Quick Quantum Quips: Integrations and abstractions quicken quantum readiness

Welcome to TBR’s monthly newsletter on the quantum computing market: Quick Quantum Quips (Q3). The overall activity around quantum computing has been accelerating as more pieces of the quantum ecosystem inch closer to commercial readiness.

For more details, reach out to Geoff Woollacott or Stephanie Long to set up a time to chat.

May 2020 Developments

Selecting five key announcements becomes more challenging as quantum activity begins gaining market momentum. The highlighted excerpts illustrate the growing visibility quantum has among governments, venture capitalists, and a variety of researchers seeking to gain familiarity with the technology for application discovery. That said, TBR recently conducted interviews for next month’s Quantum Computing Market Landscape, which will focus on professional services, and found respondents from services firms are less optimistic about economic advantage being achieved within the next year but believe large enterprises need to be experimenting with quantum tool sets now for application discovery to capitalize on the technology when it achieves economic advantage. Similarly, governments are backing different entities to ensure their nation states have competencies in quantum technology as a way to protect their economies and increase national security.

  1. Congress had a bill introduced by Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., called the Advancing Quantum Computing Act, that would mandate the Department of Commerce and other relevant agencies conduct four different studies on quantum computing to assess the technology’s impact on U.S. commerce and society. Within two years of the bill’s passage, the Department of Commerce and other relevant agencies are to conduct studies that 1) rank industries and the extent to which they are leaning into quantum, 2) calibrate all federal interagency activities related to quantum, including agencies with regulatory oversight of private sector quantum activity, 3) rank the activities of at least 10 and not more than 15 different countries, including how these country activities compare to U.S. quantum market maturity, and 4) focus on the quantum ecosystem supply chain to assess the current, emerging and long-term risks. The Department of Commerce would then have six months to share its findings with the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committees. While it is a well-intentioned bill, TBR questions the lengthy timeline for enactment of these studies, believing the quantum market will evolve rapidly and that six-month-old market information could be dated when addressed by the relevant agencies.
  2. Australia aims to grow its domestic quantum computing capabilities through a working partnership between the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and Quantum Brilliance intended to begin implementing the recommendations of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency. Quantum Brilliance is using diamond to develop quantum computers that operate at room temperature without the need for cryogenics or complex infrastructure. Quantum Brilliance CEO Andrew Horsley makes the bold claim: “Diamond means that instead of filling up a room with cryogenics, you can hold a quantum computing in your hand.” Quantum Brilliance machines will be on-site at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and will be available to “anyone, anywhere” interested in working on quantum engineering.
  3. Entropica, a Singapore-based quantum computing software startup, raised S$2.6 million in seed funding led by tech investor Elev8. U.S.-based Rigetti Computing also participated in the round. Entropica’s co-founders Tommaso Demarie and Ewan Munro previously worked at Singapore’s Centre for Quantum Technologies before starting Entropic in May 2018. Entropica is another entrant aiming to build the integration layer between classical and quantum computing that is vital to broader commercial adoption of the technology. In addition to Rigetti, Entropica cites collaborating with quantum systems manufacturers IBM and Microsoft.
  4. QuTech and Intel released a paper on their work to develop a faster turnaround testing and validation of quantum materials and devices. The approach reduces the complexity of cryogenic components by allowing them to be readily integrated in any type of cryostat. The researchers claim the approach increases the number of wires that can operate at cryogenic temperatures in the cryostat by an order of magnitude. This discovery mitigates a current input/output bottleneck based on the current limitations of the number of wires operating at cryogenic temperatures. The cryogenic multiplexer platform is based on common CMOS componentry and has the potential to reduce the form factor of existing superconducting systems. QuTech is a collaboration between TU Delft and TNO.
  5. IBM announced enhancements to its Qiskit Quantum Algorithms and Applications (QA&A) toolset. First, IBM announced a circuit library consisting of feature-rich circuits suited for practical applications or for complex theoretic properties; second, IBM introduced the Optimization module, which is a library for researchers and beginners to engage in development and experimentation in quantum combinatorial optimization; and third, IBM rebuilt Qiskit’s core algorithmic tools to optimize them for research and prototyping. The Qiskit enhancements have also been fashioned to address users with eight different backgrounds from beginners to experienced quantum information theorists as well as software engineers, quantum chemists, optimization researchers, finance researchers, physics researchers, and machine learning researchers.

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, scheduled to publish in June, 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.

And, lastly, on behalf of the entire TBR team, we hope you stay healthy and safe in these unique times.