Quantum Machines and QuEra Computing Win Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation Award for Joint Development of Scalable Photonic Control Units for Neutral Atom Quantum Computers
Quantum Machines and QuEra Computing, a global leader in neutral-atom quantum computing, announced tday that they have been awarded an innovation grant from the Board of Governors of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation to jointly develop a photonic control unit (PCU) to significantly accelerate the computational power of quantum computers today and in the future.
QuEra was one of the first to market with a neutral atom computing platform launched for public use on a large public cloud service in November 2022. The company’s Aquila-class quantum computers are 256-qubit devices built around a highly flexible programmable geometry approach that features a unique combination of system size, coherence, and an innovative analog quantum processing mode that provides new ways to solve machine learning, optimization, and simulation problems.
Quantum Machines delivers OPX1000, an advanced quantum controller that leads the industry across key performance metrics, including feedback capabilities, runtime, analog performance, and channel density. OPX1000 incorporates a unique Pulse Processor Unit (PPU) that integrates classical processing and control flow at the heart of a quantum control system, orchestrating quantum and classical operations from the same device. The PPU allows the implementation of complex quantum error corrections and error mitigation in real-time. Built to scale, the solution supports the need for managing increasing qubit counts in a way that is both economical and efficient.
The joint development of the PCU is based on QuEra’s advanced photonic microchips with co-designed optical peripherals driven by high-speed analog controllers from Quantum Machines. The PCU will be integrated into QuEra’s quantum computers and in Quantum Machines testing facilities and product lines. In addition to atoms, the PCU could also address ions, NV centers, and optically addressable spin qubits – allowing true differentiation for scaling up optically driven systems. It will provide significant value to other quantum market segments utilizing lasers, including quantum computer manufacturers, quantum sensors, and communications devices.
Commenting on the grant, lex Keesling, CEO of QuEra said: “This collaboration represents an important opportunity to address another key hurdle to scaling quantum computers. By combining QuEra’s expertise in neutral atom qubits with Quantum Machines’ prowess in quantum control solutions, we expect to deliver groundbreaking innovation to the market.”
Itamar Sivan, co-founder and CEO of Quantum Machines, said: “Innovation is the driving force behind the quantum revolution, and we are excited to collaborate with QuEra Computing in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in quantum computing. This award from the BIRD Foundation underscores our commitment to advancing the field and accelerating the realization of practical quantum computers.”
About the BIRD Foundation
The BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation works to encourage and facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors and offers funding to selected projects. The Foundation supports projects without receiving any equity or intellectual property rights from the participating companies or the projects themselves. BIRD funding is repaid as royalties from sales of products that were commercialized because of BIRD support. The Foundation provides funding of up to 50% of a project’s budget, beginning with R&D and ending with the initial stages of sales and marketing. The Foundation shares the risk and does not require repayment if the project fails to reach the sales stage.
Learn more about QuEra by visiting quera.com