Quantum News Briefs September 18: QuEra, Sejong City, and KAIST forge partnership to boost quantum Industry in South Korea; Startup-Nanofiber Quantum Technologies secures $8.5m funding; Jülich Supercomputing Centre to build new quantum computing lab with NVIDIA and ParTec + MORE
Quantum News Briefs September 18:
QuEra, Sejong City, and KAIST forge partnership to boost quantum Industry in South Korea
QuEra Computing, the Sejong Special Autonomous City, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have announced an agreement to establish a quantum industry ecosystem in Sejong City, Korea. The three-way partnership was announced today during the 24th World Knowledge Forum Sejong session.
Sejong City is a thriving hub for cutting-edge research and development. The city’s strategic location, situated near renowned academic institutions like KAIST, contributes to its reputation as a center of intellectual exploration and innovation. Based in Boston and built on pioneering research from nearby Harvard University and MIT, QuEra has developed the world’s first publicly accessible quantum computer based on neutral atoms.
It currently offers users up to 256 qubits on its Aquila-class machines and is actively working towards scaling up to much higher numbers. KAIST is the first and top science and technology university in Korea and is the gateway to advanced science and technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and its graduates have been key players behind Korea’s innovations.
The collaboration between the three organizations was spurred by the Korea-US Joint Statement on Quantum Information Science and Technology Cooperation, which was made during President Yoon Seok-yeol’s visit to Boston in April. The subsequent hosting of Quantum Korea 2023 in June reflect the current policy direction aligned with the nation’s commitment to nurturing the quantum industry. South Korea’s vision is to emerge as a leading nation in the quantum economy, and as a part of that vision, Sejong City’s plan is to foster core talents in quantum computing and technological development to synergize future national quantum projects.
Key aspects of the agreement highlight a number of areas of collaboration between QuEra, Sejong, and KAIST, including:
- Building infrastructure and R&D for the quantum computing industry.
- Developing educational programs to nurture local quantum experts.
- Cooperating on international academic exchanges.
- Conducting joint efforts to secure government public procurement projects.
- Collaborating to raise awareness about the importance of quantum computing in academic and industrial environments.
“Quantum science and technology, which can be applied to computers, communications, and sensors, is seen as a game-changer that can rapidly transform future industries,” said Sejong Mayor Choi Min-ho. “However, it is still an emerging technology with no clear leader. With this business agreement with KAIST and QuEra, we will strive to establish strategic plans for the quantum industry, explore additional projects, and ensure that Sejong City leaps forward as a hub for quantum science and technology.”
“We are thrilled to join forces with Sejong City and KAIST, two leaders in technological innovation and education. This partnership is more than a business agreement; it’s a commitment to advancing the quantum frontier,” said Alex Keesling, CEO, QuEra Computing, Click here to read the September 15 announcement in-entirety.
Startup-Nanofiber Quantum Technologies secures $8.5m funding
Nanofiber Quantum Technologies Inc. (“NanoQT”) raised $8.5m from leading venture capital investors. Phoenix Venture Partners (PvP) in the US, and Japan’s JAFCO Group Co Ltd, SPARX Group Co Ltd, Keio Innovation Initiative, Inc. (KII), and Waseda University Ventures (WUV) financed the round through convertible notes.
NanoQT is a leading startup company founded in 2022 that is focused on fiber connectable quantum computing hardware. Unlike superconducting circuits and ion traps for quantum computing, NanoQT uses a technology called nanofiber cavity Quantum Electrodynamics (QED). This technology has been derived from over a decade of intensive research by Professor Takao Aoki at Waseda University, Japan, a leading expert in quantum computing and co-founder of NanoQT.
NanoQT owns a novel and proprietary quantum processing unit (QPU) that employs neutral atoms and photons as qubits, capable of processing and storing quantum information while communicating with other QPUs. Modularity and scalability of interconnected QPUs offer a unique platform for distributed quantum computing and quantum networks for a variety of useful applications. NanoQT’s QPU aims to revolutionize quantum computing.
