The State of Quantum Computing

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+  …The Chinese team used quantum computing to achieve the calculation in a few minutes.

+  “[This] is certainly an impressive academic achievement, showing that quantum machinery can in some cases strain the abilities of conventional computers,” said Chris Monroe, co-founder and chief scientist of IonQ, a quantum computer maker developing what it describes as a general-purpose trapped ion quantum computer and software to generate, optimize, and execute quantum circuits. “But it’s important to consider that the problem they solved is a narrow application space with no known practical use, and it will be difficult to tune their experiment for any other type of problem.”

Thanks to rapidly improving quantum computing power, viable commercial use-cases, and expanded access to quantum via cloud services, the field is poised to have a very big year if developments continue apace.

“Quantum computing technology is accelerating rapidly, with new advancements and new companies getting involved nearly daily,” says IonQ CEO and President Peter Chapman. “When I joined IonQ in 2019, people said that quantum would never work. We don’t hear much from those people anymore.”


+  D-Wave Systems is one such company at the forefront of recent quantum computing developments. British Columbia, Canada-based D-Wave makes quantum machines specifically for businesses. Last year, the company announced the general availability of Advantage, its 5,000-qubit quantum system, accompanied by its quantum cloud service, Leap. The company’s machines take a unique approach to quantum computing called “quantum annealing,” which uses the physics of quantum phase transitions to perform computations. The company bet big on annealing early on, a bet that it says has paid off.

+  Last, but certainly not least, IBM has 28 quantum computers deployed in commercial applications, working with companies like Mitsubishi Chemical, ExxonMobil, and Daimler to do everything from battery R&D to running chemistry simulations to improving auto manufacturing. The company plans to scale its quantum computing capabilities to a quantum machine with 1,121 qubits (to be called IBM Quantum Condor) by the end of 2023. To get a sense of the extnt of that progress, IBM released its 65-qubit quantum processor IBM Quantum Hummingbird in 2020 and has a 127-qubit processor planned for this year.

Source:  Communications of the ACM.  Logan Kugler,  The State of Quantum Computing…

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