Quantum computing is already a before and after in the history of computing. And although it is true that it will still take a few years before we can speak of a mature technology, most experts agree that in the medium term, its impact on the main sectors will be completely disruptive.
In this space, both large technology companies such as IBM or Microsoft, as well as startups such as QCI, are betting on the development of new processors and quantum services with which companies will be able, in the not so distant future, to solve problems that are unthinkable right now. which classical computing is not capable of offering a solution in reasonable times.
To understand what is happening right now in this market niche, at MCPRO we wanted to review the companies that will be especially worth paying attention to throughout this year.
IBM is one of the great pioneers of quantum computing. In 2019, it became the first company to offer Quantum Computing services at a commercial level, using its own cloud infrastructure to do so, allowing practically any company to start exploring the possibilities offered by this new technology.
Since then the company has continued to improve its equipment and increase the number of qubits it can offer. In fact, in 2022 it should present a 433-qubit processor that it has baptized as Osprey; In 2023, Condor, a supercomputer with 1,121 qubits, will arrive and from then on, the company hopes that quantum computing can actually be more efficient than traditional supercomputing to solve a large number of problems.
Although it is true that a company like IBM may lack that risky and innovative vision that some startups in this field propose, it is also true that it has the financial resources to comfortably meet its objectives, as it has been in charge of demonstrating by publishing your roadmap.
QCI (Quantum Circuits) is another of the companies that deserves to be followed when we are talking about quantum computing, betting on a modular approach. Unlike some actors in this ecosystem, its objective is not so much to replace classical computing with quantum computing, but rather to make the latter work in a complementary way.
Within this vision, the company has been developing new services for some time that make it easier for quantum resources to be made available in binary computers. Within this framework, the company presented in early 2021 Qatalyst, a software-as-a-service quantum computing platform, so that companies could access these resources through the cloud.
It has also developed a partner program, so that its partners bring the benefits of quantum technology to its customers, making this technology much more accessible.
Canadian startup Xanadu has made a lot of headlines of late by becoming the first company capable of offering a photonics-based quantum computing platform available via the cloud. In this sense and unlike other companies, Xanadu systems use light instead of superconductors, so they can keep your computer at room temperature.
This quantum approach has earned it, among other things, being selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has invested 45 million dollars in the future of the company. On the other hand, the startup has also published Open Source tools for its platform, so that its potential partners and clients can take full advantage of the quantum resources it offers.
Xanadu affirms that its system is ideal for solving current business problems, such as network management, planning and logistics, and although it probably does not offer services that are clearly different from its competition, the potential of quantum computing at room temperature it’s hard to ignore.
Microsoft Azure Quantum
As in the case of IBM, Microsoft is another of the big companies that is positioning itself in the quantum field. To reach companies, it uses its Azure platform, in a platform as a service that it has baptized as Microsoft Azure Quantum.
Its platform offers businesses access to quantum resources without the high overhead and infrastructure costs that often come with it, and like QCI’s Qatalyst platform, Azure Quantum offers a collection of resources that go beyond what Microsoft itself offers. In this sense, users can also access resources from QCI, Honeywell, Toshiba, IONQ and 1Qloud.
Another major quantum computing company to watch out for in 2022 is D-Wave. The company was one of the first to offer real-time cloud access to quantum computing resources, and remains a leader in the field.
In early 2020, D-Wave introduced the platform leap 2, which offers users cloud access to a hybrid of quantum and classical processors. This system can compute problems with up to 10,000 variables, balancing workloads between classical and quantum resources to maximize efficiency. Leap 2 also includes several developer tools that help users take advantage of the platform without much experience.
The startup Rigetti has several firsts in quantum computing hardware. To begin with, its users can now access its latest generation chip, Aspen-11, of 40 qubits and that promises improved performance. In addition, several of its customers will be able to access its 80-bit processor, achieved by joining two 40-qubit chips, to test it.
On the other hand, at Rigetti they have confirmed that they are exploring the possibility of allowing their clients to access a third energy state of their superconducting hardware, which would allow them to convert their qubits into qutrits, and therefore, the manipulation of much more data with the hardware that already exists. To achieve this, Rigetti has modified its control software so that there is programmable access to one of the higher energy states.