UKRI-backed startup begins international collaboration

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UK-based quantum software startup Phasecraft today begins a new Innovate UK-facilitated project to reduce noise and errors on near-term quantum hardware.

Phasecraft was awarded the project grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the UK’s innovation agency, and a team with internationally recognised academic and industry experts from:

  • the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC)
  • Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada
  • University College London in the UK.

The institutes are three of the world-leading quantum computing research centres with particular strength in quantum error correction and fault-tolerant quantum computing. Canada-based startup Quantum Benchmark will also participate, providing access to their True-Q quantum benchmarking software.

Impacts of the project

The multi-phased project will:

  • benchmark noise on quantum hardware
  • develop new error mitigation techniques that can be implemented on NISQ (noisy, intermediate-scale, quantum) hardware where full fault-tolerance is beyond reach
  • integrate noise benchmarking, error mitigation, and algorithm design:
    • error mitigation designed around accurate hardware error models
    • algorithms designed for error mitigation
    • error mitigation designed for concrete applications and algorithms
  • develop a feedback and refinement loop to refine error modelling, error mitigation, algorithm design, and implementation on hardware
  • demonstrate desired performance for use cases on near-term quantum hardware.

Phasecraft has world-leading expertise in designing error-resilient algorithms for near-term quantum computing hardware, and has partnerships enabling access to all three of the leading superconducting circuit hardware platforms from Google, Rigetti, and IBM.

Phasecraft’s partnerships allow the project team to conduct small-scale experiments and large-scale demonstrations on start-of-the-art quantum hardware to advance meaningful quantum applications.

Realising the potential of quantum computing

Toby Cubitt, co-founder of Phasecraft, commented:

This project collaboration aligns with Phasecraft’s mission to speed up the arrival quantum advantage for industrially relevant problems, realising the potential of quantum computing faster.

Applications on today’s quantum hardware are limited largely by ‘noise’ – errors occurring during a quantum computation, which quantum information is acutely sensitive to.

As quantum hardware becomes more powerful, the limiting factor for seeing useful applications in quantum computing will come down to developing new ways to build noise mitigation into the software and algorithms that make use of these increasingly powerful quantum computers.

Roger McKinley, Quantum Technologies Challenge Director at UKRI, said:

This is a great project of commercial as well scientific relevance in the hands of an outstanding team made up of UK and Canadian companies and universities. It exemplifies the many guises of quantum collaboration we seek to encourage.

Further information

About Phasecraft

Phasecraft is taking quantum theory from research to reality, faster. Phasecraft was founded in 2019 by Ashley Montanaro, Toby Cubitt and John Morton, expert quantum scientists who have spent decades leading top research teams at UCL and the University of Bristol.

Phasecraft collaborates with leading quantum hardware companies, including Google, IBM, and Rigetti, academic and industry leaders, to develop high-efficiency software that evolves quantum computing from experimental demonstrations to useful applications. Learn more on the Phasecraft website.

Top image: Credit: Anna Bliokh/Getty Images

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