Photonic Quantum Computing Company Xanadu Raises $4.4 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● January 16, 2020
  • Canadian quantum hardware and technology company Xanadu announced it raised $4.4 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

Canadian quantum hardware and technology company Xanadu announced it has raised $4.4 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). This round of funding will be used to expedite the development of Xanadu’s photonic quantum computers and make them available over the cloud. And this project will also further the company’s overall progress towards the construction of energy-efficient universal quantum computers.

“Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector. I have never been more positive about the future. The quantum hardware technology that Xanadu is building will develop quantum computers with the ability to solve extremely challenging computational problems, completing chemical calculations in minutes — which would otherwise require a million CPUs in a data center,” said Leah Lawrence, President and CEO at Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

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

This will reduce the requirements for electrical power and the accompanying air and water emissions associated with electricity production. And Xanadu is developing a unique type of quantum computer, based on photonic technology — which is inherently more power-efficient than electronics.

Xanadu’s photonic approach uses laser light for carrying information through optical chips rather than the electrons or ions used by their competitors. And by using photonic technology, Xanadu’s quantum computers are expected to have the ability to perform calculations at room temperature one day. Plus it will be able to eliminate the bulky and power-hungry cooling systems required by most other types of quantum computers.

This project will be undertaken by Xanadu’s team of in-house scientists with collaboration from the University of Toronto and Swiftride. And 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.

“We are thrilled by the recognition and support that we are receiving from SDTC for the development of our technology. We firmly believe that our unique, photonic-based approach to quantum computing will deliver both valuable insights and tangible environmental benefits for our customers and partners,” added Xanadu CEO Christian Weedbrook.