A Cambridge start-up aiming to rival chip designer Arm said it has made a significant breakthrough that could accelerate the development of quantum computers.
Riverlane, which was spun out from Cambridge University and is valued at £150m, has created a “quantum decoder chip”, which it claims can fix high error rates — a problem that has plagued developers trying to make quantum computers commercially viable.
Quantum computers can tackle complex problems beyond a normal computer’s ability, potentially revolutionising industries such as healthcare, sustainable energy, materials science and logistics.
However, they are prone to errors that render them useless.
Riverlane’s quantum decoder chip works by processing computer outputs and correcting errors in real-time.
“Without a decoder, the process of quantum error correction is not possible,” explained Steve Brierley, the chief executive and founder of Riverlane.
“You need a decoder to detect the errors that quantum computers are prone to and correct those errors in real time. Otherwise, you simply cannot do anything useful with a quantum computer.”
Brierley said his company’s achievement is a game-changer and propels it into a leadership position in the race to become “the next Arm”.
The Cambridge-based chip designer Arm has just made its debut on New York’s Nasdaq exchange.