Quantum computer startup SEEQC has just unveiled a quantum digital chip that can operate at super-cold temperatures.

The New York-based startup said in a recent press release that it has developed a digital chip that can operate at temperatures colder than outer space so it can be used with quantum processors that are often in cryogenic chambers.

Quantum computers, which leverage the properties of quantum physics, can complete some calculations millions of times faster than conventional computers. This makes them essential to the ongoing evolution of artificial intelligence.

One challenge is that quantum processors, unlike conventional computer chips, often need to be stored at very cold temperatures near zero Kelvin, or -273.15 Celsius. It has been very hard to find chips that can operate in that kind of environment and process the qubits that need to be in close proximity to the main processors in order for the “quantum entanglements” upon which quantum computing relies to work.

Before the announcement by SEEQC, in most quantum applications, hard wires connect the quantum processor in the freezing chamber to classical computers nearby but at room temperature, but the temperature change can slow the speed and cause other issues.

SEEQC seems to have solved that issue by developing a chip that can operate in the super-cold environment. The first such chip, which it unveiled recently, resides directly under the quantum processor and controls the qubits and reads out the results.

At least two other chips still under development will be in a slightly warmer part of the cryogenic chamber. These could further process the information needed for quantum computing.

The technology could make it easier to build more powerful quantum computers as each cryogenic chamber would be able to support a larger number of qubits, said John Levy, co-founder, and CEO of SEEQC. Today’s superconducting quantum computers have hundreds of qubits, but some estimate thousands or even a million could be needed to create a quantum computer to run next-gen AI algorithms.

The SEEQC digital chips are made at SEEQC’s fabrication facility in Elmsford using silicon wafers but do not use transistors, Levy said.

SEEQC was founded in 2018 and has raised a total of $30 million from investors, including Merck’s M Ventures and LG Tech Ventures.

How is This Discovery Relevant to AI?

Quantum computing will take AI and machine learning to the next level. The marriage between the two is an area to pay very close attention to for startups such as SEEQC as well as for where Big Tech will be going over the next five to ten years.

Consider this. We are at the limits of the data processing power of traditional computers, and the data just keeps growing. It has been estimated that we produce 2.5 exabytes (one exabyte = 1 billion GB ) of data every day. That’s equivalent to 250,000 Libraries of Congress or the content of five million laptops!

In order to handle this ever-increasing volume of data, there’s a race from the biggest leaders in the industry to be the first to launch a practical quantum computer. Only a quantum computer will be powerful enough to process all of this Big Data and be able to solve increasingly complex problems in order for AI to reach its full potential.

How Big Rio Can Help

Quantum computing is still very much an emerging technology with large-scale and practical applications still a ways off. However, the technology is steadily graduating from the lab and heading for the marketplace. In 2019, Google announced that it had achieved “quantum supremacy,” IBM has committed to doubling the power of its quantum computers every year, and numerous other companies and academic institutions are investing billions toward making quantum computing a commercial reality.

Quantum computing algorithms will allow us to enhance what’s already possible with machine learning and AI. BigRio will be there to help get startups and society as a whole to AI’s ultimate destination.

You can read much more about how quantum computing will redefine AI and machine learning in my new book Quantum Care: A Deep Dive into AI for Health Delivery and Research. It’s a comprehensive look at how AI is being used to improve healthcare and society as a whole.

Rohit Mahajan is a Managing Partner with BigRio. He has a particular expertise in the development and design of innovative solutions for clients in Healthcare, Financial Services, Retail, Automotive, Manufacturing, and other industry segments.

BigRio is a technology consulting firm empowering data to drive innovation, and advanced AI. We specialize in cutting-edge Big Data, Machine Learning, and Custom Software strategy, analysis, architecture, and implementation solutions. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas or if you have further questions on the content of this article, please do not hesitate to contact us.