OQC delivers the UK’s first Quantum Computing as-a-Service
EP&T MagazineElectronics Quantum Computing
Tech will give customers a competitive edge in next frontier of technology, enterprise
Serving as a potential pivotal moment for the future of quantum computing, UK-based Oxford Quantum Circuits’ (OQC) has launched the nation’s first commercially available Quantum Computing-as-a-Service built entirely using its proprietary technology.
Having built and launched the UK’s first superconducting quantum computer in 2018, the announcement marks the first time OQC’s proprietary technology is available to the enterprise via its private cloud. This announcement supports the startup’s goal of pioneering the Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) market.
“The launch of our QCaaS platform is a significant milestone in unlocking the potential of quantum computing both in the UK and globally,” said Dr Ilana Wisby, the CEO of OQC. “We know quantum computing has the power to be revolutionary but for decades this power and potential has been relatively untested and unverified in the real world. By making our QCaaS platform more widely available to strategic partners and customers, we are offering the world’s leading enterprises the chance to demonstrate just how far-reaching quantum will be for their companies and their industries.”
QCaaS accessible to partners
OQC’s Quantum Computing-as-a-Service platform takes its proprietary quantum technology to the market through a private cloud, where it will be used by strategic partners and customers to further experiment with quantum until ultimately they make breakthrough discoveries and tackle some of the world’s most intractable problems.
OQC’s partner, Cambridge Quantum, will be the first to be given access to the private cloud to demonstrate its IronBridge cybersecurity platform, which extracts perfect certified entropy from quantum computers to generate unhackable cryptographic keys. To achieve this milestone — of national strategic importance — Cambridge Quantum will have access to one of OQC’s systems, “Sophia”, hosted at the company’s state-of-the-art lab in the UK. The facility, which was built last year amid the global pandemic, is the first commercial quantum computing laboratory in the country.
Following OQC’s convention of naming its systems after women in STEM, this system is named after Sophia Jex-Blake: a British physician who led the campaign to secure women’s access to a University education when she and six other women, collectively known as the ‘Edinburgh Seven’, began illegally studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1869.
OQC is now welcoming registrations to its beta list, for sector-leading enterprise customers looking to take advantage of the technical and commercial benefits of quantum computing.
Scalability at a fraction of the cost
The launch of the OQC’s Quantum Computing-as-a-Service platform is testament to the scalability of its patented architecture and technological designs. Leading quantum circuits to date have been built in a two-dimensional plane. In 2D, the intricate wiring required to control and measure the qubits — the core input-output functionality of the quantum hardware — quickly becomes a limiting factor as it introduces noise. Noise harms the coherence of the quantum device, which reduces the quality of its output. As the number of qubits grows, the intricacy of the wiring demands more fabrication steps, increasing error rates and cost.
OQC’s core innovation, the Coaxmon, solves these challenges using a three-dimensional architecture that moves the control and measurement wiring out of plane and into a 3D configuration. This vastly simplifies fabrication, improving coherence and – crucially – boosting scalability.
Bringing quantum to the enterprise
Businesses invited to join OQC’s beta list will be able to test OQC’s systems in streamlining or enhancing their business processes, and model and experiment with new approaches.
In the long-term, quantum could have a significant impact on businesses’ operations, and on our lives:
- Pharmaceutical companies being able to look for ways to better predict health conditions, and identify new molecules
- Financial institutions getting great insight into their trading and risk management strategies
- Multinationals experimenting with quantum-enabled fleet logistics to optimise their supply chains and manufacturing
- The advancement of more efficient and powerful energy capture and storage for the future of battery technology
- The development of more powerful AI algorithms
- Cryptography and national security, and much more