Inside Quantum Technology

Orca Computing Claiming Quantum Breakthrough With Use of Single Photons

(BBC) Orca Computing, founded two years ago by Oxford academics led by Prof Ian Walmsley, whose work on photonics is at the heart of the company, says its novel approach will make quantum computing more commercially viable.
Most of the major players in this field, including Google and IBM, use an approach involving freezing qubits, the building blocks of a quantum computer, down to near absolute zero. And this means large machines with costly infrastructure around them.
Opening what looks like a standard server cabinet in Orca’s compact offices on a west London science park, Richard Murray points to the computer and says: “We’re completely changing the way people view quantum computers. “Firstly, it’s not cryogenically cooled, it’s all at room temperature. “And you’ll also see it looks a lot like a normal computer would – it’s a rack-mounted system, it looks very unspecialist.
One of the UK’s leading quantum-computing experts Prof John Morton, of University College London, says using photons is a perfectly valid method.
Orca has also signed its first commercial deal, working with BT and BP to see whether plugging one of its devices into a data centre could help produce more energy efficient materials. Mr Murray admits the company is taking on much bigger and better funded American businesses. But he says the UK can compete.

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