UCD Silicon Quantum Computing Spin-Out Receives Multimillion Euro Venture Capital Investment

Posted 06 October, 2021

  • New funding enables Equal1 to accelerate introduction of useful, cost-effective quantum computers that leverage existing semiconductor technology

Equal1 Laboratories (Equal1), a University College Dublin silicon quantum computing spin-out company, today announced btov Industrial Technologies has joined Atlantic Bridge and other Equal1 investors in a multimillion Euro funding round. The funding, which will accelerate the introduction of the world’s most compact and cost-effective quantum computers, brings the initial capital invested in Equal1 to over €10 million. 

The company also has announced the appointment of Dr Christian Reitberger, Partner at btov, to the Equal1 board of directors. Reitberger brings to Equal1 deep-tech quantum experience and a passion for technologies that have the potential to improve the state of the world in a sustainable and significant way.

“We are excited to be part of this journey with the impressive Equal1 team,” says Reitberger. “Equal1 has a trajectory to create massively scalable quantum solutions for real applications without the need for an exotic new technology platform, leveraging existing semiconductor foundry processes to deliver quantum computing solutions that make artificial intelligence (AI) more efficient and sustainable. 

Equal1 is addressing a major challenge for the quantum computing industry, to scale the number of qubits so that a quantum computer can tackle useful, real-world problems.

The company recently announced that it was the first to demonstrate a fully integrated quantum processor unit (QPU) operating at 3.7 kelvin, a major milestone with implications for the trajectory of quantum computing. The QPU has been integrated into a quantum computer demonstrator (“Alice”) and has been operating continuously for 18 months at the company’s sites in Ireland and the U.S.

The company’s third generation QPU chip has been recently produced. This QPU includes the latest patented silicon qubit array as well as hybrid qubit test structures and high-speed input/output communication links used to bring high-speed data into the quantum core. 

With its QPU, Equal1 has developed a disruptive, scalable and cost-effective quantum computing technology, based on a commercially available silicon semiconductor process. This technology will enable the company to meet the enormous demand for affordable, functional quantum computers and the company is targeting a first-generation production system within 24 months.

Equal1 was founded by Dr Dirk Leipold, Mike Asker and Professor R. Bogdan Staszewski as a spin-out from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and has research and development teams based at NovaUCD and in Silicon Valley.

“We have supported Equal1 from the very beginning and have been impressed and excited with what the team has achieved to date,” notes Gerry Maguire, General Partner at Atlantic Bridge and Equal1 board member. “With this new round of funding, we are confident that the team can deliver on its exciting goals of bringing the technology to market.”

“This is a wonderful validation of our unique qubit technology and integrated approach, protected by a portfolio of over 30 patents,” says Dirk Leipold, Founder and CEO of Equal1. “The support of a new, extremely knowledgeable deep tech investor in btov, along with the continued support of Atlantic Bridge will enable us to accelerate our development of a useful QPU and deliver on our vision of democratizing quantum computing.”

Equal1 has recently appointed a world-renowned scientific advisory board and appointed Declan O’Mahoney, a seasoned tech CEO with multiple exits, as Non-Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Equal1’s quantum technology is particularly suited to Quantum Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI is transforming every aspect of our lives from self-driving vehicles to AI-designed drugs. However, the amount of energy required by these applications means that it is now a material and growing contributor to global carbon output and hence global warming. Equal1’s quantum computing technology will enable vastly better performance at a fraction of the energy.

The investment is also supported by current investors 808 Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.

By: Staff Writers, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)