Sydney quantum computing startup splits into two companies

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Sydney quantum computing startup splits into two companies
SQC labratory
Silicon Quantum Computing

One focuses on qubit fabrication technology and the other on building single atom qubits in silicon.

Startup Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) has sold intellectual property to the University of New South Wales and Allectus Capital, to form a spin off company dedicated to qubit fabrication technology.

In 2017, the Australian government, CBA, Telstra, UNSW and the NSW government-owned venture commercialised two parallel approaches to quantum computing developed at the UNSW.

In 2019, SQC announced it would focus on the single-atom qubits approach invented by UNSW professor Michelle Simmons.

However, SQC continued to manage and provide equipment to UNSW professor Andrew Dzurak’s qubit fabrication technology, also called Silicon CMOS, including working with French research institute CEA Leti to develop a joint venture to commercialise the technology.

CMOS - complementary metal oxide semiconductor - is already used in most microprocessors.

Assets associated with Dzurak’s Silicon CMOS approach, including the patent and equipment, have been transferred to a spin-out company formed and funded by UNSW Sydney and Bermuda-headquartered technology investors Allectus Capital.

SQC chair Stephen Menzies said that establishing two separate start-ups for each technology would help achieve the project’s goal of developing a commercial quantum computing device by 2028. 

“In our mission to build the world’s first commercial-grade quantum device, the board decided that the fastest path was to establish separate commercial entities for each technology and focus our efforts on building atom qubits in silicon as the pathway to meet our goals.”

During 2020 and 2021, Google’s former head of quantum computing hardware, Professor John Martinis worked at SQC

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

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