Quick Quantum Quips: Quantum systems become increasingly accessible

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.

November 2020 Developments

Access to quantum systems and vertical-specific use cases is beginning to emerge in more commercially available ways. While quantum computing has yet to achieve economic advantage, these developments are necessary next steps toward this goal.

  1. IQM Quantum Computing (IQM),a quantum hardware startup based in Finland, was selected to produce Finland’s first quantum system. The company committed to delivering a 50-qubit system by 2024. IQM has a geographical advantage in the quantum computing market because it is located in Europe and there are few vendors on the continent investing in quantum hardware. IQM’s partnership with Atos on quantum provides IQM with increased visibility into the European Union.
  2. Zapata Computing closed its latest round of funding, a series B round that raised $38 million. Comcast’s and Honeywell’s venture capital arms both invested in this round of funding, with Honeywell as an existing investor and Comcast as a new addition. The investments in quantum computing from vendors working in adjacent fields demonstrate the value quantum computing can provide. TBR believes Zapata’s software capabilities are some of the most mature in the industry, making it a valuable long-term partner to Honeywell in the quantum computing market.
  3. Duke University has begun expanding its existing quantum computing facility at its Chesterfield location in Durham, N.C., adding 10,000 square feet. The expansion will be completed by March 2021, and the facility is one of five in the U.S. gaining support from a $115 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy. Duke University’s quantum computing efforts focus on trapped-ion quantum systems. The systems in development at Duke will be purpose-built to solve specific problems.
  4. AlgoDynamix unveiled a behavior-forecasting use case for financial services customers underpinned by D-Wave quantum annealing technology. This offering is consumed as a cloud service and is significant in the quantum computing market for two reasons, according to TBR. First, it is a very specific vertical use case that leverages quantum computing technology. Second, it demonstrates that a quantum-specific vendor partnering with a vertical-specific vendor can create very practical applications in the greater quantum ecosystem. The analytics of this use case are SaaS-based and do not require customer-specific data to be leveraged, making onboarding new customers to the offering relatively simple.
  5. Honeywell unveiled a 10th-generation 10-qubit quantum system named System H1. The computer leverages Honeywell’s quantum charge-coupled device (QCCD) trapped-ion technology, which is a differentiator in that the QCCD makes it easier to upgrade the system throughout its lifetime. This enables existing customers to take advantage of system advancements as they are developed. System H1 can be accessed as a cloud service either directly through a cloud API or through partners including Microsoft Azure Quantum, Zapata or Cambridge Quantum Computing. All access to System H1 is billed as a subscription service.

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, publishing in December, will focus on the software layer of quantum systems. You can also sign up for our webinar on the topic, which will be held on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. EST.

Quick Quantum Quips: Hardware entrants gain VC funds while established innovators partner across architectures to secure a place in the broader quantum ecosystem

The quantum market changes rapidly, and the hype can often distract from the realities of the technological developments. In our new monthly newsletter, Quick Quantum Quips (Q3), TBR will brief readers on the latest market announcements, stripping that hype to dig deeper into how recent events will impact the market as a whole. Contact Stephanie Long ([email protected]) or Geoff Woollacott ([email protected]) to schedule a time to chat on any of the insights below.

November 2019 developments:

  1. Microsoft partnered with IonQ and Honeywell, which will provide the foundational quantum hardware for Microsoft’s Azure Quantum cloud. This was a major announcement in the quantum computing space in terms of real-world application of the technology. Microsoft can now tie its traditional cloud capabilities in with quantum offerings, addressing customer demands for a hybrid computing and flexible quantum experience. TBR notes that IonQ and Honeywell both focus on trapped ion quantum computing, suggesting Microsoft deliberately chose these vendors for their unique hardware capabilities. Partnerships in the quantum space have been ramping up in general, especially between hardware and software players, as these vendors take lessons from classical computing speedbumps and streamline their processes for the quantum era.
  2. Fermilab launched a new Institute for Quantum Science, reaffirming the U.S. government’s interest in leveraging the technology for various uses. Fermilab is more formally known as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and has been investing in particle physics and accelerator technology for more than 50 years.
  3. IBMcontinues to pursue its cross-technology strategy to partner for accelerated innovation. We have seen this strategy play out for IBM in various markets, including blockchain and AI with Watson. Most recently in the quantum space, IBM unveiled a partnership with the Unitary Fund to jointly develop open-source projects for quantum computing. Additionally, IBM’s recent partnership with IonQ regarding QisKit reinforces IBM’s overall vendor agnosticism despite targeted hardware investments in superconducting quantum computing. The vendor seeks to capitalize on the most lucrative aspects of the larger quantum market.
  4. PsiQuantum is a stealth quantum startup focused on developing quantum hardware. Of  significance is PsiQuantum’s ability to recently raise $230 million while remaining relatively quiet, suggesting the startup’s road map is highly desired by investors. It is likely that the investment PsiQuantum received is one of the largest in the quantum industry to date, making this even more significant. PsiQuantum has offices in the U.K. and the U.S. and is developing a general-purpose silicon photon quantum computer. Its U.S. location in Palo Alto, Calif.,  positions the startup nicely within Silicon Valley, where it can readily access chip manufacturing expertise.  PsiQuantum’s founder, Jeremy O’Brien, is a professor at the University of Bristol and the director for the Centre for Quantum Photonics.
  5. Atos partnered with Zapata with the goal of delivering an end-to-end quantum computing solution by combining Zapata’s Orquestra quantum software with Atos’ Quantum Learning Machine. The solution is expected to be able to address specific vertical market demands. TBR believes the software functionality will be tweaked to enable this vertical differentiation.

That is all for this month’s Quick Quantum Quips from TBR. If you wish to receive 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.