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Home Quantum Computer Emulator Launched on Kickstarter

Australian researchers developed the palm-size Quokka to democratize quantum computing

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

June 27, 2024

2 Min Read
A puck-shaped Quokka quantum emulator
Andy Roberts/University of Technology Sydney

Australian researchers have developed what they say is the first consumer quantum computing product that can be purchased on Kickstarter for less than $400.

About the same size and shape as an Amazon Echo Dot puck, the Quokka is said to emulate a fault-tolerant, 30-qubit quantum computer. It connects to a regular laptop or desktop computer via a USB cable. and features the smiling face of its namesake marsupial.

Currently in pilot trials, the system has been brought to market by Eigensystem, a spinout from the Center for Quantum Software and Information (QSI) at the University of Technology Sydney.

The company was co-founded by quantum researchers associate professor Simon Devitt and associate professor Chris Ferrie, with a stated mission to “democratize access to the exciting and rapidly growing field of quantum computing by empowering the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators through education.”

The bundled Quokka quantum literacy program is designed to let users learn to program quantum computers. The basic tier of the platform comprises three programming interfaces, and the advanced tier offers access to lessons, tutorials, curated community projects and the ability to share, mix and co-create projects.

It also includes Quokka Stories, a collection of narrative-driven lessons that offer a quantum information processing perspective on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Related:IBM, AIST Target 10,000 Qubits by 2029

“Quantum technology has had limited engagement beyond the rarefied world of research and that means we need to reimagine what quantum education is and who it’s for,” Ferrie said.

“Quantum literacy will define the cutting edge of 21st century innovation but until now there hasn’t been a guided path into quantum computing for students, educators and hobbyists, to explore the field and discover the possibilities.”

Ferrie said Quokka enables users to experiment and learn about quantum algorithms and programs by interfacing with it exactly as they would with a future fault-tolerant quantum computer.

“We’re looking to revolutionize the way people learn about quantum computing and STEM education in general, produced at a cost that makes it accessible to a wide range of users with limited budgets, including schools and educators,” he said.

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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.

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