At A Glance
French startup Alice & Bob has raised $27.9 million to build its first fault-tolerant ‘cat qubit’ quantum computer
One of the factors hampering the development of quantum computers at scale is that they produce too many errors to be beneficial. One type, a bit-flip error, occurs when a qubit – the unit of quantum computing analogous to a bit in traditional computing – unintentionally switches from 1 to 0 or vice versa. It can be corrected by what is known as a bit-flip code, a three-qubit circuit that uses two ancillary qubits to correct the main qubit.
Alice&Bob is using a superconducting cat qubit approach – named after Schrödinger’s cat – to make theirs more fault-tolerant. While other manufacturers, including IBM and Google, also use superconducting quantum technology, Alice&Bob’s uses the concept of something being
The company claims its approach reduces the prevalence of bit-flip errors by a factor of tens of thousands, increasing the time between occurrences from a few milliseconds to two minutes.
Alice&Bob also plans to use the funding to hire 30 additional employees over the next two years, including physicists, developers and engineers to support the commercialization of its technology.
Informa chief quantum computing analyst, Sam Lucero commented: “This substantial investment in Alice&Bob reflects the vibrant nature of the French quantum computing startup scene. While the UK leads Europe in the number of quantum computing hardware vendors, France, Germany, and the Netherlands also have robust quantum computing hardware ecosystems. Strong partnerships with academia help to drive this innovation.”
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