Excuses [Regrets?] from HPE on Why It Abandoned Quantum Computing Efforts

Hewlett Packard Enterprise explains why it gave up on quantum computing right as it was splitting off from HP Inc [Business Insider]

Why HPE Abandoned Quantum Computing Research [THENEXTPLATFORM]

Excerpts and salient points ~

+  HPE’s quantum research began in the 90s with a team based at the Bristol office of HP Labs. Beausoleil was then put in charge of an experimental group in the U.S. to compete for government funds to support quantum research efforts but the effort was challenged by procurement and materials science problems. This group survived for seven years and its work then fed into exploring new ways to make quantum a better fit for high performance computing. Since then he has broadened his focus to include optics for both classical and quantum, much of which is fed by the early promise of memristors—a key component of the dot product engine, which HPE sees as an advantageous accelerator for a wide range of workloads; from traditional HPC to future neural network training.

+ Ray Beausoleil is a Stanford-trained physicist who has spent almost 25 years at HPE. Throughout his career he has kept pace with current developments in quantum, memristor, and other technologies to understand how these might snap into future enterprise platforms. However, his tenure focusing on quantum has come to an end as he switches gears to consider more generalizable acceleration.

‘For the majority of our customers, it’s not going to make a difference to them’

+  Around five years ago, HP decided it would be difficult to scale to a level where it could build a usable quantum computer. In addition, during this time, HP was about to be split into two companies: HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

+  Beausoleil, a former quantum physicist from Stanford who is now a fellow at HPE, says he explained his rationale to senior management, and they understood and accepted it. He felt that quantum computing wasn’t feasible for the kinds of data sets enterprise customers want to analyze. 

+  Beausoleil stated that one of the reasons he ended quantum research is that for nearly all enterprise applications, problems can be solved classically or quasi-classically, meaning that accelerators coupled with traditional compute can do the job. “Although quantum holds great promise, there are many roadblocks we need to overcome before it is feasible or even useful for delivering reliable, repeatable results—and we are still decades away from that, adding on to the fact that we’ve been considering quantum computing for 70 years,” he argues.


Business Insider.  Rosalie Chan,  Hewlett Packard Enterprise explains why it gave up on quantum computing right as it was splitting off from HP Inc…

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THENEXTPLATFORM.  Nicole Hemsoth,  Why HPE Abandoned Quantum Computing Research…

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