“While cavity QED has long been a recognized platform in quantum computing, developing the ideal cavity posed significant challenges. We’ve overcome these challenges using our proprietary QED technology,” comments Dr. Akihisa Goban, NanoQT’s CTO and co-founder, who studied cavity QED technologies under Professor Jeff Kimble at Caltech. Click here to read complete announcement.
Jülich Supercomputing Centre to build new quantum computing lab with NVIDIA and ParTec
NVIDIA, ParTec, and the Jülich Supercomputing Centre are establishing a new laboratory to explore hybrid quantum-classical computing based on the NVIDIA quantum computing platform. JSC will host the lab as part of the Jülich Unified Infrastructure for Quantum Computing (JUNIQ).
The goal is to run high-performance, low-latency quantum-classical computing workloads. Currently, JUNIQ uses the JUWELS booster system with 3,744 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core accelerators for its simulations.
The partnership between NVIDIA, JSC, and ParTec (a hardware-agnostic system provider) enables the unification of quantum computing and GPU supercomputing. This collaboration will bring quantum-classical computing to a broader audience and take a major step toward the first quantum-accelerated supercomputer. Hybrid quantum-classical systems have the potential to solve complex problems that cannot be addressed by classical computing alone. This will give scientists and researchers access to powerful tools and resources to achieve breakthroughs in chemistry and materials sciences. The new laboratory could thus also drive scientific progress in many other disciplines and industries.
The NVIDIA quantum computing platform enables tight integration of quantum and classical computing through the open-source CUDA Quantum programming model and the NVIDIA cuQuantum software development kit for first-class simulations.
JSC plans to test the system incrementally and will use the NVIDIA CUDA Quantum programming model to program and integrate quantum processors into the modular Jülich Exascale supercomputing architecture. Click here to read the complete September 15 announcement.
NOVONIX and SandboxAQ collaborate on breakthrough AI solutions for battery technology
NOVONIX Limited, a leading battery materials and technology company, and SandboxAQ, an enterprise SaaS company that combines artificial intelligence (AI) with quantum analysis (AQ) to address some of the world’s most challenging problems, announced on September 11 they will collaborate to predict the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries, by leveraging SandboxAQ’s AI-driven chemical simulation software and NOVONIX’s Ultra-High Precision Coulometry (UHPC) technology and extensive battery cell prototyping and testing capabilities.
With the rapidly growing demand for lithium-ion batteries required to support the global electrification trend, optimizing battery performance and cycle life on a timely basis has never been more critical to enhance performance and reduce battery costs. NOVONIX is focused on developing key technologies and materials that are needed for long-life, high-performance battery applications. This enhanced data and analytics offering complements NOVONIX’s UHPC testing equipment and R&D prototyping and testing services to provide actionable information faster for the battery industry. The resulting models will be used for data products and services in the first half of 2024, building on NOVONIX’s purpose-built, proprietary, battery data platform.
Predicting lithium-ion battery performance and degradation has been an ongoing challenge due to the complexity of the electrochemical system inside a lithium-ion cell, which depends on many factors such as cell chemistry, temperature, cycle rate and operational voltage windows, as well as physical cell design parameters. Presently, the battery industry performs extensive lifetime and performance assessments, which can take years for the necessary analytical results to drive cell and material improvements.
Nadia Harhen, General Manager of Simulation & Optimization at Sandbox AQ, said: “AI and Quantum technologies will revolutionize nearly every industry. Collaborating with the scientists at NOVONIX to deploy machine learning algorithms and quantum simulations for battery R&D, we have an opportunity for immediate and substantial impact across application areas in energy storage. SandboxAQ’s predictive modeling technologies, paired with NOVONIX’s industry-leading expertise, will transform the battery industry’s ability to make informed decisions around chemistries, processes, cells, and technologies at every stage of research and manufacturing.”
Dr. Chris Burns, CEO of NOVONIX said: “We are thrilled to partner with SandboxAQ and leverage their transformational AI and Quantum (AQ) solutions to accelerate innovation in the evolving battery landscape. Click here to read announcement in-entirety.
Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990. She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.