14 May, 2020 – A consortium led by Cambridge-based quantum computing software developer Riverlane has been awarded a £7.6M grant from the government’s Industrial Challenge Strategy Fund to deploy a highly innovative quantum operating system.
The project will deliver an operating system that allows the same quantum software to run on different types of quantum computing hardware. By working together, the quantum operating system, Deltaflow.OS, will be installed on every quantum computer in the UK accelerating the commercialisation of the UK’s quantum computing sector.
Joining the Riverlane led consortium are the UK’s most exciting quantum hardware companies, SeeQC, Hitachi Europe, Universal Quantum, Duality Quantum Photonics, Oxford Ionics, and Oxford Quantum Circuits, along with UK-based chip designer, ARM, and the National Physical Laboratory.
Dr Steve Brierley, CEO of Riverlane, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant to build and install the quantum operating system Deltaflow.OS on all leading hardware platforms in the UK. Together with consortium partners, we have a unique opportunity to accelerate the commercialisation of the UK quantum technology sector and overtake global competitors in this space.”
“By making OQC’s stack compatible with Deltaflow.OS, we’re helping build a new standardised quantum ecosystem. This UK-first effort to build compatibility is a critical step in ensuring the widest possible use of our consortium’s technologies and opening up this ecosystem to new players, generating additional commercial opportunities” said Dr Ilana Wisby, CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits.
In the very same way that regular computers need an operating system, quantum computers need one too. However, there is no quantum version of Windows, IOS or Linux. Without an operating system, computers would be much less useful. By automating the scheduling of tasks and allocation of resources, such as memory and disk space, operating systems simplify the use of computers so everyone can benefit from them. Quantum computers are expected to outperform conventional computers at specific tasks, such as predicting the properties of a new medicine or vaccine. To get the best performance out of quantum computers, elements of conventional computers and quantum computers have to be integrated tightly, which makes it difficult to design an operating system.