Delft start-up to sell off-the-shelf quantum processors

20 July 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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A start-up in the quantum hub at Delft university in the Netherlands is starting to sell off-the-shelf processors after receiving €1.15 million in funding.

QuantWare, which sits in a cluster of quantum technology companies at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), where Quantum Delta NL has €615 million of public funding, says its proprietary product, Soprano, is a 5-qubit quantum processing unit (QPU).

“Our Soprano QPU is what the Intel 4004 was for the semiconductor business,” said QuantWare co-founder Matthijs Rijlaarsdam. Intel released its 4004 central processing unit (CPU), a four-bit device, in November 1971, beginning the microprocessor revolution in Silicon Valley.

Delft, midway between The Hague and Rotterdam, is poised to become a sort of Quantum Plain, the Silicon Valley of the quantum world. 

Rijlaarsdam said: “Superconducting qubits are highly customisable, easy to control and very scalable. That practicality makes superconducting QPUs by far the most likely candidate for near-term quantum computing applications.”

QuantWare said that so far large quantum processors have been available only to large companies such as IBM and Google, but it aims to make such processors a possibility for all companies and researchers in the space.

QuantWare was founded only last year by Rijlaarsdam and quantum engineer Alessandro Bruno. It has closed its pre-seed funding round, meaning the company has now raised €1.15 million.

The company plans to expand its team and upgrade its processors towards higher qubit numbers. One of the growth goals for the rest of the year is to expand fabrication capabilities and partnerships, said QuantWare, which hopes to become a collaborative bridge between quantum companies worldwide.

The company said that quantum technology promises to significantly expand the amount of data that computers are able to process, which could have huge implications for fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), medicine, business intelligence and cybersecurity.

It noted that its first two products, Crescendo and Soprano, are now available for pre-order.