Xanadu launches quantum cloud platform, plans to double qubits each 6 months


Quantum computing startup Xanadu at the moment launched its quantum cloud platform. Builders can now entry Xanadu’s gate-based photonic quantum processors with 8-qubit or 12-qubit chips — 24-qubit chips might be out there “within the subsequent month or so,” Xanadu founder and CEO Christian Weedbrook instructed VentureBeat. The startup expects to “roughly double” the variety of qubits out there in its cloud each six months. The hope is Xanadu Quantum Cloud will let builders, companies, and researchers construct novel options to issues in finance, quantum chemistry, machine studying, and graph analytics.

Quantum computing leverages qubits (not like bits that may solely be in a state of 0 or 1, qubits will also be in a superposition of the 2) to carry out computations that might be way more tough for a classical laptop. Primarily based in Toronto, Canada, Xanadu has been creating quantum computer systems primarily based on photonics since its founding in September 2016. The selection of know-how means Xanadu’s quantum processors function at room temperature (many different quantum computing tech must be cooled to very low temperatures) and could be built-in into current fiber optic-based telecommunication infrastructure.

Xanadu is greatest recognized for the event of PennyLane, an open-source software program library for quantum machine studying, quantum computing, and quantum chemistry. The corporate additionally develops Strawberry Fields, its cross-platform Python library for simulating and executing applications on quantum photonic {hardware}. Each open-source instruments can be found on GitHub and have a rising neighborhood fostering tutorials and academic supplies for anybody focused on creating and experimenting with quantum purposes.

“PennyLane, which you’ll be able to consider as a TensorFlow for quantum computing, really runs on not solely our {hardware} however everybody else’s {hardware}, which is basically cool,” Weedbrook instructed VentureBeat. “Lots of people love PennyLane and there’s a powerful model recognition with Xanadu there. The power to run on many issues, I believe that may also draw individuals again to our cloud.”

PennyLane and photonics

Certainly, there’s little benefit to utilizing PennyLane on Xanadu’s quantum computing cloud over a competitor’s. Xanadu has no plans to launch PennyLane updates on its cloud first, however it’s exploring different choices.

“We’re pushing the open supply and agnostic nature,” Weedbrook mentioned. “There could possibly be factor sooner or later the place now we have skilled companies and add-ons the place it might tie again to Xanadu in an exclusivity approach. That’s one thing that’s at all times up our sleeve, however the important thing level in the intervening time is constructing the ecosystem, constructing many individuals around the globe utilizing this, and actually being a typical is our hope for quantum software program.”

Non-quantum photonic chips are typically used for neural networks — assume particular light-based chips that do matrix multiplication and different AI duties a lot quicker. Like different firms, Xanadu desires to leverage quantum properties of entanglement and superposition, however for neural networks. Xanadu’s gate-based mannequin helps you to map the neural community arithmetic completely to its photonic {hardware}. You’ll be able to’t do this with every other {hardware} on the market, the corporate claims.

“There may be one set of purposes which might be ideally suited to our cloud platform and our sort of photonics, and that’s the quantum optical neural community,” Weedbrook mentioned. “And that software is offered on PennyLane however you possibly can solely run it on the Xanadu cloud platform. So we see that as a future as properly, as a key differentiator, however the different purposes do run on different {hardware}.”

Enterprise purposes and photonics

Xanadu says tutorial establishments, quantum startups, and main nationwide labs have already been utilizing a pre-release model of Xanadu Quantum Cloud. Right this moment’s launch is about extending entry to enterprise shoppers who need quantum computing to unravel their most complicated issues.

Xanadu expects photonic quantum computing might be notably good at three kinds of enterprise purposes: graphs and networks, machine studying, and quantum chemistry. Industries like finance, pharma, and chemistry could also be notably due to the aforementioned photonics benefit.

A giant a part of that is scale. Weedbrook argues that companies ought to select Xanadu and photonics as a result of it might probably scale in a approach different applied sciences used for quantum computing can’t.

“As you already know there’s ion traps, there’s superconducting qubits, and so forth,” Weedbrook mentioned. “If they will’t scale or they’re too sluggish to scale, we imagine that’s the place photonics really has the benefit to scale up. You typically hear concerning the regular parameters that you simply care about — qubit rely is the large one, connectivity, decoherence, amongst different issues, and the way do you get to fault tolerance and error correction. We imagine now we have one of the simplest ways, probably the most superior approach, and the quickest technique to get to fault tolerance. If that’s true primarily based on that premise, then photonics is basically one of the simplest ways to go after which getting access to our cloud subsequently is one of the simplest ways to go as properly.”

Wanting forward, Xanadu can also be exploring safe communication and quantum networking, “an space that photonics is poised to dominate.” The corporate envisions “a world array of photonic quantum computer systems, networked over a quantum web.”

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