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IQM Makes First Expansion Move; Creates Subsidiary in Germany to Drive Quantum Hardware-Software Co-Design

IQM Finland Oy (IQM), today announced an expansion through the establishment of its first subsidiary company, IQM Germany, located in Munich. The company also announced the appointment of renowned quantum computing and quantum technology expert, Prof. Enrique Solano as CEO of IQM Germany. IQM is an emerging hardware leader focused on developing quantum computers based on scalable high-speed superconducting quantum processors. The company was last Friday named as one of the ten most promising startups in Finland by the Finnish financial magazine Talouselämä.

Press release from IQM
March 11th 2020 | 310 readers

The expansion move intends to harness local quantum expertise to create a co-design hub that tightens the interaction between quantum hardware and quantum software development. The idea is to optimize quantum chips at the earliest development stage to meet gate design, connectivity, gate fidelity, and other technical imperatives for scalable quantum computing. The novel co-design model lets IQM collaborate closely with its current and future software partners throughout Europe to accelerate the development of useful quantum solutions for specialized applications.

Prof. Enrique Solano will lead the Munich operation as CEO of IQM Germany. The Peruvian/Spanish physicist is a renowned international expert in quantum computing, quantum simulation, quantum artificial intelligence, and quantum technologies. He joins IQM from his leading positions in two quantum centers in Bilbao, Spain, and Shanghai, China.

“Munich was the obvious location for the new facility,” said IQM’s CEO, Dr. Jan Goetz. “For Germany and Bavaria, in particular, building a quantum computer is a strategic national priority. That commitment has produced an ecosystem of quantum innovation, with stakeholders from industry, academia and the investor community collectively focused on advancing Europe’s quantum leadership.”

The new facility marks IQM’s first expansion outside of Finland. Since its debut last July, the company has ramped up fast to build an infrastructure to produce scalable quantum devices efficiently. At its operations lab in Espoo, qubit samples are already being produced on a wafer scale every week. The devices are benchmarked onsite for uniformity, accuracy, quality, and other imperatives for real-world applications. The high-throughput/fast-feedback model allows IQM technologists to constantly monitor the quality of the fabrication processes, and thus ensure high-quality quantum processors.

At present, IQM´s team of experts drives the business in four core areas: fabrication, scalable electronics, software, and systems integration. The new team in Munich will extend these efforts to design special-purpose processors for near-term algorithms, while also focusing on IP development. Of the company’s nearly three dozen employees, 25 hold PhDs, almost all in physics, and specifically quantum computing.

Prof. Solano adds new weight to the multi-national IQM team with his record of leadership in academic and entrepreneurial ecosystems. His previous roles include Distinguished Professor and Director at QuArtist - Quantum Artificial Intelligence for Science and Technology at Shanghai University in China, as well as similar positions at the International Center of Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain. He obtained his PhD in physics from the Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

“The hardware-software co-design model is different and exciting and brings a design-think mindset to quantum computing,” said Prof. Solano. “It lets us develop and optimize next-generation chip architectures for specific applications and implement quantum computing algorithms for industries with entrenched operations in Germany and throughout Europe. For example, financial models and predictions for car manufacturers, as well as models for drug design, material design, aerodynamics, nuclear reactions, biological systems, intelligent devices, use-cases for smart cities, and much more. I’m thrilled to join the company.”  

Prof. Mikko Möttönen, Founder and Chief Scientist of IQM added: “I have long admired Enrique for his ability to solve extremely difficult theoretical problems that are useful for practical application. He’s already building a team of experts at IQM to increase our understanding of quantum algorithms to develop financial models for myriad applications. This will enable us to quickly optimize our hardware for new algorithmic inventions produced by our software partners. He’s a dream addition to the team.”

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