A few of the folks STH has worked with over the years are now at a UC Berkeley originated startup called Atom Computing. The company announced that it now has $15M USD in series A funding. As part of the announcement, the company also is coming out of stealth mode to discuss its new Phoenix quantum computing solution.
Atom Computing Unveils Phoenix Quantum Computing
Phoenix is the name of Atom Computing’s first system. The current solution sounds a bit more like a technology demonstration, but the solution is a 100 atom in a vacuum chamber with what the company calls “optical tweezers.” Then the company’s demonstration manipulates quantum states with lasers. The benefit is that it can achieve greater coherence times versus other solutions.
One of the key challenges in quantum computing is being able to reliably scale up quantum computers. Many in the industry use Qbits to describe this scale-up effort, but we are still in a vastly earlier stage than traditional silicon manufacturing so the approaches to designing and building these systems are different based on each manufacturer. Atom Computing is aiming to have a more scalable and more stable solution with error correction to address these challenges. We will note that this is more of an experimental stage right now versus something like an IBM or D-Wave quantum computer that one can run workloads on today.
Quantum computing is going to be a big field. Most major companies and large governments have some programs running. For example, we have covered solutions such as Intel Horse Ridge II, IBM Q, and more. For a company with a $15M series A, it will be interesting to see what the next steps are. Many large companies are pouring more than $15M/ year into quantum computing research so this announcement feels a bit more like the company is building a foundation to close much larger investment rounds in the future. Since these are folks we have worked with in the past at Lenovo, we wish them well in their new endeavor.