Quantum computing startup IonQ announced today that it has raised additional funds as part of its previously announced Series B round. This round extends the company's funding, including the $ 55 million 2019 Series B round, by about $ 7 million, bringing the total investment in IonQ to $ 84 million.
The new funding includes Lockheed Martin's strategic investments and Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Cambium, a relatively new multi-tier VC company that specializes in investing "in the future of computer paradigms".
In addition to the new funding, College Park, IonQ in Maryland offers The team of advisors also announced a number of additions, including 2012 Nobel Laureate David Wineland, who worked with IonQ co-founder and chief scientist Christopher Monroe in 1995 to build the first quantum logic device.
Other new advisors include Umesh Vazirani, co-director of the Berkeley Quantum Computation Center, former Cray Senior VP of Research and Development Margaret (Peg) Williams and Duke Associate Professor Kenneth Brown.
IonQ relied on trapped ions in the core of its quantum computers at an early stage, which comes as no surprise given Monroe's early work in this area.
"We are doing something that, at least initially, was meant to be against the grain for quantum And what that is is trapped ion computers Ions that are suspended in a vacuum and held with electromagnets. So our cubits are our individual ions, ”said Peter Chapman, CEO and President of IonQ, who worked at Amazon Prime as Amazon's technical director, before taking on this new role last year. This approach has advantages and disadvantages, Chapman explained. This makes it easier for the company to create qubits, for example, so that it can concentrate on control. In addition, IonQ machines can be operated at room temperature, while most competitors (with the exception of Honeywell, who also relies on trapped ions in the core of his quantum computer) have to cool their machines to almost zero Kelvin.
A disadvantage – at least for the time being – is that the trapped ion technology results in a relatively slow quantum computer. But Chapman largely rejected the criticism. "P.People say that computers with trapped ions are slow, and that applies to the current generation. But slowly is relative here. We run a thousand sometimes slower or something. But at the end of the day, speed is one of the things that matters if you have two systems that can do the same. Then you care about the speed. If only one of the two systems can do your calculation, it probably doesn't matter. "
Like so many other quantum computer startups, IonQ is still largely in the research and development phase and currently has no income. That will change, however, Chapman noted once Amazon and Microsoft Start deploying its systems in their clouds (which both providers have already announced).
Until then, the new funding will be used almost exclusively for research and development, and Chapman found that the team is already working on the next three generations of its systems.
Both Lockheed Martin and Bosch have made a number of investments in various quantum technologies and Chapman found that Lockheed actually made the first big money for research by IonQ co-founder Chris Monroe while at the University of Maryland.