Here Are Reasons Tech Giants Like Google & IBM Are Rushing To Commercialize Quantum Computing


Quantum computing is all set to go beyond labs into the cloud – tech giant Google announced Bristlecone, a quantum processor which will provide a provide a testbed for research into system error rates and scalability of qubit technology, as well as applications in quantum simulation, optimization, and machine learning. Announcing the release, Julian Kelly, Research Scientist at Google’s Quantum AI Lab, noted that quantum supremacy can be achieved with Bristlecone and could be a compelling proof-of-principle for building larger scale quantum computers.

Well, Google is not really the first company to make an attempt to commercialize quantum computing – IBM has made significant progress across the entire quantum computing technology stack first brought it to the cloud in 2016 with a 5 qubit quantum computer. In November 2017, IBM raised the bar by announcing a third generation of quantum computers with a 50 qubit prototype, a huge milestone for quantum computing, but there is no news whether it is commercially available. The company was quick to point out that it is not ready for common use. However, the company made a 20-qubit system available through its cloud computing platform.

According to a research report from Morgan Stanley, quantum computing could hold the key to double the high-end computing market from $5bn to $10bn – that explains the reasons why companies are accelerating the mass adoption by moving quantum computers from labs to commercial activities. Outside of big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel, IBM & Nokia Bell Labs, there are a slew of emergent players like Rigetti, a full stack quantum computing company, ionQ & D-Wave.

However, the research also posits that quantum computing is not suited to all compute tasks and web servers will continue to store data but could gain a significant edge post 2025.

Why quantum computing has become a key enterprise strategy
  • Usher the fourth industrial revolution: Quantum computing has moved from fundamental theoretical research to an engineering development phase and could trigger the fourth industrial revolution, with significant developments in sectors where more computer power is required for R&D efforts – drug discovery in pharma, plane design in aerospace, well data analysis in Oil & Gas, polymer design in Chemical and predictive maintenance in manufacturing.
  • Use cases go beyond traditional sectors: According to Dr Vijay Pande, entrepreneur and Stanford Professor, quantum computing will have a profound impact in area where classic computers fail – such as the ability to model the chemistry (more precisely, quantum chemistry) of molecules involved in drugs, or in industrial processes such as energy, new advances in machine learning and novel cryptography.
  • Add new revenue stream: According to Communications Industry Researchers (CIR),revenues from quantum computing are forecasted to grow from US$1.9 billion in 2023 to US$8.0 billion by 2027.
  • Market has expanded: The market for quantum computing has expanded beyond the traditional base of aerospace, drug discovery and financial services, healthcare, energy industry and even general business planning.
  • From cloud to on-premise in the future: By making quantum computing a central part of their enterprise computing strategy, businesses are hoping to add a new line of revenue by delivering quantum computing via cloud. CIR research posits that in the future, we could also see a rise in on-premise quantum computing.
  • Startups fueling quantum computing software market: Not just big tech companies, startups like Rigetti have also jumped on the cloud bandwagon and are paving the way for quantum software market. By 2023, the market for quantum computing software is billed to touch a whopping $408 million, with 60 percent of these revenues from applications packages for cloud service providers.
  • Quantum computing forecasted to grow: When it comes to the current Quantum Enterprise market, the biggest users are in the R&D space.  By 2024 this share will be around 30% and the biggest revenue drivers will come from the defense/aerospace, pharmaceuticals/specialty chemical and banking/finance sectors.
In the race for quantum supremacy, IBM is a clear winner  

In the race to commercialize quantum, IBM has emerged as a leader and has made stunning progress in the area even though it has just been one-upped by Google recently. Google’s new quantum processor Bristlecone is 72 qubits and can work with low error rates.  However, Google hopes that Bristlecone will become a “compelling proof-of-principle for building larger scale quantum computers”. Google’s Quantum AI Labs research scientist Julian Kelly also added that operating a device such as Bristlecone at low system error requires harmony between a full stack of technology ranging from software and control electronics to the processor itself. Getting this right requires careful systems engineering over several iterations, he noted.

Read the source article at AnalyticsIndia Magazine.