Spread Across The Globe
For most startups participating in the quantum computing (QC) ecosystem, the best way to compete commercially is to develop novel software, start a consultancy or other similar service-based platforms. Software, as an example, is naturally much cheaper to develop than the obvious cost-heavy manufacturing of hardware products.
Hardware and full-stack services in quantum, unsurprisingly then, seem to be the domain of the big players like Microsoft and a few that are mentioned below. However, there are some companies with neither the financial clout nor the name of a Microsoft that are going full-stack, too.
TQD will now list, in alphabetical order, ten of those which are set to change the game in this sphere. They are — thank goodness — spread across the globe, from North America to Europe to China. By limiting ourselves to ten we have, of course, missed some – you can check out the full list in The Quantum Insider database (see below).
1. Alibaba Quantum Lab (China)
Founded by Jack Ma in 1999, Alibaba’s core business is in retail, e-commerce and the Internet. It also happens to be one of the largest public companies globally.
As far as the QC activity goes, a partnership between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Alibaba Group’s cloud computing subsidiary created the Alibaba Quantum Computing Laboratory. The lab takes advantage of Alibaba’s skill set in cloud computing and algorithms while utilizing the academy’s expertise in quantum artificial intelligence (AI) and QC.
Currently, Alibaba Quantum Computing Laboratory is researching quantum theory, with the idea of creating innovative security solutions in multiple industries, i.e, data collection and e-commerce.
Definitely a major player in the years to come.
2. Alpine Quantum Technologies (Austria)
Alpine Quantum Technologies’ team has “six decades of worldwide leading-edge know-how on ion-trap quantum technologies.”
With such credentials in the industry, it is fingers crossed whether they can make good on their promise and come up with a machine that is cost-effective, scalable and more importantly, brings quantum information science into a new age of productivity.
An Austrian representative in the QC sector that we expect some exciting stuff from in the coming years.
3. D-Wave Systems (Canada)
A pioneer (supplier of the world’s first commercial quantum computers, for instance) and a proven leader in the quantum computing sector, D-Wave Systems has been around since 1999 and covers the whole gamut of the development and delivery of quantum computing systems, software, and services.
D-Wave Government Inc., which is a U.S. subsidiary established in 2013, delivers the company’s quantum computing systems to the US government. Impressively, D-Wave’s quantum computers have been used by some of the biggest multinationals on the planet like Google and Lockheed Martin. But that’s not all, some top-notch government labs with names such as NASA Ames, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory have availed themselves of the Canadian company’s hardware, too.
4. Google AI Quantum (US)
A division of one of the world’s most famous companies, Google AI Quantum is developing, as well as advancing, QC by designing and manufacturing quantum processors and state-of-the-art quantum algorithms to assist researchers and developers answer near-term problems in the theoretical and practical sphere of the industry.
With focus areas in superconducting qubit processors, qubit metrology, quantum simulation, quantum assisted optimization, and quantum neural networks, its 53-qubit chip called Sycamore is just the start of that journey.
5. IBM (US)
Another tech giant but with more history than most, IBM’s Quantum Composer and Quantum Lab (formerly the IBM Quantum Experience) is an online platform that allows access to cloud-based quantum computing services provided by IBM Quantum through public or premium accounts. Located in a dilution refrigerator at the IBM Research headquarters at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, the quantum processors are made up of superconducting transmon qubits.
So what does the service offer?
Included is access to IBM’s prototype quantum processors, tutorials on quantum computation, as well as an interactive textbook. As we speak, IBM offers over twenty devices on the service, though unfortunately, only six are free to the public. Here, users can run algorithms and experiments, explore tutorials if they think you’ve got more to learn and for those more confident amongst us, conduct quantum simulations. Circuits can be created in one of two ways: either by utilizing them graphically with the Quantum Composer, or programmatically within the Jupyter notebooks of the Quantum Lab. To create circuits, the Qiskit program can be compiled down to OpenQASM for execution on real quantum systems.
6. IQM (Finland)
The Finnish company IQM intends to radically change the QC technological landscape by manufacturing a scalable quantum-hardware system that works leveraging the power of superconducting qubits. IQM was established as a spinoff from the Quantum Computing and Devices research group at Aalto University.
Providing a full hardware stack for a quantum computer and on-premises quantum computers for customers that include research laboratories and supercomputing centers, IQM also builds application-specific processors for clients.
7. Origin Quantum (China)
Like the Alibaba Quantum Lab, Origin Quantum is a Chinese company. Founded in 2017 as a spinoff from the Key Laboratory of Quantum Information at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). As a full-stack quantum computing company, the startup designs and manufactures quantum software, quantum chips, quantum measurement devices, and quantum control systems.
But that’s not everything. It also provides a quantum cloud service, too.
8. Oxford Quantum Circuits (UK)
Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) has in its possession the UK’s most advanced superconducting quantum computer that “is already a complete functional unit, including the control system, the hardware and the software.” Amazingly, the Coaxmon, as it is called, also happens to be the only one commercially available in the country. With the goal of leading and dominating the Quantum Computing as a Service (QCaaS) market, OQC’s three-dimensional architecture is surely going to be a key player in the UK and European markets.
9. Quantum Circuits, Inc (US)
Not to be confused with the company above, Quantum Circuits, Inc (QCI) is a US-based startup founded by three scientists from the Department of Applied Physics at Yale University. Using superconducting qubits in a modular, robust, and scalable architecture, QCI’s long-term vision is to design, build and then sell the first practical and useful quantum computers by leveraging its novel software platform with its state-of-the-art hardware offering.
10. Xanadu (Canada)
A Toronto startup founded in 2016, Xanadu provides hardware and software based on quantum photonic semiconductors, as well as a cloud service.
Xanadu’s three open-source software products are Penny Lane, an ML platform for quantum computers, Strawberry Fields, a full-stack Python library that enables users to design, simulate and optimize quantum optical circuits and a quantum programming language called Blackbird.
Xanadu is one of the most unique on the list and one to watch out for.
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The Quantum Insider (TQI)
We know this isn’t a complete list – in case the above hasn’t satisfied your cravings for data on the full-stack companies in the space, you can pop on over to The Quantum Insider (TQI), TQD’s very own data platform. Here you can find deep and insightful information on all aspects of the QIS industry.
TQI is an invaluable resource for journalists, researchers, investors, companies, and government agencies looking to extend their knowledge of the growing quantum tech ecosystem!