How SCALINQ’s here to revolutionize quantum computing
It’s not every day that entrepreneurs in deep tech get recognized by the Swedish royalty for their achievements early on in their company journey.
Meet Zaid Saeed who launched SCALINQ, a quantum computing company less than a year ago but has already started making waves in the tech industry. He was named the Young Pioneer of the Year 2022 at the Årets Nybyggare award ceremony by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf.
And, for good reason. Saeed is motivated to use quantum computing for creating an impact as big as the Industrial Revolution, a change that will ripple through a long time in the future.
“I’ve always wanted to make a difference and not be a number on a screen. Working on something that is this ground-breaking and that could be revolutionizing multiple industries in the future was a no-brainer for me. I didn’t care really how much time it would take me to learn the field,” he said.
Back in the 1970s, no one would have thought how big of an impact computers would have on our lives. However, when Saeed in 2021 came into contact with researchers who were working on building a Swedish large-scale quantum computer in the Wallenberg-financed billion project WACQT, he knew he could leverage that research and commercialize the solution for tech companies. And along with four co-founders deriving from the labs at the Chalmers University of Technology, SCALINQ was launched.
According to him, collaborating with the research team at Chalmers gave the company a competitive edge. He said, “We’re creating a vehicle with the technical expertise as well as the expertise that can balance between the business language and the research language to get it out there.”
When explaining quantum computing, Saeed said, it is a platform technology one can see as the internet or as a smartphone, or as any other breakthrough technologies that will be used in a variety of different verticals. However, it’s “still the Wild Wild West.”
Quantum computing has been more prevalent in the pharmaceutical field or material science. For instance, the Chinese search company Baidu opened access to a 10-superconducting-qubit processor that it hopes will help researchers make forays into applying quantum computing to fields such as materials design and pharmaceutical development.
The fundamental idea of quantum computing making it so superior to conventional computing is that it can process large amounts of data and an exponentially faster time than conventional computers.
For years, quantum computing’s news cycle was dominated by headlines about record-setting systems. IBM is expected to announce a processor in 2023 as well as debut its Heron processor, which will have just 133 qubits. IBM’s Heron project is just a first step into the world of modular quantum computing.
Saeed explained that the heart of the quantum computer is the processor. At SCALINQ, they make sure that this heart has the infrastructure around it, that doesn’t disturb its performance.
“Because right now, some of the things that are surrounding the processor itself are causing limitations or bottlenecks for the actual processor,” he said. When customers come to us and they’re like, ‘Hey, we have this type of processor. Can you give us a good motherboard that surrounded that with this performance?’”
Challenges in quantum computing
There are a lot of possibilities of quantum computers, such as real-time data analysis. But according to Saeed, the technology is not fully ready yet to achieve the many promising applications. The reason is simple: “We’re not there yet,” Saeed said.
Furthermore, the hardware is creating a bottleneck as the hardware needed for quantum computing is all about creating a confined environment to control the quantum system in a delicate manner which is affected by a slew of variables, Saeed detailed.
“Many companies are tackling the hardware limitations using software such as machine learning algorithms and AI to identify sources of error and mitigate them as they occur in the quantum computer.”
But at SCALINQ, the founders believe in tackling the challenges by creating hardware that helps lower the errors in the quantum computer and create higher-performing computers.
Saeed and his research team are constantly looking into making the product better with the aim to making it more commercially viable and accessible. “We always try to develop the tech as needed and not what we think is cool,” he said, “We’re currently researching on better magnetic shielding and enhanced signal transmission.”
For Saeed, his goal is to continue to grow SCALINQ as a leading supplier of cryogenic hardware in the field, and truly represent the work that’s been done for decades at Chalmers University.
Undoubtedly, the industry is taking a big leap day by day. As Saeed puts it, “there are many exciting projects taking place in different universities because quantum technologies are a whole field in itself, including multiple verticals such as quantum internet, quantum sensing, and there’s a great value of creating an infrastructure in Sweden, that facilitates that kind of push.”
In the near future, Saeed plans to take SCALINQ to new heights, not by profit but my building a network.
“We’re not just selling hardware, we’re building relationships because we think it’s more important that the whole field, in general, goes forward. We’re more focused on creating something breakthrough than actually creating a unicorn. The idea here is that everyone should collaborate to get this breakthrough technology to the market as soon as possible,” he concluded.
By: Varsha Saraogi
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