Algorithms Quantum News

Phasecraft announces new research paper published by Physics and gains £3.7m funding

December 10, 2020

Phasecraft has made a breakthrough in quantum computing that will allow quantum theory to become a reality from mere research faster than ever. Dr. Ashley Montanaro led a team to develop and test new algorithms that can optimise and predict the needed quantum hardware capacity when running meaningful programs. This will let complex problem solving faster than classical supercomputers a reality.

Of fundamental importance is the Fermi-Hubbard model, especially in condensed-matter physics. The model is particularly relevant in strongly correlated materials, and is a key route to understanding high-temperature superconductivity. One of the first applications of near-term quantum computers is to find the enigmatic ground state of this complex model. The Fermi-Hubbard model is even a possible pathway to understanding and developing new supermaterials or substances.

‘Quantum computing has critically important applications in materials science and other domains. Despite the major quantum hardware advances recently, we may still be several years from having the right software and hardware to solve meaningful problems with quantum computing. Our research focuses on algorithms and software optimisations to maximise the quantum hardware’s capacity, and bring quantum computing closer to reality.’

Dr. Ashley Montanaro, research lead and co-founder of Phasecraft

Dr. Montanaro mentioned how Phasecraft would solve the Fermi-Hubbard model.

‘Near-term quantum hardware will have limited device and computation size. Phasecraft applied new theoretical ideas and numerical experiments to put together a very comprehensive study on different strategies for solving the Fermi-Hubbard model, zeroing in on strategies that are most likely to have the best results and impact in the near future.’

Dr. Ashley Montanaro

‘The results suggest that optimising over quantum circuits with a gate depth substantially less than a thousand could be sufficient to solve instances of the Fermi-Hubbard model beyond the capacity of a supercomputer. This new research shows significant promise for the capabilities of near-term quantum devices, improving on previous research findings by around a factor of 10.’

DR. ASHLEY MONTANARO

Dr. Montanaro is also hopeful that the new research can solve the model and optimise quantum circuits immensely.

The three founders of Phasecraft (from left to right): Dr. Toby Cubitt, Prof. John Morton, and Dr. Ashley Montanaro

The peer-reviewed research paper of Dr. Montanaro and team is featured in Physical Review B, which is published by the American Physical Society, the highest authority among specialist journals in condensed-matter physics. The paper has even been chosen as an Editors’ Suggestion and will be set to appear in Physics magazine.

Ever since Phasecraft’s founding in 2019, the company has been punching well above its weight. Currently, Phasecraft is an emerging leader in quantum research. Started by Dr. Toby Cubitt, Dr. Ashley Montanaro, and Prof. John Morton, Phasecraft possesses a team capable of enabling near-term applications of quantum computing. The primary method is to develop novel algorithms with high efficiency ratings that can optimise near-term quantum hardware.

The company has even closed a record seed round for a UK quantum company, receiving a total of £3.7 million in funding from private-sector VC investors. These investors are led by LocalGlobe along with Episode1 and previous investors. Ian Hogarth, former Songkick founder, has even joined as board chair. Previously, Phasecraft managed to raise £750000 in a pre-seed round led by UCL Technology Fund with Parkwalk Advisors and London Co-investment Fund. InnovateUK has also awarded the company several grants. A total of £5.5 million has been raised, when equity funding and research grants are factored in.

‘With new funding and support, we are able to continue our pioneering research and industry collaborations to develop the quantum computing industry and find useful applications faster.’

Dr. Toby Cubitt

Many different representatives from quantum companies around the world have commented on Phasecraft’s research paper.

‘The Fermi-Hubbard model is a major challenge in condensed-matter physics, and the Phasecraft team has made impressive steps in showing how quantum computers could solve it. Their work suggests that surprisingly low-depth circuits could provide useful information about this model, making it more accessible to realistic quantum hardware.’

Andrew Childs, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland

‘Sooner or later, quantum computing is coming. Developing the algorithms and technology to power the first commercial applications of early quantum computing hardware is the toughest challenge facing the field, which few are willing to take on. We are proud to be partners with Phasecraft, a team that are developing advances in quantum software that could shorten that timeframe by years.’

Hartmut Neven, Head of Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, Google

Dr. Toby Cubitt is enthusiastic and believes that this research is very significant for the quantum world.

‘At Phasecraft, our team of leading quantum theorists have been researching and applying quantum theory for decades, leading some of the top global academic teams and research in the field. Today, Ashley and his team have demonstrated ways to get closer to achieving new possibilities that exist just beyond today’s technological bounds.’

Dr. Toby Cubitt

You can read the insight piece on this new research here.