(ZDNet) Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC), a startup that spun out of the University of Oxford, is approaching superconducting quantum computing slightly differently. OQC’s researchers use a three-dimensional architecture that moves the control and measurement wiring out of plane. With key componentry off-chip, says OQC, the superconducting quantum processor is a more flexible and engineerable system.
UK-based OQC is now offering cloud-based access to its own superconducting quantum computer.
Leading superconducting quantum systems are typically built in a two-dimensional plane, with each qubit acting like a unit cell that requires intricate wiring for controls and measurements. Increasing the number of qubits means increasing the amount of wiring – and on a 2D plane with a higher risk of creating environmental noise that can damage the quality of the system.
Dubbed the “Coaxmon,” this new design approach ultimately has the potential to make it is easier to scale up the number of qubits on the processor without losing coherence, the company said.
According to Wisby, the 3D architecture means that it is possible to increase the qubit count on the processor without resorting to complex fabrication steps for extra wiring, and without running the risk of reducing the system’s coherence.
Despite the promising pitch, the quantum computer that OQC has just brought online, called Sophia, is only four qubits strong. In comparison, IBM’s current quantum processor can support 65 qubits, and the company is working towards launching a 127-qubit system by the end of the year.
Wisby explains that this is just the start. As a University of Oxford spinout, she says, OQC has until recently mostly developed in the context of university labs, where cost efficiency was key and minds were focused on proving the fundamentals of the technology.