SEEQC plans to scale quantum computers
(Forbes) Forbes Senior Contributor John Koetsier recently interviewed SEEQC CEO John Levy; IQT-News summarizes here.
For Levy, what’s critical is not just building the quantum components of a quantum computer — the qubits themselves. What’s just as important is integrating them efficiently into a computing environment that makes sense for how we actually solve problems and use insight.
SEEQC is starting by constructing purpose-built one-off quantum computers in much the same way as the first classical computers were created to do one thing, like calculating missile trajectories in the early days of rocketry. One project, QPharma, is the company’s venture with Merck and other partners to build a quantum computer for pharmaceutical research. A key technique the company uses is to essentially merge classical computers and quantum computers right inside the dilution refrigerators that quantum computers need to reach their optimum operating temperatures (within spitting distance of absolute zero). The goal: reduce the round tripping of instructions and digital to analog conversions that external quantum computer control mechanisms require, and to do readout, control, and even potentially error correction essentially right inside the quantum computer.
Perhaps the most challenging work SEEQC is doing is looking at ways to scale quantum computers by multiple orders of magnitude. “What we’re focused on really is figuring out a strategy for how to scale a quantum computer,” CEO John Levy said in a recent interview with this author . “As much as IBM will get to a thousand or thousands of qubits … the question is how do we get to ten thousand, a hundred thousand, a million qubits so that we actually scale quantum computers to the complexity of the problems that large companies care about.”
SEEQC’s foundry to design and build chips in near real-time — think iterations every single week — that the company can mix and match for various needs such as running a quantum variational eigensolver or a quantum approximate optimization algorithm. It helps that the company is a spin-out of Hypres, which develops and commercializes superconductor integrated circuits.