Xanadu, Toronto Metropolitan University to develop quantum computing educational program

Students will learn and work with Xanadu’s software framework PennyLane.

Canadian quantum computing tech company Xanadu and Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) have teamed up to develop an educational program focused on quantum computing and quantum software.

TMU announced this week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Xanadu, which has been regarded as one of the country’s quantum computing staples, to establish the initiative.

According to TMU, this collaboration is aligned with Canada’s broader quantum strategy which is to develop, attract, and retain talent, as well as build bridges between academia and industry.

“Xanadu’s expert knowledge and technology will allow TMU talent to develop and test real-world applications of quantum computing.”

“Having access to Xanadu’s expert knowledge and state-of-the-art technology will allow TMU talent to develop and test real-world applications of quantum computing, keeping Canada at the forefront of this emerging technology,” said TMU vice president of research and innovation Steven N. Liss.

The Government of Canada has allocated $360 million CAD in funding from its 2021 budget towards the design and delivery of the National Quantum Strategy. Plans for deploying that capital were revealed earlier this year.

As part of TMU and Xanadu’s program, students and researchers across the university’s faculties will gain access to Xanadu’s quantum hardware and software to explore and co-create. Students will also use Xanadu’s open-source software framework PennyLane.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Christian Weedbrook, Xanadu’s mission is to use photons, or particles of light, to perform exceptionally fast and complex computations at room temperature.

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Xanadu has said its next goal is to build a fault-tolerant and error-corrected quantum computer capable of scaling up to one million qubits, the scale at which useful applications can be accessed.

Though there have been a number of advances in quantum research within the last year, the pace of development of quantum computers has been glacial. Only a handful of companies have created prototypes such as Google, IBM, Xanadu, and fellow Canadian company D-Wave.

In June 2022, Xanadu hit an “elusive milestone” with its Borealis quantum computer. The Globe and Mail reported at that time that Xanadu had achieved “quantum advantage” – which means it delivered a result beyond the practical reach of a conventional computer system.

Featured image courtesy Xanadu.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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