IBM – Quantum Computing Does Not Equal Cash
- IBM recently released a new quantum computing technology roadmap, detailing its plans to release a 1,000+ qubit system by 2023, and eventually scaling well beyond 1,000 qubits.
- While exciting, IBM’s quantum computing initiatives must be considered in context: no practical quantum computing systems exist today.
- I model a market scenario through 2030 that hypothesizes even if practical quantum computing is realized, it may not necessarily translate into substantial cash flows for IBM investors.
+ If any particular company should lead and ultimately benefit from the realization of a viable quantum computer, it is arguably IBM (IBM). The company’s research group has supported theoretical and practical investigation into quantum computing for decades. Recently, IBM’s Quantum division published a new roadmap detailing their planned system developments through 2023 and beyond.
No quantum computer, capable of performing useful computations beyond the reach of classical computers, exists today (as far as is publicly known) and there is no timeframe (as far as is publicly known) as to when such a computer will be developed, or if one will ever be developed.
+ While the roadmap implies exciting possibilities, it also implies great uncertainty, somewhat conspicuously, through the absence of timeframe-related detail scaling from a 1,000 physical qubit quantum computer to a 1,000,000+ physical qubit quantum computer. With the latter, but not necessarily the former, likely representative of a quantum computer capable of useful computation, IBM’s roadmap unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally) highlights the current state of quantum computing technology[.]
+ Accordingly, any effort to gauge the potential of IBM’s Quantum division – from an investor’s point-of-view – may strike as pointless. I noted in my first article about the division a couple years ago that “…investors…may be rewarded with a substantial new revenue stream, albeit one whose magnitude cannot be reliably forecast at this time.” I think that statement still remains more or less true today – particularly the “reliably” part. However, some might argue, there are enough “hints” to suggest practical quantum computers could be achievable.
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