Autonomous quantum technologies (AutoQT)

Lead Participant: RIVERLANE LTD


Quantum computers are a new type of powerful computer. They are based on building blocks called qubits. For quantum computers to work, we need to be able to control qubits in a predictable way. Controlling just one or two qubits is often the culmination of several years' work in a laboratory and can only be performed by highly trained researchers. Qubits are extremely fragile and require constant delicate attention, like the continuous tweaks of a circus performer keeping a plate spinning. With each new plate, the amount of computing power to keep them spinning increases. Eventually, with so many plates in the air at the same time, existing control methods quickly become overwhelmed.

For quantum computing to become commercially useful, we need to be able to control hundreds or even thousands of qubits at the same time. This is the biggest bottleneck in quantum computing. We will solve this challenge by building a system that can control hundreds of qubits and that can be used across different types of quantum computers. We will also use a type of artificial intelligence called machine learning to automate the tuning of qubits and maximise the time they are 'spinning in the air'.

This project brings together the UK's leading quantum software company (Riverlane), quantum hardware companies (SeeQC UK, Oxford Ionics) and research organisations (NPL, University of Oxford). They develop different types of qubits that we can test our control system on. Mind Foundry, a University of Oxford spin-out, will develop the artificial intelligence framework that can automatically keep the qubits "spinning". The University of Edinburgh will detect the state of the quantum computer and guarantee optimum performance after intervention.

We will work together to combine quantum software and artificial intelligence to build a control system for quantum computers that is powerful and intelligent. Our project brings together UK-based academic and industrial organisations to strengthen the UK quantum industry and help produce quantum computers that will transform the way several industries, such as finance, drug discovery and materials development, work.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

RIVERLANE LTD £1,139,054 £ 797,338


UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD £679,173 £ 679,173
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH £658,564 £ 658,564
OXFORD IONICS LIMITED £1,254,746 £ 878,322
MIND FOUNDRY LIMITED £997,034 £ 697,924
SEEQC UK LIMITED £1,385,641 £ 969,949
NPL MANAGEMENT LIMITED £649,896 £ 649,896


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