The latest breakthrough in building smaller, scalable quantum computers comes from a U.K.-U.S. collaboration which has announced it has demonstrated a quantum computer running with an operating system on a chip.
U.K-based Riverlane and U.S.-based Seeqc are the two quantum companies behind the development. Riverlane also developed Dataflow.OS quantum operating system. Working with Seeqc allowed them to shrink Dataflow.OS down small enough to fit on a chip.
“In its most simple terms, we have put something that once filled a room onto a chip the size of a coin, and it works,” said Dr. Matthew Hutchings, London-based chief product officer and co-founder of Seeqc said.
Cambridge is touting the announcement as similar to the moment when room-sized supercomputers moved to the desktop.
“This is the first time we have built an integrated quantum computing chip based on our unique scalable architecture and run a programme on it,” Hutchings said. “We achieved stability and full-stack control and, in so doing, also a remarkable moment for the evolution of quantum computing.”
Riverlane CEO Dr. Steve Brierley was a bit more restrained and referred to their new quantum OS chip as “hugely encouraging.”
The hope is that the chip will be able to replace the cumbersome, expensive hardware currently required to run Dataflow.OS, which is a chandelier-type device suspended from the ceiling and nearly fills an entire room.
Last February, the Chinese company Origin Quantum Computing Technology launched their own quantum operating system called Origin Pilot.
Riverlane is funded by grants from the British government, as part of the county’s stake in the quantum sector, joining many other global governments, including Germany, making big investments to gain a foothold in the promise of quantum computing’s global market.
The new chip is also part of a wave of shrinking quantum hardware, signaling an important milestone in quantum computing’s evolving maturity.
Just this week an Austrian team at the University of Innsbruck released their slimmed down trapped ion quantum computer small enough to fit into server racks that will eventually form the building blocks of the quantum data center.