Cambridge-based quantum engineering company Riverlane is at the heart of two related initiatives to troubleshoot problems and advance risk-free adoption worldwide.
It has head-hunted leading scientist Dr Earl Campbell to accelerate efforts to solve quantum error correction and only last month joined an influential consortium to build error corrected quantum processor.
As head of architecture, Dr Campbell will lead technical development to support the operating system for fault-tolerant quantum computers.
He joins Riverlane from Amazon Web Services Quantum Computing group, and has held a number of academic positions over the past 16 years. His game-changing efforts include leading contributions to quantum error correction, fault-tolerant quantum logic and compilation and quantum algorithms.
He has also made pioneering contributions to random compilers, including the qDRIFT algorithm, which is the only known efficient method for simulating systems with highly complex interactions.
Additionally, while working with IBM and University College London, Earl contributed to the development of near-Clifford emulators that were integrated into Qiskit – IBM’s open-source software development kit for quantum computers.
At Amazon Web Services he was a leading contributor to its paper proposing a novel quantum computing architecture and established a team working on quantum algorithms.
At Riverlane he will be working alongside leaders who have joined from Microsoft, ARM, Samsung, Intel and the White House! Backed by some of Europe’s leading venture-capital funds and the University of Cambridge, Riverlane is bringing together leading talent from the worlds of business, academia, and industry to design its modular operating system to work with all hardware providers, whatever the type of qubit.
Riverlane has already partnered with a third of the world’s quantum computing hardware companies, and has successfully tested Deltaflow.OS with multiple hardware approaches, including trapped ions and superconducting circuits.
Dr Campbell said: “Error correction is the next defining challenge in quantum computing and we will need to deliver fast, effective software to solve it. Over the past 16 years, I have been tackling questions like this as an academic and I’m looking forward to putting theory into practice.
“I’ve followed Riverlane since its early days and I’ve always been drawn to challenging work with the promise of delivering widespread social and commercial impact. I’m excited to join a diverse team with a proven track record in developing software used by hardware companies around the world.”
Steve Brierley, CEO and founder of Riverlane added: “Solving error correction will be key to unlocking quantum usefulness across a range of foundational challenges, including clean energy, drug discovery, material science, and advanced chemistry.
“We’re delighted that Earl is bringing his world-class expertise in this challenge to the Riverlane team to accelerate our efforts and unlock the potential of this technology.”
Just before Christmas, Riverlane joined a £7.5 million consortium to build an error corrected quantum processor – working with a range of UK partners, including Rolls-Royce – to apply this toward new applications in the aerospace industry. The funding comes via the UK government’s National Quantum Technologies Programme.
The project, led by quantum computer manufacturer Universal Quantum, calls on Riverlane’s software and expertise to tackle quantum error correction on a trapped-ion quantum computer.
Error correction is a crucial step in unlocking the promise of ‘fault tolerant’ quantum computers capable of a range of transformative applications, and is at the core of everything Riverlane does.
The work with Rolls-Royce will explore how quantum computers can develop practical applications toward the development of more sustainable and efficient jet engines.
This starts by applying quantum algorithms to take steps to toward a greater understanding of how liquids and gases flow, a field known as ‘fluid dynamics’. Simulating such flows accurately is beyond the computational capacity of even the most powerful classical computers today.
The consortium also includes: academic researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Sussex; the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre; supply chain partners Edwards, TMD Technologies and Diamond Microwave; and commercialisation and dissemination experts Sia Partners and Qureca.
Fluids behave according to a famous set of partial differential equations called the Navier-Stokes equations, the solutions to which are important for aircraft and engine design, as well as understanding ocean currents and predicting the weather.
Classical computers can take months or even years to solve some types of these equations but recent research has shown that quantum computers could find the solutions much more quickly.