Oxford Quantum Circuits Claims UK’s First Quantum Computing as-a-Service

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Startup Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) has launched what it said is the UK’s first commercially available quantum computing-as-a-Service. OQC said its proprietary quantum technology will be available to enterprises via its private cloud.

OQC’s partner, Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC), will be the first to be given access to the private cloud to demonstrate its IronBridge cybersecurity platform, which CQ said extracts perfect certified entropy from quantum computers to generate unhackable cryptographic keys.  To achieve this, Cambridge Quantum will have access to one of OQC’s systems, “Sophia,” hosted at the company’s quantum computing laboratory.

Based in the U.S., public cloud services providers Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM offer cloud-based quantum services, along with Rigetti, Xanadu Quantum Cloud and QC Ware, which provides cloud-based access to D-WAVE quantum capabilities.

The launch of the OQC‘s Quantum Computing-as-a-Service platform is designed to provide architectural scalability. “Leading quantum circuits to date have been built in a two-dimensional plane,” the company said. “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 said its core innovation, the Coaxmon, addresses these challenges using a three-dimensional architecture that moves the control and measurement wiring out of plane and into a 3D configuration, simplifying fabrication, improving coherence and boosting scalability.

“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,” said Dr. Ilana Wisby, CEO of OQC. “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.”

Dr. Ilana Wisby, CEO of OQC

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.

Ilyas Khan, CEO of Cambridge Quantum Computing said, “We are excited to be working with OQC on their first commercially available product. It has long been recognised that the first “killer app” for quantum computers will be in the area of cybersecurity, and we are looking forward to demonstrating that OQC can generate verifiably quantum cryptographic keys for our IronBridge platform.” Khan added, “Ilana and her team represent the very best of breed in the hardware sector in the UK and this bold launch of a quantum processor by a company that has very much been in stealth is a reminder of the depth and diversity of the UK’s quantum technologies sector.”