(SiliconAngle) New York-based quantum computing startup Seeqc Inc. today said it has closed on a $5 million round of funding from M Ventures, the venture capital arm of German pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc.
As part of the deal, Merck will become a strategic partner of Seeqc’s, helping it in its quest to build an “application specific” machine that combines classical computing architecture with new quantum processors.
The startup is trying to build a quantum computing system based on a hybrid architecture that combines quantum processors with classical computers. According to Seeqc, the idea has enormous potential for very specific workloads, such as developing new pharmaceutical drugs. That’s because the hybrid quantum/classical approach can reduce decoherence, or changes in frequency, motion, noise and temperature, which could affect the extremely volatile qubits that make up quantum processors.
Seeqc was founded in 2019 after being spun out from a company called Hypres Inc., which manufactures semiconductor electronics. Because it has access to Hypres’ fab and can therefore manufacture its own chips, it’s one of the few companies in the quantum area with the capability to design, build and test such a system.
Seeqc reckons its approach will enable it to build a working quantum computer at a fraction of the cost of today’s existing machines. For now though, the company is merely planning to build a small-scale version of the system it envisages to prove the concept.