Canadian Quantum Metamachinist’s Eureka Moment For Cloud-Based QC

As the landscape of QC develops, so does the way hardware and software does too. A Toronto-based startup hopes its solution is a good one

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In general relativity, a black brane is a solution of the equations that generalizes a black hole solution but it is also extended — and translationally symmetric — in p additional spatial dimensions. That type of solution would be called a black p-brane

 

Slick Website

When I see a website, a piece of art, a graffitied wall scrawled or etched in the sublime, I get goosebumps. Now, I am in no way artistically inclined. By that I mean I can’t draw. Or paint.

Bob Ross would laugh at my efforts.

But enough of his funky Afro. I’m pretty good at spotting a good aesthetic, a visual presentation for what it is.

Now, this was my first impression of the quantum computing (QC) startup Black Brane Systems when I visited their website on the behest of a colleague.

My interest was piqued initially by the name — Black Brane Systems, Inc. It sounded cool, like the title of a video game company: Ubisoft, Rockstar Games, Activision Blizzard, PopCap Games or the delicious Naughty Dog, Inc. It just has that ring to it. I had to discover further. I checked them out. I was immediately drawn into the stunning black and white artistry of the clean-looking website.

Ever seen Whurley’s Strangeworks’ website?

It’s similar, at least in the aesthetic sense of its visual presentation.

Which is a good start as Whurley’s a bit of a hero of mine, and the rest of the TQD team.

But enough of what’s not important: Black Brane Systems, founded in 2016, is doing something really good in Toronto, like many in Quantum Valley.

Tomorrow’s Quantum Computer Today

— Black Brane Systems website

Black Brane Systems

The founder and CEO of Black Brane Systems, Colin J.E. Lupton, also acts as the startup’s Principal Quantum Metamachinist, whatever that job entails. With a degree in physics and linguistics from the University of Toronto, Lupton has experience going back more than a decade as a developer, creative director and even the co-founder of Crypto Capital Corp.

Source: Black Brane Systems logo

At the heart of what the startup is all about is Blackstone, a cloud-based 128 qubit Virtual Quantum Machine (VQM), otherwise known as a quantum computer, that offers ‘Cloud Quantum Computing Solutions’.

As per the company’s website, the Blackstone:

‘acts as a plug-and-play alternative target machine for the Microsoft Quantum Developer Kit and Q# programs. Underlying Blackstone is a proprietary break though in data structures that allows an unprecedented level of scalability for quantum calculations on classical computers’.

Onboard with Lupton is his technologist advisor and acting CTO Michael Harries, an Australian with a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) from the UNSW. Harries, who has a vast experience in technology startups Downunder, can only add prestige to Black Brane Systems’ reputation.

Access to the Blackstone will be available via Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, and includes, according to the startup’s website:

‘integration and extension libraries for: Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit (QDK); Azure services; and the .NET Core runtime. The QDK integration library includes an API-compatible drop-in replacement for Quantum Simulator target machines, enabling Q# developers to build and run quantum programs on BLACKSTONE without modification. The system executes up to data-flow complexity of 128 qubits in constant-factor time over the expected performance of a physical 128-qubit quantum chip, versus the exponential-factor time of state-vector simulators’.

The validity of virtual quantum computers — like their physical equivalents at IBM, Google, D-Wave Systems and Rigetti — may or may not have a place in the industry. One thing granted, though, Black Brane Systems is on the cutting edge of this service.

Like me, TQD and others in the industry, we wait for further developments in this area.