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UK startup's Equinix deal marks step towards broad quantum computing access

Businesses around the world will be able to use its quantum computing as a service platform through Equinix

A British quantum computing startup will install its technology at a data centre in Japan to be used by businesses around the world via the cloud.

Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) quantum computing as a service (QCaaS) offering will be available in late 2023 and will connect to Equinix Fabric, the company’s cloud platform.

To run workloads using OQC's QCaaS technology, businesses will connect their own digital infrastructure to Equinix Fabric hosted at the TY11 Tokyo International Business Exchange data centre.

“The world has been waiting for quantum computing to mature to the point that it can change our lives. Installing quantum computing in Equinix's world-class TY11 data centre brings us a step closer to this reality,” said Ilana Wisby, CEO at OQC.

“Quantum computing represents a major shift in terms of technology and process. Unlike traditional classical computers, quantum computers can crunch vast amounts of data at incredible speeds.”

OQC claims to have the UK’s most advanced quantum computer, as well as the only quantum computer commercially available in the country. 

The company currently hosts its quantum computer on AWS. It’s an eight quantum processing unit (QPU) quantum computer, named Lucy, which launched on Amazon Braket on 28 February 2022. 

"We are installing in Equinix’s TY11 Tokyo IBX data centre, given the extent of customer demand both in the Japanese market and the APAC region more generally," an OQC spokesperson told IT Pro. "We are excited to work with leading Japanese companies as they build their quantum capability and experiment and learn about our technology."

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The startup has had three funding rounds and managed to raise a total of £38.9 million, according to Crunchbase. It also has two investors located in Japan - investment consortium HiJoJo partners and the University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners.

“IDC predicts that by 2026, 95% of companies will invest in compute technologies that deliver faster insights from complex data sets to drive differentiated business outcomes,” said Andrew Buss, senior research director at IDC's European enterprise infrastructure programme.

“Making quantum computing available 'as a service' on a globally interconnected digital infrastructure should significantly reduce barriers to experimentation and adoption such as cost, skills, and the complexity of integration - and open up quantum technology to many more organisations to test and use."

In August 2022, Fujitsu became Japan's first domestic company to commercialise quantum computing. It partnered with the Riken research institute to offer the service to businesses in the country. The new technology was expected to be used in sectors like medicine development and financial forecasting. 

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