Google's former quantum hardware head resurfaces in Sydney

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Google's former quantum hardware head resurfaces in Sydney

Takes role at startup SQC.

Google’s former head of quantum computing hardware, Professor John Martinis, has resurfaced in Sydney and is taking a role at Australian startup Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC).

Martinis left Google back in May, reportedly over discomfort at the direction that Google was taking its own quantum research and over personality clashes within his team.

Professor Martinis and his team at Google were the first to demonstrate that quantum computers can outperform classical computers, known as “quantum supremacy”.

He will now join the UNSW-based SQC, which was founded by Professor Michelle Simmons AO, and formed in May 2017 by a consortium of the Commonwealth of Australia, UNSW, Telstra, CBA, and the NSW government.

SQC said in a statement that Martinis’ decision “provides strong validation of the company’s unique approach to building a quantum computer in silicon at the atomic scale, a technical capability pioneered by Professor Simmons in Australia.”

Simmons and her team are currently working towards the creation of a 10-qubit prototype quantum integrated processor by 2023.

”Professor Martinis’ track record of success and intense focus on building a commercially-useful quantum computer aligns with our goals at SQC,” Professor Simmons said.

“We have developed atomically-precise fabrication techniques that are uniquely suited to building a quantum computer. SQC is focusing on scaling up its technology platform. 

“This is exactly what John did at Google, so we are delighted that he has chosen SQC and Australia for his next move.”

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