Das Team ParityQC (c) ParityQC
Author profile picture

About ParityQC

  • Founders: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lechner, Magdalena Hauser
  • Founded in: 2020
  • Employees: 50, research group included
  • Money raised: Grants and turnover
  • Ultimate goal: Building the standard architecture for Quantum computers worldwide

The expectations for quantum computers are high. They are expected to solve complex problems that conventional computers cannot handle. One example is optimization tasks, such as those in demand in finance and logistics. The commercialization of quantum computers is not yet foreseeable. The central problem is scaling. 

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Lechner from the Institute for Quantum Optimization at the University of Innsbruck found a solution after years of intensive research: he achieved scalability via the architecture for quantum computers. An approach that could form the basis for the next generation of quantum computers. 

Professor Lechner is a serial entrepreneur and has received numerous awards, including the Google Research Faculty Award and the Houska Prize. In 2020 – shortly after its founding – his spin-off ParityQC was named one of the top 32 spin-offs in the world in a ranking by Today, Nature Research and Merck KGaA

His co-founder, Magdalena Hauser, is also a serial entrepreneur and was previously co-founder and CEO of I.E.C.T. Hermann Hauser, an organization engaged in deep tech investment and spin-off ecosystem building. They aim to create similar conditions for technology-based spin-offs in Central Europe as in Cambridge, in cooperation with the University of Cambridge.

In this episode of the Start-up-of-the-Day series, Magdalena and Wolfgang talk about their innovation and the challenges of starting a business: 

What problem are you solving?

Currently, global corporations such as Google, IBM, and Amazon, for example, are working to build quantum computers that solve real-world problems. The biggest challenge is scaling the systems. We are producing blueprints and operating systems for quantum computers that will enable us – together with hardware manufacturers – to build scalable quantum computers. The system is suitable for solving industry-relevant problems in the future. 

What is new about your development approach?

Due to their complexity, real-world problems require a large number of qubits when encoded on a quantum computer. In the standard approach, these problems are encoded either directly in hardware or in gates between qubits. This leads to complex chip layouts and large systems.

We have created a quantum architecture that has radically reduced control complexity and is scalable. In doing so, we take a joint development approach for hardware and software – our quantum chips and algorithms are a perfect match. As a result, the same chip can solve any optimization problem.

Hardware manufacturers who adopt our unique ParityQC architecture, along with our ParityOS operating system, get a simple blueprint for quantum chips and an easy-to-implement operating system.

Quantenoptimierung, Quantencomputer, ParityQC
ParityQC’s quantum architecture (c) ParityQC.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?

It will be some time before quantum computing results in systems that can be used in everyday work. However, the long time horizon to market is true for almost all DeepTech areas. Hurdles occur here daily – one cannot be discouraged by this.

What achievements have made you proud?

At the end of 2022, we won the world’s largest contract ever awarded in quantum computing. Here we get to build two quantum computers with leading manufacturers for the next four years. That was a game-changing moment for us.

How difficult was it to get funding?

We are completely financed by grants and sales. We have received funding from Horizon Europe, DARPA, and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). 

Could you imagine a better place for your start-up?

No, Innsbruck is the ideal place for us. The University of Innsbruck has a very good reputation in global quantum research, and we have the opportunity to work closely together. In the future, however, we will have locations worldwide.

Where would you like to be with your company in five years?

We want to be among the top players in quantum computing.

What makes your innovation better than existing ones?

We are the only company in the world working in quantum architecture, and the ParityQC architecture is a completely new way to build quantum computers. Problems that standard methods currently struggle with can be solved with our architecture.

Want to read more posts about startups? You can find more episodes of this series here.