OQC launches the UK's first Quantum Computing as-a-Service

2 min read

In what is being described as a pivotal moment for the future of UK quantum computing, Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) has launched the country's first commercially available Quantum Computing-as-a-Service built entirely using its proprietary technology.

The news will be a boost for the UK’s ambitions to be a global quantum superpower, as well as for businesses looking to explore the increasing commercial and technical benefits of quantum computing.

The announcement is one of a number of firsts from OQC, which built and launched the UK’s first superconducting quantum computer in 2018. This announcement marks the first time OQC’s proprietary technology will be available to the enterprise via its private cloud and supports the startup’s goal of pioneering the Quantum Computing-as-a-Service (QCaaS) market.

“The launch of our QCaaS platform is not only a remarkable achievement in the history of Oxford Quantum Circuits, but is a significant milestone in unlocking the potential of quantum computing both in the UK and globally,” said Dr Ilana Wisby, the CEO of OQC. “We know quantum computing has the power to be revolutionary but for decades this power and potential has been relatively untested and unverified in the real world. By making our QCaaS platform more widely available to strategic partners and customers, we are offering the world’s leading enterprises the chance to demonstrate just how far-reaching quantum will be for their companies and their industries.”

The company's Quantum Computing-as-a-Service platform takes its proprietary quantum technology to the market through a private cloud, where it will be used by strategic partners and customers to further experiment with quantum.

According to OQC its partner, Cambridge Quantum, will be the first to be given access to the private cloud to demonstrate its IronBridge cybersecurity platform, which extracts perfect certified entropy from quantum computers to generate un-hackable cryptographic keys. To achieve this milestone Cambridge Quantum will have access to one of OQC's systems, “Sophia”, hosted at the company’s state-of-the-art lab in the UK. The facility, which was built last year amid the global pandemic, is the first commercial quantum computing laboratory in the country.

The launch of the Quantum Computing-as-a-Service platform is, according to OQC, testament to the scalability of its patented architecture and technological designs.

Leading quantum circuits to date have been built in a two-dimensional plane. In 2D, the intricate wiring required to control and measure the qubits — the core input-output functionality of the quantum hardware — quickly becomes a limiting factor as it introduces noise which harms the coherence of the quantum device and reduces the quality of its output. As the number of qubits grows, the intricacy of the wiring demands more fabrication steps, increasing error rates and cost.

OQC’s core innovation, the Coaxmon, solves these challenges using a three-dimensional architecture that moves the control and measurement wiring out of plane and into a 3D configuration. This vastly simplifies fabrication, improving coherence and – crucially – boosts scalability.

Founded 4 years ago the company has already attracted nearly £2m of UK government support.