QuEra Computing Inc. Raises $17 Million Dollars From Rakuten and Other Investors To Build a 256-qubit device

Quantum computing is a technology that will change our world – but there are many obstacles to overcome before it becomes available on an industrial scale. On this basis, scientists and researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched QuEra Computing Inc. to build powerful quantum computers for today’s impossible problems.

“There is an enormous opportunity to make headway on some of today’s most critical –and presently impossible – problems that impact nearly every one of us,” 

Alex Keesling, CEO of QuEra and co-inventor of QuEra’s technology.

QuEra, a Boston-based startup established to build the world’s most powerful quantum computers, has raised $17 million in investment funding from Rakuten, Day One Ventures, Frontiers Capital, among others and leading tech investors Serguei Beloussov, Paul Maritz.

With over $11 million generated in revenue since its establishment, QuEra is impacting the world of quantum computing by building the world’s most powerful quantum computers. They were recently honoured with the DARPA award. QuEra leverages high-end research on neutral atoms conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of technology and Harvard University to develop powerful quantum computers.

QuEra Approach Towards Gaining Quantum Advantage

The power of classical computers has been steadily increasing over the past decade. Yet computers often get stumped on problems that are not easily solved. This is a major limitation of classical computers, and a reason why a new approach to quantum computing can produce better results.

One of these impossible problems is the simulation of quantum mechanical systems, which is a difficult operation for classical computers and requires a special approach. 

With over 50 interacting qubits present in world-class quantum computers, there has been a quantum advantage over classical computers but still are unable to solve these impossible problems. On this basis, QuEra is using its neutral-atom technology to increase the number of useful qubits and enhance their programmability.

The neutral atom technology is based on research conducted by scientific co-founders, Professors Mikhail Lukin, Professor of Physics at Harvard, Markus Greiner, Professor of Physics at Harvard, and Vladan Vuletic, Professor of Physics at MIT. Chip-scale optoelectronic control expert Professor Dirk Englund, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, Dr. Nathan Gemelke, Chief Technology Officer, and Dr. John Pena, a serial hard-tech entrepreneur, is also part of the team.

“With our first machine, we are excited to begin to demonstrate what quantum computers can do for humanity.”

“QuEra’s proprietary technology combined with its team of pioneers in quantum computing is unmatched,”

Takuya Kitagawa, Chief Data Officer at Rakuten

The company makes use of hardware that operates using arrays of neutral atoms where hundreds of atoms are cooled and then arranged by laser fields in a small vacuum chamber. The atoms are subjected to a cryogenic condition that is a million times colder than space. This is beyond the IBM and Google superconducting qubit. Operating on a different technique from trapped ion-based quantum computers, QuEra’s system is able to arrange hundreds of neutral atoms into sub-millimetre arrays – an approach similar to transistor arrangements in the late 1990s Intel CPU. 

Unlike 1990s transistor arrangements, QuEra takes a unique approach by linking its qubits via a Rydberg blockade of neutral atoms rather than wires. The system’s unique architecture redefines what’s possible for quantum computers.

As a first step to tackle impossible problems in materials, finance, chemistry, logistics, and pharmaceuticals, QuEra has built and completed their first 256-qubit device, which will be soon accessible to customers. The device will help to explore applications in quantum optimization and simulation.

“QuEra will accelerate the quantum computing industry’s trajectory, making it a technology not of the future, but of today.”

Takuya Kitagawa, Chief Data Officer at Rakute

Headquartered in Tokyo, Rakuten Group is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses, and society.

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