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Riverlane to build radically new operating system for quantum computers

Press release
Riverlane to build radically new operating system for quantum computers
Luigi Martiradonna
14 May, 2020

Riverlane is leading a consortium which has been awarded a £7.6M grant from the government’sIndustrial Challenge Strategy Fund to deploy a highly innovative quantum operating system.

Joining the consortium are the UK’s most exciting quantum hardware companies, SeeQCHitachi Europe, Universal Quantum, Duality QuantumPhotonics, OxfordIonics, and Oxford Quantum Circuits, along withUK-based chip designer, Arm, and the National Physical Laboratory.

The project will deliver Deltaflow.OS; an operating system that allows the same quantum software to run on different types of quantum computing hardware. The system works on different qubit technologies including silicon, photonics, superconducting and trapped ion qubits. By working together, the quantum operating system, Deltaflow.OS, will be installed on every quantum computer in the UK, thus accelerating the commercialisation of the UK’s quantum computing sector.

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.

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