Welcome to TBR’s monthly newsletter on the quantum computing market: Quick Quantum Quips (Q3). Market activity heats up as more mainstream outlets begin taking notice of quantum computing developments as economic advantage nears. As that advantage nears, the integrations into the existing legacy network become more and more important for readying markets to exploit quantum computing to its fullest.
March 2020 Developments
TBR scoured recent market announcements and found there is greater activity in ecosystem components beyond scientific discoveries and ongoing advancements into the competing systems architectures under development. Circuit abstractions and the ability to write algorithms independent of any specific quantum system knowledge due to the abstraction layer can accelerate application discovery for applied use cases in parallel to the ongoing scientific discovery needed at the system level to make quantum economic advantage a reality. Additionally, TBR is anticipating a happy accident may someday result in much easier-to-operate quantum systems. Not all scientific discovery proves intended outcomes, but as we’ve learned, sometimes a broken antenna can result in an “aha” moment.
- Quantum Computing and Splunk announced a technology alliance for quantum-ready applications. Quantum Computing works on developing applications and tools for early quantum computers, focusing on the abstraction layers to allow developers to work on the code without needing to focus on the quantum-specific hardware details. The Splunk and Quantum Computing collaboration will enable the build-out of quantum-ready algorithms executable now on classical computers but ready for quantum systems once economic advantage is achieved. The initial partnership efforts will focus on network security, dynamic logistics and scheduling.
- Google announced a similar initiative ahead of active quantum systems called TensorFlow Quantum (TFQ) that brings Google on par with existing services from Azure Quantum and IBM Q. TFQ will provide an open-source library for prototyping quantum machine learning models. Integral to this development are quantum computer circuit simulations that will essentially become the virtualization or abstraction layer between actual quantum systems and their respective circuitry and these abstraction circuit standards.
- Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) announced support for Honeywell’s trapped ion quantum processor. Honeywell has rolled out a series of announcements this month around its technology. CQC adding a new optional python package, pytket_honeywell, will boost both companies. Honeywell needs to court developers, while CQC continues to expand the underlying quantum systems architectures its quantum software development platform supports. Currently, CQC’s pytket supports superconducting devices from IBM and Rigetti. The continued extension of software tool kits across the competing quantum architectures suggests there will be ample opportunity for peaceful coexistence of the competing architectures optimized for specific algorithms.
- Honeywell has entered the quantum systems market with a splash, claiming it will release a trapped ion quantum computer with a quantum volume of 64 by the middle of 2020. With more than a decade of research behind the announcement, Honeywell refers to its latest breakthrough as quantum charge coupled device (QCCD) architecture. At the time of the announcement Honeywell also mentioned JPMorganChase & Co. as an early customer for the system in addition to Honeywell Ventures’ investments in Cambridge Quantum Computing and Zapata Computing, two better known software and algorithm startups in the space.
- University of New South Wales announced a scientific discovery entirely by accident that can enable scientists to control the nucleus of an atom using electric fields rather than magnetic fields. The discovery was described as having been a “happy accident” that was the result of having blown up an antenna by pushing too much power to it. While unlikely to push the advancement of quantum technology in the near term, it may some day be added to the legion of happy accident discoveries from naturally inquisitive people that have brought great good to society.
If you would like more detailed information around the quantum computing market, please inquire about TBR’s Quantum Computing Market Landscape, a semiannual deep dive into the quantum computing market. Our latest version published in December. The next iteration will focus on the quantum-related professional services being deployed to increase business awareness and technical skills that will be in short supply once quantum’s economic advantage becomes reality.
Lastly, on behalf of the entire TBR team, we hope you stay healthy and safe in these unique times.