Building the Quantum Internet

memQ is building hardware to connect quantum computers together over long distances and enable ultra secure communication protected by the laws of physics. The company has developed a silicon-based platform that integrates solid-state qubits with native operation in the telecom C-band. In combination with integrated photonics, this platform would offer entanglement creation, distribution and management, enabling capabilities like the quantum internet, distributed sensing and computing networks.

Critical Need for this Technology

High performance computing (HPC) and cloud-based data centers are critical infrastructure for the modern economy. As quantum computing — a new form of high performance information processing based on the laws of quantum physics — becomes more mature, it offers new and faster ways of solving tough computational problems and securing data communication in arenas where classical computing systems cannot compete. While classical HPC systems utilize MWhs of energy and require considerable volumes of water for cooling while they perform calculations, quantum computers could potentially enable a drastic speedup of these calculations, leading to more efficient computing. Crucially, however, there is currently no internet equivalent over which quantum computers can exchange information. Our technology focuses on developing quantum repeaters to network quantum devices, which is needed for distributed quantum computing that can outperform classical computers at certain tasks while using less energy.

Supplemental Need for this Technology

The advent of quantum computing also brings risk to the current standard of encrypted communication. Another benefit of developing a fully quantum network is that the communication link provided, based on entanglement, is unhackable and enables ultra secure data transmission.

Competition

  • Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a method for distributing cryptographic keys that are robust against eavesdropping; however, it does not natively link together quantum computers and has a limited range of without quantum repeaters
  • There are a couple of technologies focused on quantum repeaters. At the core of a repeater enabled  network is a means for generating quantum entanglement using photons and a quantum memory that can temporarily store these photons. Other repeater architectures either utilize photons with wavelengths that are not compatible with telecom fiber networks or have quantum memories that are very short-lived or lossy.

Potential Markets

  • Government/defense secure communications
  • The financial industry
  • Telecommunications companies
  • Academic, government, or corporate research in photonic quantum information

Key Innovation

Silicon foundry-compatible solid-state qubits that have a photonic interface in the telecom C-band.

R & D Status of Project

memq has demonstrated a lab-scale proof of concept quantum resource generator, and the company has shown the ability to tailor the properties of these qubits through materials engineering and integration with silicon nanophotonics.

Team Overview

Manish Kumar Singh is a co-founder and CEO of memQ. He received his Bachelors and Masters dual degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 2012. He then spent several years working at TSMC, the world’s largest computer chip manufacturer, first as a process engineer at advanced nodes and then as an integration engineer on memory technology – bringing processes from R&D to fab-scale. A role that led him to pursuing his PhD from the Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago where he worked with Supratik Guha on developing scalable CMOS compatible platforms for rare-earth qubits and graduated in 2022 with a PhD in Quantum Science and Engineering.

Sean Sullivan is a co-founder and CTO of memQ. He received his BS and MS in Materials Engineering from Purdue University. During this time, he worked in Toyota’s Materials Research Department, developing new nanomaterials for power electronics applications. He then joined the Laboratory of Quantum Materials for Sustainable Technologies at UT Austin, where he received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering, developing new modalities for probing quantum energy transport in materials. Following his PhD, he joined the group of Joe Heremans and David Awschalom at Argonne National Lab as a postdoc where his research focused on integrating defect qubits in new host materials and coupling them with integrated photonics for quantum communication applications.

Technology Profile

Status: Pre-seed

Primary industry: Semiconductors, Quantum

Category (i.e. tech keywords): Quantum computing, quantum communication

Estimated annual revenue: Pre-Seed

Employs: 2

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