Google’s former head of quantum computing has chosen Australia to continue his groundbreaking work and lifelong mission to build a quantum computer.

Silicon Quantum Computing, the Australian technology startup founded by Professor Michelle Simmons AO, today announced the addition of Professor John Martinis, who last year led a team at Google in demonstrating  that quantum computers can outperform classical computers.

Martinis left Google shortly after the breakthrough when the US tech giant relegated him to an advisory role and disagreements arose with the head of Google’s quantum project.

The world renowned quantum computing expert will join Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) to assist in its development of a silicon based quantum computer.

 SQC was formed in May 2017 by a consortium of the Commonwealth and NSW government, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank and funded with A$87.8 million.

With labs based in UNSW and led by 2018 Australian of the year Professor Michelle Simmons, the startup is considered at the forefront of quantum computing and a world leader in atomic fabrication.

Over the past decade Professor Simmons and her team have passed several technical milestones, including their recent demonstration of the fastest two qubit gate in silicon, as they work towards the creation of a 10-qubit prototype quantum integrated processor by 2023.

“Professor Martinis’ track record of success and intense focus on building a commercially-useful quantum computer aligns with our goals at SQC,” said Professor Simmons.

“We have developed atomically-precise fabrication techniques that are uniquely suited to building a quantum computer. SQC is focusing on scaling up its technology platform. This is exactly what John did at Google. So we are delighted that he has chosen SQC and Australia for his next move.”

 Professor Martinis said he was excited to be joining SQC.

“Building a quantum computer is my life-long ambition. If we can build one successfully at scale, it will be a transformational achievement with tremendous impact for humankind. I chose to come to SQC because of the promise of the unique approach in fabrication at the atomic level. No one else in the world can do what these guys are capable of.“

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