When realized, quantum computing has the potential to radically reshape the world by allowing for calculations on a scale inconceivable with today’s fastest processors. The computer industry as we know it today took off only when Intel was able to significantly reduce system complexity and cost while improving the performance of the microprocessor’s control circuitry by integrating the wiring overhead for data, power and other key functions directly into the core processor. In the race to build commercially useful and scalable quantum computers, the control, calibration, memory, and error correction systems will equally need to be integrated with the quantum processor to run inside of the cryostat — the ‘core’ of superconductive quantum computing systems.
Seeqc’s digital system-on-a-chip technology is analogous to the evolution of classical computers from tubes to transistors to microprocessors: unlike current quantum designs today, Seeqc reads out and controls qubits (i.e. the basic unit of quantum information, aka the “bit” of quantum computers) and addresses the cause of many sources of performance issues such as latency, energy efficiency, system complexity, calibration, and cost. Seeqc’s digital quantum management chips, which operate at orders of magnitude lower levels of energy, replace racks of expensive, high energy, analogue microwave circuitry with proprietary digital chips that are co-located with qubit chips as multi-chip modules in the same ‘cryocooled’ system. Most importantly, these chips are coupled directly with qubit chips and communicate without cables. This represents a clear, and cost-efficient, pathway towards addressing existing challenges with analog, microwave-controlled architectures and will help scale the current generations of superconducting quantum computers beyond the noisy intermediate-scale quantum era.
Moreover, rather than building a universal quantum computer processor that operates like a CPU in a classical computer, Seeqc is also developing its own quantum application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), which are designed to run hybrid classical-quantum algorithms for application specific problems. Seeqc’s system will be built to address high value applications (such as catalytic converters, next generation batteries, drug discovery, etc.) for the coming generation of quantum computers; the first such collaboration with Merck is mentioned in this WSJ article.
Seeqc’s technology has the potential to be an essential building block for unleashing the true potential of quantum computing by significantly lowering the complexity for commercializing dedicated quantum computing applications. Moreover, if Seeqc is able to combine its quantum control technology with its hybrid quantum-classical ASICs, it could also shorten the time to market for mass-market quantum applications. Seeqc can leave the capital intensive business of producing qubits to companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft and Alibaba, while being able to focus instead on the asset-light, qubit-agnostic, and application-centric piece of the quantum computing value chain.
Finally, Seeqc owns significant proprietary infrastructure (including an advanced multi-layer superconductive chip foundry and quantum fab for rapid prototyping and commercialization) and IP gained from both public and private R&D efforts over the years. These unique assets and capabilities give Seeqc the advantage of having sophisticated tools, facilities and IP for the design, testing and manufacturing of quantum-ready superconductor chips and wafers.
We’re excited to be backing John Levy, Oleg Mukhanov, Matt Hutchings and the entire Seeqc team on their mission. Here is a TechCrunch article with a few more details.