Quantum computers will become important tools as the next generation of problems comes to light. Quantum computing can help solve industry technical business challenges, including encryption, supply chain issues, financial modeling and pharmaceutical drug development. These represent only a few of the near-term accelerated challenges classical computing struggles to address with today’s approaches. In addition, quantum computing can help address issues that arise with Web 3.0, immersive virtual reality, augmented reality and video within a digital universe.
The world of quantum computing is evolving rapidly. The current state of quantum computing includes different approaches, delivery and products in market, which can lead to a lot of confusion around quantum systems. For example, here are some common questions:
- Is a classical computer required to use quantum computing?
- What makes quantum computers different from classical computers?
- What is quantum coherence and why is it important?
Infineon and Oxford Ionics
Shifts in the quantum computing market should not be overlooked. There are different approaches to solving these challenges, but we first need to understand the basic principles that make up the foundation of quantum computing.
The addition and scaling of quantum processing units (QPUs) provides an approach that enables quantum systems to move from research to real-world industry applications. For example, let’s look at the recent announcement of Infineon and Oxford Ionics. One of the hurdles that comes with quantum computing is scaling while still improving performance.
Chris Ballance, co-founder of Oxford Ionics, explained how its relationship with Infineon enables faster access of commercial QPUs. This collaboration uses fewer qubits to solve problems compared to other vendor approaches. Infineon and Oxford Ionics achieve this by lowering the error rate and scaling, which allows for repeatable, reliable assembly. This accelerated approach lets data scientists push the boundaries of science and research to solve today’s problems.
Quantum Computing Inc.
Another recent announcement comes from Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) regarding the business viability of quantum computing.
In a recent briefing, Rebel Brown, vice president of marketing at QCI, explained how optimization often presents a challenge that quantum computing can solve. In a real-world use case with BMW’s vehicle sensor placement challenge, QCI introduced new quantum hardware technology called Entropy Quantum Computing (EQC). EQC solved this optimization problem with over 3,854 variables and 500 constraints.
To compare this to other quantum technology in the market, other offerings provide maximum output of around 400 variables. EQC runs 70 times faster than competitive options and provides the stability for repeatability, addressing quantum coherence.
Cambridge Quantum and Honeywell Quantum Solutions
A merger worth noting is Cambridge Quantum and Honeywell Quantum Solutions’ integrated quantum computer venture. The newly formed Quantinuum, in conjunction with material technology scientists from JSR Corporation, has launched a standalone platform called InQuanto, powered by Honeywell. Used by BMW, JSR, Nippon Steel Corporation and TotalEnergies, InQuanto connects algorithms, methods and noise-mitigation techniques used by scientists on quantum computing computers.
InQuanto aims to provide scientists and researchers with a deeper understanding of the capabilities of quantum computers for computational chemistry. By exploring quantum computing for semiconductor research, this joint venture gives industrial partners — such as those in automotive, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and energy — new ways to solve complex challenges.
This comes with TKET, an open source developer toolkit with platform-inclusive access for researchers to retarget algorithms from one device to another.
The industry is moving and evolving rapidly when it comes to quantum computing. Today’s challenges are more complex and detailed than ever before, and they are not slowing down. The demands for faster results around medicine, security, finance and healthcare are accelerating.
The Trump administration signed into law the National Quantum Initiative Act four years ago, authorizing $1.2 billion over five years for federal activities to increase investment in quantum information science. It will be interesting to see how the vendors in this space capitalize on the next stage of proposed funding.