OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) - A new quantum computer startup born from researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) called QuEra Computing said on Wednesday it raised $17 million from investors, including Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc.
It’s the latest quantum computer hardware maker to come out of the lab at a time when funding for the nascent technology is booming.
While there are various technologies for creating so-called quantum bits or qubits where the computations happen, QuEra’s qubits use neutral atoms in a vacuum chamber and use lasers to cool and control them.
“From 2015 when we had an empty lab with nothing to 2017, the work that we were doing at Harvard and MIT, we were already at the stage where we could control 51 of these neutral atom qubits,” said Alex Keesling, QuEra CEO and co-inventor of the technology. He said this technology was easy to scale up and that QuEra would have a 1000-qubit computer in two years. Today it has a 256-qubit machine, he said.