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IQM Startup in Finland Developing Fault-tolerant Quantum Processor

A new startup called IQM in Finland aims to drive disruptive advancements in quantum computing. A spinout from Aalto University and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, IQM is developing high-speed quantum processors to reduce the error rates currently limiting quantum computers. The team has already pioneered breakthroughs in thermal management and other areas that influence computational speed and information accuracy. The innovations establish IQM as an emerging hardware systems leader in the race to develop a quantum computer for practical applications.

IQM is founded on innovation that’s already taking quantum technology across new frontiers,” said Dr. Jan Goetz, Co-founder & CEO, IQM. “Thanks to the support of Aalto and VTT, we moved fast to drive advancements at the system level to make quantum technology viable, practical and cost effective.”

To get started, IQM just closed a US$13M seed round. The funders are Matadero QED, Maki.vc, MIG Fonds, OpenOcean, Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment), and Vito Ventures. Fund executives include global semiconductor experts and entrepreneurs who will help IQM to build infrastructure, recruit talent, and expand collaborations with ecosystem partners. MIG Partner Dr. Axel Thierauf becomes Chairman; Ekaterina Almasque, a Partner with OpenOcean joins the board.

Today’s software solutions are constrained by the limitations of CPUs and GPUs, making more complex optimization, modeling and artificial intelligence workloads not feasible,” said Ekaterina Almasque, Partner at OpenOcean. “IQM’s fault-tolerant quantum processor architecture will open the door for more powerful computationally intensive tasks. The talented team is set to enable a unique quantum cloud offering and ignite a stronger quantum software eco-system in Europe.”

Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize industries like drug discovery, materials science and finance by solving complex problems in hours instead of years. Although in its infancy, the industry could reach US$2-5B in the next five years. In ten years, it could soar to US$50B, according to a recent BCG analysis.

IQM’s founders connected through their research at Aalto and VTT. All hold PhDs in quantum physics and are experts in superconducting quantum processors. Aalto and VTT were natural incubators for IQM. Both are world-renowned for their research in superconducting circuits, and more recently, quantum technology. Superconducting circuits power the quantum bits (qubits) that hold and process quantum information. Qubits represent the building blocks of a quantum computer.

Accelerating the adoption of quantum computing relies on relentlessly increasing computational speeds and improving error correction. This calls for driving faster clock cycles by vastly reducing the time required for qubit reset, logic gates and readout. Getting there requires hardware systems that are finely tuned to keep the fragile qubits stable, yet are robust, practical and cost effective. This is IQM’s domain.

Now, with its hardware innovations, the company aims to demonstrate the fastest qubit reset and readout in the industry, and bring a practically useful quantum computer closer to reality.

Quantum computing will provide limitless opportunities in areas like AI, cybersecurity and chemistry,” said Ilkka Kivimäki, Partner at Maki.vc. “And although the worldwide field of quantum experts is small, IQM has managed to assemble a remarkable team. We are proud to champion the company as they write new rules for this revolutionary computing category.”

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