Hardly a day goes by without either news of a quantum company getting funded, or a new claim in the realm of error correction, and today we have both in one announcement…
Alice&Bob, a Paris-based start-up working with error-correcting superconducting cat qubits (yes, named for that cat), said it completed its Series A fundraising round, securing EUR 27 million (about $29.7 million) to further advance its efforts to commercialize its technology and move toward its goal of creating a fault tolerant quantum computer. The firm also plans to hire 30 more employees over the next two years to add to its staff of 40.
The round was led by existing investor Elaia, a venture capital firm; French investment bank Bpifrance, through its Digital Venture fund; and VC Supernova Invest. Existing investor Breega also participated. The latest funding comes almost three years after Alice&Bob initially raised $3.3 million.
At the same time the latest funding was announced, Alice&Bob revealed in a paper that it demonstrated the capability to create qubits that can resist bit-flips (phase-flips and bit-flips representing the two major types of quantum computing errors.) The company claimed to have increased resistance to bit-flip errors from previous records of a few milliseconds to two minutes.
Amazon and Google both have done a lot of work in this area, and in fact the records that Alice&Bob claimed to have broken were held by those two giants. Whereas some companies have taken a quantitative approach to reducing these types of errors that could require thousands of qubits Alice&Bob is taking a qualitative approach that “uses superconducting cat qubits which the team’s experimental evidence proves to eliminate bit-flip errors by design,” the company said. “With this discovery, Alice&Bob has created a shortcut to delivering a scalable universal quantum computer, reducing the number of qubits required by hundreds of times.”
“This result confirms our choice of superconducting cat qubits as the building block for our quantum computer. It also consolidates our roadmap, the next step being removing the phase-flip error,” said Alice&Bob founder Dr. Raphaël Lescanne.