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Xanadu raises seed money, noted MIT professor signs on as advisor

May 9, 2018  

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Toronto-based Xanadu has announced a seed round of $9 million the company said will be used to build quantum photonic chips that will enable the creation of the world’s most powerful computers.

“Recent scientific breakthroughs have shown that the use of photons — particles of light — can be harnessed to perform extremely fast, incredibly complex computations, making it possible to solve some of the world’s most pressing computational problems,” the company said in a release.

“Xanadu is developing a photonic quantum architecture that can help solve previously intractable problems in machine learning, chemistry, finance, sensing, and drug discovery.”

The company said its mission is to achieve practical quantum supremacy by building quantum processors based on silicon photonics, where fabrication is achieved using existing foundries, leading to significant cost and production savings.

In addition, Seth Lloyd, a professor at MIT and one of the pioneers of quantum computing, has signed on as the firm’s chief scientific advisor.

“Xanadu’s approach is highly flexible and eminently suitable for performing tasks such as quantum simulation and quantum machine learning,” said Lloyd. “This will allow the scaling up of quantum information processing to tens of thousands of quantum operations within the next few years.”

Christian Weedbrook, founder and CEO of Xanadu added that the firm’s hardware and software are developed with “direct input from forward-thinking businesses that understand the vast potential and benefits of embracing an inevitable quantum world, early on.”

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