Photonic quantum computer opens access for developers

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A decade separates the launch of the first quantum photonic chip to make real calculations of the first quantum photonic cloud platform, now made available by its creator, Canadian Xanadu, to developers and companies.

Xanadu Quantum Cloud is already being tested in a pre-release version by universities, quantum startups and large laboratories in Canada; now, access will be extended to corporate customers.

A photonic quantum chip uses photons (particles that form light) instead of electricity to function (in the case of Xanadu, it is based on compressed states, which are a special type of light generated by silicon photonic devices integrated into the chip).

Quantum computing takes advantage of qubits – which, unlike conventional computing bits, which travel between two states, 0 and 1, can be in overlap – to perform calculations that would be much more complicated for a traditional computer.

Double each semester

“24-qubit chips will be available next month or a little later. We expect to almost double the number of qubits available in the cloud every six months, ”Christian Weedbrook, founder and CEO of Xanadu, told VenturaBeat.

The Canadian company became known for its open source software library for quantum machine learning, quantum computing and quantum chemistry, called PennyLane (available to developers on GitHub).

“There is a set of applications that is ideally suited for our cloud platform and our type of photonics: the quantum optical neural network. And this app is available on PennyLane, but you can only run it on the Xanadu Quantum Cloud, “said Weedbrook.

About PennyLane, he says he has no plans for updates. “In the future, we may have professional and complementary services linked to Xanadu exclusively. The goal now is to build the ecosystem, popularize it and, thus, have a standard for quantum software. ”


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