Seeqc, a startup that is part of a relatively new class of quantum computing companies that is looking for the best way to use classical computing to manage quantum processors, announced today that it has raised $ 5 million from M Ventures, the strategic arm of capital. risk analysis from Merck, the German pharmaceutical giant. Merck It will be a strategic partner for Seeqc and help it develop its R&D efforts to develop useful quantum computers for specific applications.
With this, New York State-based Seeqc has raised a total of $ 11 million, including a recent $ 6.8 million seed round that included BlueYard Capital, Cambium, NewLab and the Partnership Fund for New York City.
Since the development of new pharmaceuticals is an obvious use case for quantum computing, it makes sense that large pharmaceutical companies are trying to get ahead of their competitors by making strategic investments in companies like Seeqc.
The company is a spin-out of Hypres, a company that specializes in building integrated circuits in superconductors. Hypres itself had raised around $ 100 million in total, and notes that much of the work it did in building its solutions is now part of Seeqc.
As a company spokesperson told me, the idea behind Seeqc is to bring room-sized quantum computers to a more manageable scale. It does this by combining its (and Hypres’s) expertise in building superconductors with a hybrid approach to combining analog and digital. This includes digital qubit reading and control, along with the company’s own chip technology that integrates classic and quantum circuits into a hybrid system (and, by default, quantum computers are hybrid systems that need a classic computer to control them).
The company argues that co-locating classic computing with the quantum processor is critical to achieving the best performance. And given that it owns and operates its own factory to build these chips, Seeqc also believes it is one of the few companies with the proper infrastructure and experience to design, test, and build these superconductors.
“The ‘brute force’ approach or laboratory for quantum computing contemplates building machines with thousands or even millions of qubits that require multiple analog cables and, in some cases, complex CMOS read / control for each qubit, but that doesn’t scale as effectively as the Industry strives to deliver solutions applicable to business, “said John Levy, Co-CEO of Seeqc.” With Seeqc’s hybrid approach, we harness the power of quantum computers in a digital system on a chip environment, offering greater control , cost reduction and massive energy reduction, introducing a more viable path to commercial scalability. “
The company believes that its approach can reduce the cost of today’s large-scale quantum computers to 1 / 400th. All of this, of course, is still out and for now, the company will use the new funds to build a small-scale version of its system.
“We are excited to be working with a fabulous, world-leading team on one of the most pressing problems in modern quantum computing,” says Owen Lozman, Vice President, M Ventures . “We recognize that scaling current generations of superconducting quantum computers beyond the noisy mid-scale quantum era will require fundamental changes to qubit control and cabling. Drawing on its deep expertise in single-stream quantum technologies, Seeqc has a clear and important cost-effective way to address existing challenges and disrupt microwave-controlled analog architectures. “
Seeqc is not, of course, the only startup working on more efficient quantum control schemes. Quantum Machines, for example, also recently raised some venture capital for its hardware / software quantum orchestration platform that also includes a custom processor, though that company’s overall approach is quite different from Seeqc’s.
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