Alphabet spins off its quantum computing arm

Quantum Chip
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Alphabet has revealed it is spinning off its quantum technology group into an independent firm.

Sandbox has been operating as a separate group outside the company’s moonshot division X for almost two years, having been launched in 2016 by Jack Hidary.

It is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and currently counts 55 employees, with Hidary remaining in the CEO position. Since its inception, Sandbox has attracted several high-profile investors, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who will take over as chairman of Sandbox's board, Breyer Capital, TIME Ventures, T. Rowe Price, and billionaire investor Thomas Tull.

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Working on software

Besides high-profile investors, the company also has a number f high-end clients, including Softbank Mobile, Vodafone, and Mount Sinai Health System.

Reports that Alphabet wanted to spin out Sandbox first started making rounds in late January 2022, following a move by Hidary several months previous that saw him sign a California regulatory filing for a company called SB Technologies headquartered in San Francisco. 

At the same time, the website also went live. 

Talks of two separate quantum technology teams within Alphabet also started appaearing, as alongside Sandbox, the company reportedly has another quantum computing team in Santa Barbara. Last year, Google opened a quantum computer lab there which houses a commercial-grade, 1-million-qubit quantum device.

Sandbox seems to be more focused on software, rather than hardware. In an earlier report by Business Insider, Hidary was quoted saying: “hardware’s very interesting but it’s really software that gets the majority of the value creation."

Sandbox’s actual work is anyone’s guess, it seems. BI described it as a company that explores “the intersection of physics and AI.”

An Alphabet spokesperson told Insider. "Sandbox collaborates and shares technical learnings across Alphabet, including with Google's quantum and AI and Cloud teams, and with various Other Bets."


Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.