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Seven Companies Selected to Contribute to UK Quantum Testbed

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Seven quantum hardware companies have been awarded contracts to build a diverse range of quantum computing testbeds at the National Quantum Computing Centre facilities in Oxfordshire, England by March 2025.

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, delivered by Innovate UK, is providing £30 million ($37.8 million) funded through the UKRI Technology Missions Fund and the NQCC to accelerate the development of scalable quantum computing.

The winners are University of Sheffield spinout Aegiq; Infleqtion (formerly ColdQuanta); ORCA Computing; Oxford Ionics; Quantum Motion; QuEra Computing; and Rigetti.
The National Quantum Computing Centre will be host to a range of quantum technology testbeds developed by quantum computing leaders including ORCA Computing, Aegiq, Infleqtion, Rigetti, and QuEra. Courtesy of QuEra.
The National Quantum Computing Centre will be host to a range of quantum technology testbeds developed by quantum computing leaders including ORCA Computing, Aegiq, Infleqtion, Rigetti, and QuEra. Courtesy of QuEra.
The seven projects reflect the range of qubit architectures that could offer a pathway to fault-tolerant quantum computing. The ORCA Computing testbed, called Asteroidea, will integrate multiple photon sources in a single system to accelerate the development of quantum computing applications. The testbed will also be tightly integrated with a GPU-based high-performance computing cluster to provide the hybrid quantum-classical capabilities necessary for real-world applications. Partners include Sparrow Quantum, Bay Photonics, RedWave Labs, NVIDIA, AMAX, and Imperial College.


Aegiq will deliver Artemis, a compact photonic quantum computer and a dedicated user interface for integration with the NQCC testbed ecosystem. The Artemis hardware is based on Aegiq’s proprietary integrated photonic chip technology and utilizes a low-loss silicon nitride platform from QuiX Quantum.

QuEra and Infleqtion will assemble hardware systems based on neutral atoms, while Rigetti will build a testbed with 24 superconducting qubits. Oxford Ionics will demonstrate a trapped-ion platform based on technology originally developed at the University of Oxford. Under the seventh project, Quantum Motion will create a demonstration platform that exploits spin qubits within a silicon-chip architecture.

An additional £15 million in funding will go toward winners of the Quantum Catalyst Fund. The U.K. government-backed initiative aims to accelerate adoption of quantum solutions by the public sector, such as optimizing power grids, train schedules, and brain imaging.


Published: February 2024
Glossary
quantum
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
qubit
A qubit, short for quantum bit, is the fundamental unit of information in quantum computing and quantum information processing. Unlike classical bits, which can exist in one of two states (0 or 1), qubits can exist in multiple states simultaneously, thanks to a quantum property known as superposition. This unique feature enables quantum computers to perform certain types of calculations much more efficiently than classical computers. Key characteristics of qubits include: Superposition: A...
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