It’s still early days for quantum computing, but we’re currently seeing rapid improvements in the underlying hardware and software foundations for this new computing paradigm. And just like during the early days of classical computing, different hardware players are betting on very different approaches to how to build these machines. There’s IonQ with its trapped ion approach, D-Wave using quantum annealing and IBM, Rigetti and others with their bet on building a superconducting gate model machine. All of these approaches have their pros and cons and may eventually find their niches for solving different kinds of problems.

EeroQ, which announced a $7.25 million seed funding round today, is taking a somewhat different approach to these other players by betting on mass-produced CMOS chips that use electrons floating on liquid helium to power the core of its quantum processors. The advantage of this, the EeroQ team argues, is that it allows for very long coherence times (close to 10 seconds), fast gates and the ability to quickly scale the technology to thousands of qubits (though it isn’t quite there yet). The company was founded in 2017 and the team spent the last few years working on the fundamental science behind these designs. The company recently added Princeton Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Steve Lyon as CTO and completed its headquarter and lab in Chicago.

eeroq bets on helium for its quantum chip design

Image Credits: EeroQ

“We’re the only company that is pursuing electrons and helium — and electrons and helium, it’s an almost identical system to silicon spin qubits. […] The only difference is that what we’re trying to do is, instead of having the single electron spin be embedded inside this silicon — which has all types of possible defects — [ours] actually floats on top of a layer of liquid helium. The really cool thing here, just from a pure science effective, is that the electron is attracted to its own image and therefore it’s trapped naturally,” EeroQ CEO Nick Farina explained. Ideally, this means that EeroQ’s design will have all of the benefits of spin qubits, including their long coherence time, with the advantage of having a system that can be scaled up more easily. And while noise will always be an issue for any quantum computer design, the electron-on-helium design offers some natural resistance by default. There’s a reason, after all, why the current time in quantum computing is typically called the ‘noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ)’ era.

eeroq bets on helium for its quantum chip design

Image Credits: EeroqQ

“I think there are multiple valid ways to build a quantum computer,” Farina said. “And I think that in the NISQ era, over the next five years by the middle of the decade, you’re going to see multiple success stories of creating real customer value using different types of qubits. I think there’s a point at which scalability will start to separate the field.”

That’s obviously also what EeroQ’s investors are betting on. The company’s seed round was led by B Capital’s Ascent Fund, with participation from V Capital, Alumni Ventures, Unbound Ventures, Calibrate Ventures and Red Cedar Ventures. B Capital’s chair Howard Morgan and its senior principal Morgan Polotan will join the company’s board.

In an interview, Howard Morgan noted that he has had a long interest in quantum computing but it wasn’t until B Capital’s new Ascent Fund closed earlier this year that he had a vehicle for making these more adventurous early-stage investments. “We started talking about Nick [Farina] and what they were doing. And we started to dig in and I realized that it was one of the only very differentiated technologies. It was not going down the paths that all the other people have gone down. It was developed with Michigan State and Princeton University and we had a way to pretty much lock up all the patents and all the intellectual property, so we could work on it because everybody else was ignoring it completely,” Morgan said and added that the promise of the technology’s scalability was also a major reason why the firm decided to invest.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Smartynames uses AI to find you the perfect domain name

There’s a lot of weird and wonderful uses for AI applications. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen AI powering better marketing emails, more smartly understanding the context of video content, and getting the most from customer feedback. It shows no sign of slowing: OpenAI announced it is pouring $10 ...

View more: Smartynames uses AI to find you the perfect domain name

Porsche, World Fund join $63M bet on batteries for electric planes

To help electric planes take off, German battery company Customcells says it landed about $63 million (€60 million) in Series A funding from Porsche and several climate-tech investors. World Fund, a one-year-old venture firm that backs European climate startups, led the deal. Abacon Capital and Vsquared Ventures also chipped ...

View more: Porsche, World Fund join $63M bet on batteries for electric planes

Google combines Maps and Waze teams as pressures mount to cut costs

Google plans to combine the teams working on its Maps product and on Waze, a mapping service that Google acquired in 2013. The merger comes as the search engine giant feels the pressure to cut costs and consolidate operations, reports The Wall Street Journal. Waze’s team of 500 employees ...

View more: Google combines Maps and Waze teams as pressures mount to cut costs

Tesla appears to be turning back to radar for its vehicles

Tesla plans to add a new radar product to its vehicles in mid-January, according to documents posted with the Federal Communications Commission. The disclosure, which was first reported by Electrek, comes as the company faces scrutiny over the safety and capabilities of its standard advanced driver assistance system known ...

View more: Tesla appears to be turning back to radar for its vehicles

Daily Crunch: Plaid unravels a fifth of its workforce after ‘growth did not materialize as quickly as expected’ 

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here. Hello, and welcome to Hump Day! If you haven’t gotten your fill yet of tech egos, you’ll want to tune into today’s Equity podcast, where Natasha M ...

View more: Daily Crunch: Plaid unravels a fifth of its workforce after ‘growth did not materialize as quickly as expected’ 

Theranos exec Sunny Balwani sentenced to 13 years in prison for defrauding patients and investors

The former COO of disgraced blood testing startup Theranos, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was sentenced to 155 months, or about 13 years, in prison, and three years of probation. After a three-month trial, Balwani was found guilty on all 12 criminal charges, ranging from defrauding patients and investors to conspiring ...

View more: Theranos exec Sunny Balwani sentenced to 13 years in prison for defrauding patients and investors

America’s weak EV charging infrastructure might get a boost from dealers

As electric vehicles begin to take some market share, the nation’s charging infrastructure is playing catch-up. Some folks already have an edge in this race, including some California residents and Tesla fans, but many EV owners in America still face charging deserts and unreliable stations — two key obstacles ...

View more: America’s weak EV charging infrastructure might get a boost from dealers

Oh no, they added NFTs to Winamp

Winamp version 5.9.1 is here, rejoice! The venerable — nay, aged — but reliable media player has been receiving sporadic updates over the last couple decades, but little truly new functionality has appeared (and that’s just fine by us users). But this new version brings an unexpected and thankfully optional ...

View more: Oh no, they added NFTs to Winamp

Halo and Sea of Thieves ambience tracks come to Calm meditation app

A healthcare brand for women begins to take shape

Navier’s 30-foot hydrofoiling electric boat hits the water and prepares for production

Apple changes AirDrop security for all with iOS 16.2 after backlash over restrictions in China

Apple launches end-to-end encryption for iCloud data

Andreessen Horowitz leads $43M Series A for Setpoint, which aims to be the ‘Stripe for credit’

Here’s how we know the US climate legislation is already working

Skydio takes flight with new drone docking stations for easy remote deployment

As Apple’s App Store expands price points options, RevenueCat rolls out A/B price testing tools

6 extremely online books to gift your most internet-obsessed friends

Slingshot Aerospace closes Series A-2 to grow space situational awareness platform

Mastercard director sees FTX collapse as chance for the crypto market to reset

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News