Pasqal is a company building programmable quantum simulators and quantum computers made of 2D and 3D arrays of neutral atoms. Pasqal was founded in 2019 by Georges-Olivier Reymond (CEO), Christophe Jurczak, Prof. Alain Aspect, Dr. Antoine Browaeys, and Dr. Thierry Lahaye. The company is a spin-off from Institut d'Optique. Pasqal is based in Palaiseau, France, south of Paris.
On January 11th, 2022, Pasqal and Qu&Co (quantum algorithm and software developer) announced a merger leveraging their complementary solutions to accelerate progress towards scalable quantum computation. The company continues under the name Pasqal.
Antoine Browaeys (Chief Science Officer) and Thierry Lahaye (Chief Qubits Officer) began building programmable quantum simulators at the Institut d’Optique (IOGS, CNRS) in 2011. These simulators are made of neutral atom arrays and have demonstrated the simulation of many-body problems that are not solvable using classical computation. Pasqal builds on their research, engineering lasers, vacuum systems, and detection systems, for the manufacture of quantum information processors to simulate complex phenomena for scientific discovery, addressing problems such as optimization, drug discovery, and machine learning.
Pasqal has partnerships with high-performance computing communities in Italy (CINECA) and France (GENCI), as well as partner startups and end-users such as utility EDF and financial institutions.
Pasqal uses neutral atoms manipulated by lasers to produce quantum processors above 100 qubits with the aim of building a 1000 qubit device. Pasqal is developing the full computing stack, from neutral atom qubits to software tools for operation and incorporation into major third-party programming environments. The company has a quantum computer in operation and is building two more.
Pasqal processors have already been used to solve computational calculations beyond which classical computers can efficiently perform. This includes the maximum independent set (MIS) graph problem with direct applications in network design and finance. When the size of the graph grows, it becomes difficult to solve using classical computation. It is possible to solve the MIS problem using an ensemble of interacting cold neutral atoms with each atom representing a vertex of the graph.
The most promising application of Pasqal’s quantum processing units is quantum simulation, to study quantum systems of interest. Fields of application within industry include the engineering of new materials for energy storage and transport or chemistry calculations for drug discovery.
On January 11th, 2022, Pasqal and Qu&Co announced a merger to leverage their complementary solutions to accelerate progress towards achieving business advantage through quantum computing. Qu&Co is a developer of quantum computational algorithms and software. Executives from the two companies stated the aim of the combined company is to deliver a 1000-qubit quantum solution in 2023. The combined company will offer a broad range of quantum solutions in chemistry, life sciences, automotive, electronics, utilities, aerospace, defense, finance, and other sectors.
Qu&Co's SaaS products include unique and patented quantum algorithms that are distributed as back-end integrations to conventional software packages. Their clients include Covestro, BMW, Airbus, Johnson & Johnson, and LG while partners include Siemens, Schrödinger Inc., and Amazon Web Services. Qu&Co's IP (algorithm) development is supported by leading professors from multiple European universities.
The post-merger company will continue under the name Pasqal and remain headquartered in Paris. Georges-Olivier Reymond remains CEO of the combined company with Benno Broer (former CEO of Qu&Co) becoming chief commercial officer. The merged company has operations in seven countries with employees from over fifteen countries. Qu&Co’s pan-European activities continue under the names Pasqal Netherlands, Pasqal Germany, Pasqal UK, and Pasqal Spain.
About the merger CEO of Pasqal, Georges-Olivier Reymond said:
Leveraging the synergies of the two companies will further strengthen our full-stack, neutral-atom solution in achieving near-term commercial benefit... Qu&Co’s technology and exceptional talent base has proven itself across several industries and will allow us to solidify our position as a global quantum computing leader. Our combined platform will be made available through the cloud to all partners in the Pasqal ecosystem, including clients, software developers, and others.
In March 2019, Pasqal closed a first investment round with Quantonation an early-stage venture fund based in Paris with a focus on emerging quantum technologies. On September 15th, 2020, Pasqal announced a 2nd Seed round led by TPY Capital, a Tel Aviv-based early state VC.
On June 8th, 2021, Pasqal announced a €25M Series A round led by Quantonation and the Defense Innovation Fund, managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the Defense Innovation Agency (AID). Runa Capital, Daphni, and Eni Next also participated in the round that also included a previously announced commitment from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund.
The funding helps Pasqal advance the development of analog and digital quantum processors, strengthening its applications co-design approach, building its Quantum Computing as a Service hybrid cloud offering, and initiating international expansion.
A full list of Pasqal investors includes the following:
- Ministère des Armées (Ministry of Armed Forces)
- Runa Capital
- TPY Capital
Robustness to spontaneous emission of a variational quantum algorithm
January 21, 2020