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15 June, 2021 - 22:24 By Tony Quested

Room-sized computer reduced to run on chip the size of a coin

A key stage in developing a scalable quantum computer has been reached with the successful demonstration of a quantum operating system running on a unique, chip-scale integrated quantum computing architecture. And Cambridge technology is at the heart of the breakthrough.

Global innovator Seeqc has achieved the breakthrough in partnership with Riverlane – Cambridge-based developer of the first universal quantum operating system, Deltaflow.OS. The success represents an important demonstration of the portability of Deltaflow.OS. 

“In its most simple terms, we have put something that filled a room onto a chip the size of a coin, and it works,” said Dr Matthew Hutchings, chief product officer and co-founder of Seeqc. 

Tight integration of Deltaflow.OS on Seeqc’s platform will enable Seeqc to maximise the low-latency performance available through its chip-scale technology. Low-latency performance is important for running quantum algorithms efficiently and achieving quantum advantage. 

Seeqc and Riverlane make up an important part of the UK quantum technology sector, and co-location in the UK is key to achieving tight system integration.

Dr Hutchings said: “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. We achieved stability and full-stack control and, in so doing, also a remarkable moment for the evolution of quantum computing.

“This is as significant for the future of quantum computers as the microchip itself was for commercialising traditional computers, allowing them to be produced cost effectively and at scale.”

Dr Steve Brierley, founder and CEO of Riverlane added: “This successful demonstration of Deltaflow.OS onto Seeqc’s hardware is hugely encouraging. By combining quantum hardware and software expertise, we have solved a key challenge in quantum computing; ensuring portability and high performance across different qubit technologies.”

The only quantum computers currently in use need large, complex arrays of equipment that fill a room. They are expensive to build and do not offer an easy route to commercial scalability.

Seeqc has reduced that system complexity through its system-on-a-chip design. This delivers a less complex and commercially scalable platform compared to those so far developed.

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