Riverlane, a Cambridge University spin-out company, claims to have successfully trialed Deltaflow OS, its first high performance universal operating system (OS) for quantum computers.
The new OS is said to enable applications to be implemented on quantum hardware by means of a carefully selected interface, or “hardware abstraction layer”.
According to the UK tech firm, as this approach facilitates quick control of operations, the new OS will boost the performance for near-term quantum computing applications by several magnitudes in comparison to other interfaces, such as the ones being used by IBM.
As an example, the company said that computational chemistry applications, which are important in the discovery of drugs or the design of materials, will run 30 times quicker on near-term devices.
When performing quantum error-correction, which is necessary for building large and dependable quantum computers, the improvement in performance because of Deltaflow.OS will be thousandfold, claimed performance.
Riverlane CEO Steve Brierley said: “We have solved a really important problem in quantum computing: how hardware and software interact whilst teasing the highest possible performance out of a quantum computer. This finally shifts the complexity of designing quantum computer applications from hardware to software.”
The trial of the new OS showed that it successfully executed a major technical task using the hardware abstraction layer– the ‘hello world’ requirement of quantum computing, which is called a ‘Rabi oscillation’.
The task was undertaken on a quantum computer at the University of Oxford in partnership with quantum hardware firm Oxford Ionics, which operates with trapped-ion technology.
Recently, a consortium led by Riverlane and featuring Oxford Ionics, Hitachi Europe, the National Physical Laboratory, ARM, and also hardware start-ups Oxford Quantum Circuits, Seeqc, Duality Quantum Photonics, and Universal Quantum were given a grant of £7.6m grant by the UK government to introduce Deltaflow.OS to market.
The grant will enable Deltaflow.OS to be installed on all working quantum computers in the UK. These includes all four quantum hardware technologies, which are trapped-ion qubits, silicon qubits, superconducting qubits, and photonic qubits, said Riverlane.