PsiQuantum’s CEO O’Brien Says On the Way to Commercial Quantum Machine with One Million Qubits in ‘Handful of Years’
(Bloomberg) PsiQuanatum CEO O’Brien’s interview here with Bloomberg Businessweek is his first detailed discussion of the company’s technology since its founding in 2015.
PsiQuantum, a 5-year-old startup based in Palo Alto, Calif., says it’s well on its way to creating a commercial quantum machine. It has raised $215 million to build a computer with one million qubits within “a handful of years,” co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeremy O’Brien reports here.
The one million qubit figure is considered the breakthrough point for making a true, general-purpose quantum computer broadly useful to businesses. As such, PsiQuantum’s machine would mark a major leap forward and deal a devastating blow to rival projects by the likes of Google, Honeywell, IBM, and a sea of startups and university labs.
“If they are really able to pull this off, it immediately distinguishes them and puts them in a completely different field so far ahead of the competition,” says Peter Rohde, a Future Fellow at the Centre for Quantum Software & Information at the University of Technology Sydney. “This strikes me as incredibly exciting.”
Over the past five years, PsiQuantum has hired more than 100 people to help them try to develop a silicon photonic quantum computer. PsiQuantum is creating qubits with photons, or single particles of light. These photons are sent down pathways placed on a silicon chip. Tiny, partially reflective mirrors bounce the photons into a state of entanglement where more quantum forces can be applied to bind qubits in ways that amplify their forces. Then a sensor measures the photons, and some further steps allow the PsiQuantum team to produce and read a calculation.