Welcome to TBR’s monthly newsletter on the quantum computing market: Quick Quantum Quips (Q3). This market changes rapidly, and the hype can often distract from the realities of the actual technological developments. This newsletter keeps the community up to date on recent announcements while stripping away the hype around developments.
September 2020 Developments
Recent developments in the quantum computing industry make one thing certain: The commercialization of quantum systems will occur during this decade. The vision of what quantum commercialization will look like varies from something that is very similar to classical systems and is consumed in the cloud to something as miniature as a desktop form factor. Regardless, quantum systems will have computational capabilities for commercial and academic use. TBR expects early production-grade systems to be used in a hybrid configuration with high-performance computing (HPC). As with many other elements of the economy being disrupted by technological innovation, the challenge will be in finding skilled labor to harness the power of quantum systems for economic advantage.
- IBM unveiled its quantum road map in September. Included in its road map are the release of a 433-qubit system named Osprey in 2022 and a 1,121-qubit system named Condor in 2023, the latter of which will be capable of enabling scalability. IBM also introduced a super-fridge, named Goldeneye, which is 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide. This development will support the eventual creation of a 1 million-qubit quantum system, which is expected to be released by 2030. This road map makes it clear that at IBM, commercialization of quantum computing is expected within the decade, and therefore, the time has arrived for companies to explore becoming quantum-ready at scale.
- Zapata Computing unveiled a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to help better align its research agenda around quantum computing with the business needs of global companies interested in pursuing quantum computing within their road maps. Zapata seeks to expand scientific innovation more rapidly than it could do on its own while using SAB-initiated collaboration to pursue advancements that are targeted at customer demand. Expanding within academia remains a goal even though the SAB targets enterprise-level collaboration.
- D-Wave, in partnership with the Universities Space Research Association and Standard Chartered Bank, announced a quantum research competition with the goal of bringing quantum computing to nonprofits and universities. The competition aims to advance developments around quantum computing and AI, and the prize for the winner is free time to access the D-Wave 2000Q system.
- D-Wave appointed Daniel Ley as SVP of sales and Allison Schwartz as Global Government Relations and Public Affairs leader in September. These appointments highlight that D-Wave is targeting the public sector for sales of its quantum systems, and rightfully so as many governments have allocated budget dollars for quantum investments.
- Q-CTRL partnered with Quantum Machines to integrate Q-CTRL’s quantum firmware with Quantum Machines’ orchestration hardware and software offering. The quantum computing market is becoming crowded as startups emerge and more established firms devote some resources to quantum computing innovation. As such, smaller firms like Q-CTRL and Quantum Machines partnering to augment individual capabilities will become more commonplace the closer we get to commercialization at the end of the decade.
- Microsoft, in partnership with the University of Copenhagen, has discovered a new material that can be used to simplify topological quantum computing. Presently, large magnetic fields are necessary for computation to take place. The research combined aluminum, europium sulfide and indium arsenide, which together enable a quantum wire device to be an additional and necessary component of topological quantum systems. Ridding the system of the need for magnetic fields is a major breakthrough because the inclusion of a strong magnetic field, while advantageous for the system, could result in unintended negative impacts to other components or systems located within close proximity to the quantum system.
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 upcoming version, which will publish in December, will focus on the software layer of quantum systems. You can also sign up for our webinar on the topic as well, which will be held on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. EST.