Some Things I’ve Learned About the Quantum Computing Market

A few days ago, Google, yet again, made headlines by unveiling Bristlecone, a new quantum computing chip with 72 quantum bits, or qubits — the fundamental units of computation in a quantum machine. With the release, Bristlecone becomes the most powerful quantum processor in the world breaking IBM’s previous record of quantum qubits. More impressively, Google believes that the new chip is pretty close to achieve “quantum supremacy.” That’s the point at which a quantum computer can do calculations beyond the reach of today’s fastest supercomputers.

Beyond dissecting Google’s impressive milestone with Bristlecone, I believe the new announcement shades new light about how the new quantum computing market is shaping up. With Google, IBM and Microsoft devoting large investment to their quantum initiatives, its just a matter of time before we start seeing an aggressive raise to capture the first generation of quantum computing applications. However, differently from other markets such as cloud computing, the tech giants seem to be following different paths when comes to quantum dominance.

Google Wants to the King of Quantum Infrastructure

Google’s initial efforts in the quantum space seemed to be targeted to create processors and infrastructure that can be made available as part of their cloud platform in a way that presents a path for mainstream adoption.

Microsoft Wants Quantum Developers Love

The Quantum Development Kit clearly signals the market that developer adoption is a vital metric is Microsoft’s approach to quantum computing. From that perspective, its not crazy to think that the Quantum Development Kit will be able to run on hardware created by Microsoft’s competitors such as IBM or Google.

IBM Wants to Lead the Quantum Enterprise

  • A Quantum Composer, which is a graphical user interface where developers can create new quantum circuit (called quantum score), much like a composer composes a music score;
  • A simulator that can test quantum scores;
  • Access to an actual quantum processor running in an IBM Quantum Computing lab, where quantum scores will be executed;
  • A quantum community where quantum scores, ideas, and experiences can be shared and discussed.
  • An open source development kit called QISKit which allow developers to implement quantum computing algorithms in Python.

Don’t Underestimate the Chinese

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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