Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

November 21, 2023

5 Min Read
IQM CEO and co-founder Jan Goetz
IQM CEO and co-founder Jan GoetzIQM Quantum Computers

IQM Quantum Computers is a Finland-headquartered full-stack quantum computing company. It recently announced its upcoming IQM Radiance series of processors and a partnership with Nvidia targeting hybrid quantum applications.

In this Q&A, IQM CEO and co-founder Jan Goetz explains the importance of IQM’s roadmap toward processors beyond the capability of classical simulation and why true quantum advantage needs more than qubit processing power alone.

What makes IQM Quantum Computers unique?

On the technology side, we invest in our own innovation chain to target the quality and the size of our processors. We have a powerful team in Munich that thinks about what can be done with algorithms and the perfect processor to implement them. Once they come up with these ideas, we have a design and simulation team that starts designing the layout of the processor for it. When the simulations look promising, we do the tape-out in-house.

We have invested in a small chip factory in Finland where we work on silicon wafers, packaging and control electronics. Just last year, we announced a 20 qubit system and this year we are working on 64 qubits. We recently announced that we are targeting 150 qubits in 2025.

There’s a global processor size and quality race in the quantum space. If you look in detail at the statistics of the cloud systems that are out there, which in the IBM case is hundreds of qubits, people usually only use maybe 20 or 30 of them. This is why we are doing a lot to increase the quality of the processors and make different layouts to implement specific algorithms and applications. This co-design approach makes us special.

Related:IQM Unveils Plans for 150-Qubit Quantum Computer

From the industry side, organizations are now engaged in quantum readiness and building their own quantum teams. We are active on the education side and offer a free tool called IQM Academy. We are preparing for remote access to do proofs of concept and have started with a few companies – a leading German car manufacturer, Siemens and Allianz. These companies are not ready to invest big sums because there's not yet a business case for them. They see themselves as early adopters and pioneers in computer technology and want to test new approaches.

Lastly, on the academic and educational side, we have a 5-qubit quantum computer called IQM Spark. The goal here is that each university at some point should have a relatively low-cost quantum computer to train and educate the next workforce. We don't think that anyone else at the moment has this kind of an offering, which we think is very important because there's already a huge shortage of talent.

You recently announced a partnership with Nvidia to target future hybrid quantum applications using their CUDA Quantum product. What are your goals from that?

AI is a hot topic at the moment. AI and quantum will have a special relationship – one hand washes the other, as we say in Germany. Quantum computers are analog, which means that they are not black and white, but they have parameters that might fluctuate all the time. You need to have some kind of machine learning AI capabilities in the background to stabilize, calibrate and tune the quantum computers.

Conversely, there are quantum algorithms that can accelerate AI applications. As Nvidia is one of the leaders in the field of AI, it is a very important partner for us. We are integrating our quantum computers into their stack to make sure that this collaboration between the GPU cluster that they are building and the quantum processing unit cluster is running smoothly. The aim is to give a seamless customer experience to someone who has an important problem.

You’ve announced an upcoming IQM Radiance range of quantum computers, targeting 54 qubits next year, and 150 cubits in 2025. What’s your vision for targeting quantum advantage?

With the 54-qubit system, we are reaching the boundaries of what you can simulate classically. With the 150-qubit system, you're on the other side. This means you enter a regime that you cannot simulate with even the biggest supercomputer on the planet.

However, this doesn't mean that you automatically create quantum advantage in terms of a business case; you still need to find a commercial application that will then run on this processor. We know for sure that you can run calculations with the system that cannot anymore be simulated classically. Maybe there is a smart person out there who already has a commercial algorithm for the 150-qubit processor.

A business quantum advantage is usually defined as you can do something faster, cheaper or with higher accuracy in a problem that has a business relevance – not a toy problem or not a purely academic problem, but something of relevance.

It's also important for us to support the basic science and to get prepared for the next steps and processor generations, which for us will be towards 1,000 qubits. Not all quantum algorithms or applications will be unlocked at once. We will start with the lowest-hanging fruit and step-by-step enter into the different industry verticals where quantum will be applied.

What customer base are you targeting?

We are working with Siemens on a production optimizing problem. We also partner with other companies that are developing applications and use cases and are often domain experts. For example, we have a partnership with Multiverse in Spain focusing on financial and energy topics and with H2O in Germany, focusing on the chemistry markets. This way can reach all of the potential industry verticals without having all of this know-how in-house but we can deliver the ecosystem and partnership strategy.

What’s on your quantum road map for next year?

We have one customer in Finland that will get a 54-qubit system. It is super important the deployment runs smoothly as running the first algorithms on the 54-qubit system will bring us really close to the boundary of what can be simulated classically. We are also collaborating with high-performance computing centers because they also want to test their computers alongside quantum. We will also focus more on the use case and application side and grow our global footprint.

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

Sign Up for the Newsletter
The most up-to-date news and insights into the latest emerging technologies ... delivered right to your inbox!

You May Also Like