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quantum computer

The center will provide R&D services to the entire Israeli innovation ecosystem.

By Meir Orbach, CTech

The Israel Innovation Authority has chosen Israeli startup Quantum Machines to establish the Israeli quantum computing center with a budget of 100 million shekels (approximately $29 million) for three years. Israeli company Classiq will act as a consultant, with Elbit Systems serving as a strategic partner in the venture.

The quantum computing center will enable access to conducting research and development in all layers of hardware and software on three different quantum processing technologies (superconducting qubits, cold ions and optic computer). The center will provide services to the Israeli quantum computing community in both industry and academia by providing a full stack quantum computer at their service, to run direct computations with a future option for cloud accessibility.

Quantum computing is expected to revolutionize the speed and volume of computer processes. The U.S. and China are currently regarded as world leaders in the field. Other countries making headway are Canada, Germany, Japan and India.

Conventional computers process information as a stream of bits, each of which can be either a zero or a one in the binary language of computing. But quantum bits, known as qubits, can register zero and one simultaneously.

In theory, the special properties of qubits would allow a quantum computer to perform calculations at far higher speeds than current supercomputers.

The Tel Aviv-based Quantum Machines has raised $83 million to date from investors Avigdor Willenz, the investment arm of Samsung, Samsung Next, and Israel’s Red Dot Capital Partners. Quantum Machines was founded in early 2018 by CEO Dr. Itamar Sivan, Dr. Yonatan Cohen, who serves as the company’s CTO, and Dr. Nissim Ofek, who serves as the VP of R&D.

All three are doctors of physics with a specialization in quantum computing and quantum electronics, who conducted their research in the field of quantum computing, with an emphasis on quantum electronics, at the Submicron Institute in the Faculty of Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science under the supervision of Prof. Moty Heiblum.

Elbit Systems is a strategic partner in the venture and will be part of the center’s Advisory Board. Elbit will lead the development of security for quantum applications and will allocate dedicated personnel that will work on the development of quantum applications for complex problems in the field of defense.

From day one, the center will include technology infrastructure by Israel’s Classiq and Quantum Machines alongside leading technologies from around the world, to enable full operation of a working infrastructure within 12-18 months with a processing power of over 50 qubits.

The center will integrate dedicated quantum computing solutions with research challenges such as optimization, simulations, machine learning or various components for dealing with the size and noise levels limitations of quantum computing.

The center will also provide R&D services to the entire Israeli innovation ecosystem, for developments such as designated quantum processors for various algorithms, development of processing topologies for VQA to solve optimization challenges, algorithms for control of signals’ engineering to improve the handling of noise and signal processing performance, development of interconnect technologies between components, development of techniques, algorithms to correct errors and more.

As part of the National Quantum Initiative, run by TELEM Forum (National Infrastructure for R&D), the Israel Innovation Authority and MAFAT – The Israeli Ministry of Defense Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) will finance the development of quantum technologies and the establishment of applied quantum computing center for the State of Israel at a total budget of 200 million shekels.

The investment was directed in two complementary channels. The first step, which was completed on Sunday, is designed to provide a solution for several quantum computing research and development groups that operate in Israel, while collecting both knowledge and relevant human capital. The main vision is to establish Israeli capabilities in key future technology designed for financial and security dual applications.

While technology from abroad may be partially used in the outset, the goal is to integrate Israeli-made quantum processors and related technology. Israeli startups involved in peripheral technologies have already signaled interest.

United with Israel staff contributed to this report.

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