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Quick Quantum Quips: Cloud players are now looking for a piece of the quantum pie

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. To schedule a time to chat with Analyst Stephanie Long about any of the insights below, contact her at [email protected].

DECEMBER 2019 DEVELOPMENTS:

  • D-Waveunveiled a partnership with NEC to bring hybrid quantum computing capabilities to market. Simply put, this partnership merges D-Wave quantum capabilities with NEC’s classical computing portfolio. On a deeper level, it provides D-Wave with a $10 million investment by NEC and access to the Japanese market, while NEC can provide its domestic market of Japan with a local alternative to quantum offerings similar to those of Fujitsu.
  • IBM announced the public availability of a quantum system allowing for pulse access, which is unique because it provides users with increased control compared to more traditional gate-level control. This development is in conjunction with a new version of Qiskit, and IBM Quantum Experience members have public access to this new capability. Pulse access provides users with an in-person feel to their quantum computing experience. Because of the delicate and expensive nature of quantum systems, they are currently available only via the cloud.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS), in response to Microsoft Azure Quantum, unveiled Amazon Braket (currently only a preview of the offering), which is Amazon’s initial attempt to turn quantum computing into an easily accessible cloud service. Currently, only AWS corporate accounts will have access to the service, and access will be granted to systems from AWS partners D-Wave, Rigetti and IonQ. Like offerings from IBM and Microsoft, this cloud offering will provide a hybrid computing model for customers that will provide choice of underlying quantum architectures abstracted from the software programming. Innovations at the hardware level will not impede the ongoing software development or hedge customers’ and cloud providers’ bets on the technology.
  • Russia entered the quantum arms race this month, as Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov announced that Russia will invest $790 million into basic and applied quantum research over the next five years. The primary goal is for the country to build its own working quantum computer, with secondary goals of developing algorithms to run on this system to mine databases and create highly secure communication networks. The country is behind major players China and the U.S. in terms of the number of government initiatives that it has made public, but TBR believes Russia has likely been investing in the technology prior to making this announcement. Still, this is the first major public quantum announcement by Russia to date.
  • Accenture opened a NanoLab in Colombia designed to provide local Accenture customers with access to emerging technologies, including AI, robotics, blockchain and quantum computing. TBR believes that because Accenture’s quantum services play is funded by early adopters to jointly develop capabilities, increasing exposure of customers to the technology can increase interest in quantum computing overall as well as funding once more customers are able to uncover the advantages they can employ through such a relationship with Accenture.

If you would like 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. Our latest version published in December.

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.