In the growing world of quantum computing, where cutting-edge science converges with pioneering technology, a few select companies stand out, leading the charge towards a brighter future. This article focuses on three such trailblazers: IQM, Pasqal, and Terra Quantum. Each is a powerhouse in its realm, from building Europe’s most advanced quantum computers and innovating with neutral atoms to offering versatile quantum services.
Let’s delve into their remarkable contributions that are set to redefine the boundaries of quantum computing and its applications across various industries.
IQM is a quantum computing leader in Europe, specialising in the construction of quantum computers. The company provides these advanced systems for supercomputing centres and research facilities, ensuring direct access to its state-of-the-art hardware.
Catering to its industrial clientele, IQM achieves quantum superiority by adopting a bespoke, application-specific co-design methodology. IQM’s commercial quantum computing offerings include Finland’s first 54-qubit commercial quantum computer developed in collaboration with VTT, a quantum high-performance computing (HPC) accelerator in Germany led by the IQM-coordinated consortium Q-Exa, and IQM processors that are integral to Spain’s first quantum accelerator. With a robust team of over 280 professionals, IQM operates out of offices in Paris, Madrid, Munich, Singapore, and Espoo.
Just recently in August 2023, the company launched “IQM Spark”, a superconducting quantum computer, coupled with customised educational programs designed for universities and research laboratories around the globe. IQM Spark is equipped with a 5-qubit quantum processing unit as standard, and offers additional configurations to support a broad range of research experiments.
To assist universities in initiating their quantum programmes, IQM offers a one-year free maintenance service. Additionally, IQM provides training on operating the system, alongside educational resources available through the IQM Academy, an easy-to-use online platform. With IQM Spark, students across various academic stages, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels, can gain practical experience in quantum computing.
Pasqal, a Paris-based quantum computing startup, has raised £117.88 million since its inception in 2019, the majority of which coming from a Series B funding round in January 2023 which raised £85.41 million.
Pasqal, differentiates itself from the rapidly expanding quantum computing startup domain through its focus on neutral atoms quantum computing. This is a relatively new and potentially groundbreaking method to build quantum processors which differs from other approaches, such as IonQ’s trapped ions or IBM’s superconducting quantum computers. Pasqal’s approach employs lasers to maintain atoms in a fixed position using a mechanism akin to an optical tweezer, marking a distinctive strategy in quantum processor construction.
The benefit of this approach is that once you can do this with hundreds of atoms at the same time, you can create a very dense matrix of qubits that, by using holographic methods, you can also reshuffle in 3D space as needed for a given algorithm. Remarkably, this entire process occurs at room temperature. This aspect sets these devices apart from conventional quantum processors, acting more like Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs).
The team at Pasqal is very confident in their system, and Georges-Olivier Reymond, Pasqal Co-Founder and CEO, anticipates that by 2024, they will be able to demonstrate a “quantum business advantage” to potential clients. He estimates that achieving this milestone will require a system equipped with 200 to 300 qubits.
Terra Quantum, a prominent quantum technology company headquartered in Germany and Switzerland, specialises in offering “Quantum as a Service (QaaS)” across three main areas. The first is “Quantum Algorithms as a Service,” where customers gain access to a comprehensive selection of algorithms, including hybrid quantum optimisation and neural networks. These algorithms are instrumental in tackling intricate logistics challenges and pattern recognition tasks. Terra Quantum not only develops bespoke quantum algorithms tailored to client requirements but also customises existing algorithms to fit specific needs.
In its second service area, “Quantum Computing as a Service,” Terra Quantum provides customers with access to both its advanced simulated quantum processing units (QPU) and a variety of physical QPUs within the quantum ecosystem. Additionally, the company is engaged in developing native QPUs.
The third area of expertise is “Quantum Security as a Service.” Here, Terra Quantum delivers exclusive solutions for secure quantum communications and post-quantum cryptography, catering to clients globally.
Terra Quantum is conducting revolutionary work, having established a global record in securing long-distance communications through quantum encryption in June 2023, laying the groundwork to provide businesses with a cost-effective, exceptionally secure method for transmitting data over current fibre-optic networks.
This innovative approach positions Terra Quantum at the forefront of the evolving quantum technology landscape, offering a glimpse into a future where quantum-enhanced services could revolutionise data security, computation, and problem-solving across industries worldwide.