One of the hallmarks of this century will be the progress made toward a new paradigm in computing: quantum computing. A quantum computer has the potential to quickly and efficiently solve problems that conventional computers can’t tackle by leveraging principles of quantum physics, such as superposition. While still in its early stages, the quantum computing market is already expanding, and there’s much more growth expected in the years to come. This expected growth is thanks to the efforts of computing companies that see the benefits of a quantum future and want to capitalize on it.
Tractica says the enterprise quantum computing market will reach $2.2 billion by 2025, up from $39.2 million in 2017. Industries leading quantum adoption, according to Tractica’s research, include agriculture, aerospace, automotive, life sciences, and oil and gas. A slightly more aggressive prediction from Market Research Future suggests the quantum market will exceed $2.4 billion by 2022. Either way, the path leading to this level of adoption will be paved by innovative companies intent on pushing the boundaries of what’s possible today in quantum computing.
Intel is one such company. Intel, alongside Bluefors and Afore, has introduced a quantum testing device that could help accelerate the development of quantum computing solutions. The quantum testing tool, which Intel calls the Cryogenic Wafer Prober, was developed to solve a key pain point in quantum computing: the ability to collect and access data about qubits (quantum bits). For the first time, researchers will be able to test qubits on 300 mm wafers down to temperatures of a few kelvins, thanks to the Cryogenic Wafer Prober, which will be housed at Intel’s Oregon campus. With its tool, Intel hopes to propel research and development in the exciting quantum computing arena.
Another company that’s leading the way in quantum is IBM. At CES this year, the company unveiled IBM Q System One, an integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed to be modular and compact and to sustain continuous use for scientific and commercial applications. In other words, IBM’s Q System One will be able to operate beyond the confines of a research lab. This year, the company also plans to open an IBM Q Quantum Computation Center for commercial clients in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The company keeps plowing forward too, recently announcing a new benchmark for quantum volume, a metric that describes the capabilities of quantum computers.
While the industry is most likely many years away from a quantum system that’s practical and applicable to a broad range of industries and situations, these developments and others push the needle toward that goal. In the future, quantum computing may allow for new ways of modeling financial data; it could revolutionize fleet operations and logistics, and it could impact information security within the IoT (Internet of Things). As society becomes more connected thanks to developments in the IoT, as well as AI (artificial intelligence) and other related technologies, there’s a craving for more computational power, and quantum computing could help slake that thirst.
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