Articles on Quantum Computing Quantum Companies

Quantum Computing Company of the Day: Riverlane

January 11, 2020

Today’s Quantum company is based in the United Kingdom, Cambridge in fact. Riverlane sprung onto the QC scene just a few of years ago, founded by Steve Brierley who was most recently a research fellow at the University of Cambridge with over a decade of experience in Quantum Computing.

A little bit smaller then some of our previous companies of the day: IBM and Xanadu, Riverlane has received almost £4M in funding to help expand its collaborative efforts between quantum scientists and other researchers with tricky problems to solve, that might find solutions with quantum computing.

Riverlane aims to unify theory with applications

As you might expect from an academic base such as Cambridge, the nature of the problems tackled will be complex and the collaborations are likely

Cambridge as a location is heavily skewed toward technology including biotechnology with many drug companies and biotech’s based in close proximity. So as expected many of the purported areas that Riverlane expects to accelerate are materials and chemistry research and and drug discovery. Likely much of the early efforts appears to be directed at work around Variational Quantum Eigensolver’s (VQE’s). Leading to better understanding transition pathways of molecular systems for example.

Technologies employed at Riverlane

Riverlane appears open or agnostic in its technology framework, i.e. using existing frameworks such as Qiskit, ProjectQ or Rigetti’s Forest platform. This is looks as though Riverlane aims to focus on the problem solving aspect of the offering rather than the platform or framework side of things and with a relatively small team, that probably makes a lot of sense, that said it does appear to be working on a platform or technology of sorts: Deltaflow.

Deltaflow, Tailoring to NISQ devices

As expected from a company dedicated to getting ideas off the ground, it has focused its efforts on one dedicated product it has named Deltaflow, as a method of allowing the user to abstract away from the underlying architecture that a NISQ (Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum) technologies can provide. Much the same way as Tensorflow (a popular machine learning platform) does not depend upon the underlying hardware and is able to optimize at a low level.

Deltaflow from Riverlane. Abstracting away the difficulties on running on NISQ hardware.

In being agnostic about what is “under the hood” companies such as Riverlane can focus on what Quantum Computing really needs. Use cases and examples that solve real problems and offer advantages for those sectors.