Journey to the Atomic Scale: How Atom Computing is Pioneering Quantum with Rydberg Atoms

H Hannan

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Atom Computing is an American quantum computing company based in Berkeley, California. Founded in 2020, Atom Computing is developing next-generation quantum processors using neutral atom technology. The company aims to deliver practical quantum advantage on useful applications and make quantum computing accessible to organizations worldwide.

Atom Computing is led by CEO Rob Hays. The company has raised over $60 million in funding from leading investors including Innovation Endeavors, Prelude Ventures, and UP.Partners. Atom Computing currently employs around 65 people and continues to grow its workforce.

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Atom Computing utilizes ultracold neutral atoms trapped by lasers as qubits for its quantum processors. This approach offers key advantages compared to superconducting or trapped ion qubits used by other quantum computing companies.

Neutral atom qubits have seconds-long coherence times, which enables them to maintain quantum superposition states for much longer. This results in high-fidelity quantum operations. The atoms also interact weakly, allowing thousands of qubits to be assembled in a simple 2D architecture.

Atom Computing uses rubidium-87 atoms cooled to microkelvin temperatures and trapped in optical tweezers formed by laser beams. Qubits are encoded in two hyperfine states of the atoms. The company has developed proprietary techniques to precisely control large arrays of individual atom qubits.

Lasers can rearrange the traps, bringing qubits together to interact and implement quantum logic gates. Atoms can also be transported across the chip to connect distant qubits. This provides a flexible architecture for scaling up the quantum processor.

The neutral atom approach has the potential to achieve fault-tolerant quantum computing with hundreds of logical qubits. This capacity could unlock valuable new applications not feasible on noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) processors limited to below 100 qubits.

Atom Computing’s Products

Atom Computing currently offers cloud access to its 5-qubit and 10-qubit quantum processing units (QPUs) named Vega and Orion. The systems are physically located in the company’s Berkeley headquarters.

Users can run experiments on Atom Computing’s QPUs through Microsoft Azure Quantum and Amazon Braket cloud services. Leading quantum software platforms including Qiskit, Cirq, and Quantum Engine also integrate with the systems.

Vega and Orion focus on quantum chemistry applications like calculating molecular properties. But the systems also support developer tools for exploring quantum algorithms and programming techniques.

Atom Computing provides SDKs for Python, C#, and other languages along with documentation and example programs. The startup also offers professional services to help organizations get started with quantum computing.

The company aims to release upgraded systems with 20-30 qubits in 2023. It is developing modular architecture to scale up its quantum processors to hundreds of qubits later this decade.

Atom Computing provides access to its quantum systems through flexible pricing models including pay-per-use, monthly subscriptions, and special academic pricing. It aims to make quantum computing power widely accessible to organizations and developers.

Atom COmputing’s Partnerships

Atom Computing has established partnerships with leading players across the quantum ecosystem:

Government Agencies: Atom Computing works with the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation on quantum research projects. These collaborations aid technology development.

Cloud Providers: Integration with Azure Quantum and Braket allows Atom Computing to offer its systems at a global scale. The startup also partners with AWS, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

Fortune 500: The company is engaging with early-adopter enterprises across industries to identify promising use cases. Partners include Airbus, BASF, BMW, and Goldman Sachs.

Startups: Atom Computing provides backend quantum processing power to startups building quantum applications through partnerships.

Universities: Academic collaboration allows Atom Computing to push the boundaries of quantum science and recruit exceptional talent. The company partners with MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and others.

Atom Computing actively contributes to collaborative forums like the Chicago Quantum Exchange and participates in government initiatives such as the National Quantum Initiative Act. These partnerships help advance the whole quantum ecosystem.

Atom Computing’s Technology Roadmap

Here are some key milestones in Atom Computing’s technology roadmap:

2023: Release 20-30 qubit systems, demonstrate quantum advantage on specialized sampling problems.

2024: Increase to 50-100 qubits with modular architecture, benchmark performance on quantum algorithms.

2026: Improve qubit performance and fidelity, scale to ~500 logical qubits.

2028: Introduce error correction, and scale up to 1000+ logical qubits while maintaining high fidelity.

2030: Deliver fault-tolerant universal gate-based quantum computer with logical qubit count in thousands.

Atom Computing aims to achieve broadly useful fault-tolerant quantum computing based on logical qubits by the end of this decade. This capacity could enable accurate quantum chemistry simulations, powerful optimization algorithms, and decryption of current encryption standards.

Atom Computing Market Outlook

Atom Computing is well-positioned to lead the quantum computing industry as it transitions from noisy intermediate-scale quantum to fault tolerance. With its neutral atom technology and focus on practical applications, Atom Computing could become the foremost provider of quantum computing services worldwide.

According to a McKinsey report, the quantum computing market could reach $850 billion by 2040. Atom Computing is ready to capture a substantial share across:

  • Cloud quantum computing services
  • Enterprise application subscriptions
  • Hardware sales and leasing

The company could power solutions for pharmaceuticals, logistics, finance, and more while enabling the next generation of quantum-enhanced applications.

As quantum computing moves mainstream over the next 5-10 years, Atom Computing aims to make these revolutionary capabilities accessible to organizations globally. With its innovative neutral atom technology and cloud delivery model, Atom Computing is poised to dominate the coming quantum era.

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