Seeqc, which recently spun-out of superconductor developer Hypres, is working on developing essential hardware building blocks for eventual quantum computers. Instead of manufacturing a quantum processor that functions like a traditional CPU, Seeqc is using its superconductive electronics foundry to develop application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), each of which is designed to solve a particular problem. These ASICs are qubit-agnostic, so whichever of the tech titans manages to obtain working and stable qubits, Seeqc will be in a position to layer its technology right on top.
Seeqc has drawn large amounts of investor attention. Seeqc raised over $11 million in April, a large portion of which came from M Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Merck. Quantum computing has the potential to quickly sort through large numbers of potential molecules, speeding up and lowering the cost of drug discovery. Merck will be working closely with Seeqc as a strategic partner to ensure that this massive potential is realized.
Seeqc’s major competitor in this space, Quantum Machines, is taking a similar approach to both technology and patent strategy. Both companies have a hardware focus, appear to be using the Accelerated Examination Track at the USPTO, and have taken in similar levels of funding. Seeqc might be able to distinguish itself by strategic partnerships or by being acquired—as the technology for stable qubits becomes more of a reality, the tech titans will begin to view Seeqc’s manufacturing capabilities and patent portfolio as very valuable.