UPDATED 19:00 EST / FEBRUARY 14 2023


Quantum Brilliance raises $18M to develop miniaturized quantum machines that run at room temperature

Startup Quantum Brilliance GmbH, which is building miniaturized quantum computers that can operate at normal room temperatures, said today it has closed on an $18 million round of funding.

The round was led by Breakthrough Victoria, with participation from Main Sequence, Investible, Ultratech Capital Partners, MA Growth Ventures, Jelix Ventures, Rampersand and CM Equity Partners.

The company is pursuing a novel approach to quantum computing, designing machines based on synthetic diamonds that can operate at room temperature, in any environment, making them suitable for data centers, autonomous vehicles, spacecraft and edge computing scenarios. Unlike its competitors, Quantum Brilliance’s quantum machines do not require cryogenics, vacuum systems or precision laser arrays, meaning they’re simpler and consume significantly less power.

That’s in direct contrast to the perceived leaders in the quantum computing field. Because qubits, the basic bits of information used by quantum computers, are so unstable, the likes of IBM Corp., Google LLC and IonQ Inc. have designed machines that must be stored within extreme environments or use wildly sophisticated technologies to work properly. In the case of IBM and Google, their quantum computers must operate at temperatures close to absolute zero (−273.15 °C), while IonQ uses an elaborate system of lasers to manipulate trapped ion-based qubits suspended in a vacuum.

On the other hand, Quantum Brilliance says, its synthetic diamond-based quantum accelerators ensure its qubits can be kept far more stable. The technology was developed in collaboration with the Australian National University in Canberra and relies on the properties of the nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond, which helps protect against noise from thermal vibrations and magnetic impurities that can destabilize qubits. As a result, Quantum Brilliance claims on its website, its diamond-based quantum accelerators have the longest coherence time of any solid-state electron spin at room temperature.

Another advantage of its technology is that its quantum machines can be made much smaller than those of its rivals. The company believes it will one day be able to miniaturize its quantum computing chips to a similar size as modern semiconductors, enabling them to operate wherever classical computers can.

With a smaller form factor, low power consumption and ruggedized design, Quantum Brilliance says, its quantum computers will be able to operate anywhere, helping to solve far more problems in almost any location. The company insists that its technology has a clear path to scale, and has already developed a plan for the mass production of quantum computers.

Its immediate goal is to create a fully functional quantum computer that’s able to operate at room temperature, so it can be deployed in data centers, hospitals, mines, outer space and, one day, inside a conventional laptop. In doing so, it plans to make quantum computing an “everyday technology.”

The company says it has made some progress towards this goal, installing the world’s first room-temperature, diamond-based quantum computer at the Pawsey Supercomputing Center in Perth, Western Australia in July 2022. One month later, it announced a collaboration with Nvidia Corp. to accelerate development of hybrid quantum-classical computing platforms.

Quantum Brilliance co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Andrew Horsley said the company’s tech is following the same path as that of classical computers, where the advent of integrated semiconductors enabled the jump from large mainframe computers to conventional laptops, and finally smartphones.

“Our small form factor, room temperature, low power devices are forging the same path,” he said. “We are proud of our achievement in taking quantum computing from the lab to the data center, and that has been recognized by the investment community.”

Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said Quantum Brilliance appears to have a brilliant differentiator amid a crowded quantum computing space. “It’s building small quantum systems that can run on-site and on-premises, so we’ll be watching closely with its efforts on the go-to-market side now that it’s gotten more funding,” he said.

Quantum Brilliance said it will use the funds from today’s round to expand its international operations and deliver its hardware and software to more customers. It’s also planning to improve on its manufacturing and fabrication techniques to reduce the size of its machines further, and will also work to enhance their performance.

Image: Quantum Brilliance

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