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Xanadu wins $4.4M investment for photonic quantum computing

21 Jan 2020

Canadian firm says its "unique approach" will be more energy efficient than traditional electronics-based computing.

Xanadu, a Canadian quantum hardware and technology company has won a $4.4M investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). The investment is to support the development of Xanadu's photonic quantum computers and make them available over the cloud. This project will also further the company's overall progress towards the construction of energy-efficient universal quantum computers.

SDTC is a foundation created by the Government of Canada to advance clean technology innovation in the country by funding and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises developing and demonstrating clean technology solutions.

"Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector,” said Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, SDTC. “The quantum hardware technology that Xanadu is building will develop quantum computers with the ability to solve extremely challenging computational problems, such as completing chemical calculations in minutes — which would otherwise require a million CPUs in a data center."

Cutting electricity consumption

Despite efforts to improve the power efficiency of traditional computing methods, the rapid growth of data centres and cloud computing presents a major source of new electricity consumption. In comparison to classical computing, quantum computing systems have the benefit of performing certain tasks and algorithms at an unprecedented rate.

This will ultimately reduce the requirements for electrical power and the accompanying air and water emissions associated with electricity production. Xanadu is developing a quantum computer that is based on photonic technology.

The project will be undertaken by Xanadu's team of in-house scientists, with collaboration from the University of Toronto and Swiftride. The project will be carried out over three years and will encompass the development of Xanadu's architecture, hardware, software and client interfaces with the overall goal of expediting the development of the company's technology, and demonstrating the practical benefits of quantum computing for users and customers by the end of 2022.

Xanadu is developing integrated photonic chips for quantum computing, communication and sensing. "We are thrilled by the recognition and support that we are receiving from SDTC for the development of our technology," said Christian Weedbrook, CEO of Xanadu.

“We believe that our photonic-based approach to quantum computing will deliver both valuable insights and tangible environmental benefits for customers and partners.”

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