A University of Maryland and Duke University startup that is developing its own approach to quantum computing raised $20 million from venture capital firms.
IonQ Inc. of College Park raised the money in a series B round of funding led by Timonium-based New Enterprise Associates, which bills itself as the world’s largest venture capital firm, and GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, of Mountain View, California.
IonQ is trying to power a quantum computer by trapping ions, and it plans to bring quantum computers to market by late 2018. Computers today run on processors that use transistors, which are approaching physical limits as they get closer to the size of an atom. Quantum computing, regarded as the next frontier in computing, uses quantum mechanics on an atomic level and may help solve computing problems in which existing computer technology might be impractical.
The company’s approach of trapping ions differs from other quantum computing initiatives currently being researched. IonQ believes its technology, which uses lasers to cool and isolate individual ions, is likely to scale with better performance and greater predictability than other approaches.
In all, IonQ has raised $22 million; New Enterprise Associates in 2016 invested $2 million.