UK-based Oxford Ionics, a startup solving critical scalability issues facing the future of quantum computing, announced on Monday that it has raised £30M (approximately €34.11M) in a Series A round of funding from some of the world’s leading quantum and tech investors.
Oxford Ionics has now raised a total funding of £37M to date.
The current round was led by Oxford Science Enterprises and Braavos Investment Advisers. The round also saw participation from Lansdowne Partners, Prosus Ventures, 2xN, Torch Partners, and Hermann Hauser (founder of chip giant ARM).
Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE) is an independent, billion-pound investment company. It was created in 2015 to found, fund and build transformational businesses via its partnership with the University of Oxford. This partnership enables OSE to work with the brightest academic minds tackling the world’s toughest challenges and guarantees unrivalled access to their scientific research. To date, OSE has invested £0.5B in over 80 companies built on Oxford science.
Creating powerful, accurate and reliable quantum computers
Founded in 2019 by Dr Chris Ballance and Dr Tom Harty, Oxford Ionics designs and scales one of the ‘most’ promising quantum computing technologies – trapped-ions.
According to Oxford Ionics, trapped-ions have long been shown to be superior as many technologies compete for dominance to drive toward a quantum future. Oxford Ionics’ system has regularly outperformed the others among the highest-performing quantum systems to date, all of which are driven by trapped ions.
In tests, the trapped-ion technology from Oxford Ionics set global records for highest performance quantum operations, longest quantum coherence time, and highest performance quantum network. The technology has also the highest performance ever exhibited while using chips produced on a semiconductor production line.
Dr Chris Ballance says, “If we’re to identify and unlock the true power and potential of quantum computing we need to crack the critical issues that are holding it back – scalability, integration and performance. Our unique trapped-ion approach has been developed to address all three. At Oxford Ionics, we’re focused on building technologies that will help quantum computing finish the race, not just take small, incremental steps. Our latest round of funding, and the knowledge, insight and expertise of our new investors bring us even closer to this goal.”
The Oxford Ionics team is made up of the brightest minds across the quantum sector who, between them, have over 100 years of expertise in this space – 10 PhDs and more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
According to Oxford Ionics, the funds will be used to hire new employees for positions across the company’s different roles as it continues to grow – from designers, scientists, engineers, and an expanding back-office crew, in addition to software developers and engineers. Here are the open positions at Oxford Ionics.
Will Goodlad from Oxford Science Enteprises says, “Through its unique approach, developed by some of the world’s best minds in the quantum space, Oxford Ionics is laying the foundations to finally make quantum computing a scalable, integrable and viable option. Building on more than a decade at the forefront of this sector, Chris, Tom and the team have been able to demonstrate, time and again, that their work in the lab can, and will, extend to the real world and we’re thrilled to be joining them on this journey.”
Oxford Ionics’ superiority results from the company’s innovative strategy. Lasers have been the main source of qubit control in trapped-ion devices up to now. This method works well for tiny processors, but as processor size climbs and the number of qubits rises, it becomes unworkable and error-prone.
The qubits are managed via an exclusive, patented Electronic Qubit Control (EQC) technology in Oxford Ionics’ trapped-ion processors rather than by lasers. This enables them to combine the unmatched quantum performance of individual atoms with the scalability and dependability of electronics built into silicon chips.
The Oxford Ionics processors are integrable and scalable as standard thanks to this methodology, which not only offers the highest degree of performance but also marks a first for any quantum computing system. The firm has even demonstrated the viability of this strategy in a real-world setting via a collaboration with semiconductor producer Infineon Technologies AG on a regular manufacturing line.