Thursday, 01 October 2020 10:57

Former Google quantum scientist joins SQC


The ranks of Australian startup Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) have been boosted with the arrival of John Martinis.

"Professor Martinis' decision to come and work in Australia for SQC further demonstrates the promise of the technical capability developed by Professor [Margaret] Simmons and the SQC team. It's a reminder of UNSW's world leading capability in quantum physics and atomic engineering", said University of New South Wales Vice Chancellor Ian Jacobs.

SQC is applying intellectual property developed at the UNSW Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology (directed by Simmons, who is also the founder of SQC) as well as its own intellectual property to develop a silicon-based quantum computer.

"Professor Martinis' track record of success and intense focus on building a commercially-useful quantum computer aligns with our goals at SQC," said Simmons.

"We have developed atomically-precise fabrication techniques that are uniquely suited to building a quantum computer. SQC is focusing on scaling up its technology platform. This is exactly what John did at Google. So we are delighted that he has chosen SQC and Australia for his next move," she added.

Martinis and his team at Google were the first to demonstrate that quantum computers can outperform classical computers, known as 'quantum supremacy'.

He has also worked at CEA France, NIST Boulder, and UC Santa Barbara.

"I'm hugely excited to join the team at SQC," said Martinis.

"Building a quantum computer is my life-long ambition. If we can build one successfully at scale, it will be a transformational achievement with tremendous impact for humankind. I chose to come to SQC because of the promise of the unique approach in fabrication at the atomic level. No one else in the world can do what these guys are capable of."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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