Quantum Computing-Promise to be Realized?

The Economist September 26th, 2020 pp72-73 |Science & Technology| “The business of quantum computers”. “Uncertainty principles” “Quantum computing is attracting commercial interest”.

Figure from volkswagenag.com ... see site for more detail on why quantum computing is faster than classical computing and for insights on how quantum computing works. See RM2244.com. Search blog for Quantum Summary Article posted April 17, 2020 for more technical detail on Quantum Computing. Companies mentioned in The Economist Article include Boston Consulting Group, Daimler, Quantum Computing Report, IonQ, Rigetti Computing, PsiQuantum, Blackrock, Q-CTRL, Samsung, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Microsoft, Honeywell, Quantum Circuits, Amazon, Dave, Pitchbook and Google.

Facts Presented in Article

Worldwide Venture-capital deals in quantum computing.

Since 2015 deals have increased from 20 to a peak of 60 in 2019 and 40 in 2020 with $100M in 2015 to a peak of $500M in 2020.

Companies mentioned in Article

Boston Consulting Group (BCG)


Quantum Computing Report


Rigetti Computing





Goldman Sachs




Quantum Circuits





Summary of the Article

Traditional computing based on the "bit" is sophisticated but limited. The promise of Quantum computing based on the "Qubit" are the following;

1) Would be much faster at searching a database

2) Quicker at computing more specific tasks. “Precisely simulating…chemical reactions” something beyond the reach of classical computing. There are huge implications for the “development of drugs, catalysts and batteries.”

3) Speed up optimization problems examples are abundant in finance, logistics and operations management. BCG “foresees…quantum…improving operating income of their users by between $450B and $850B by year 2050.”

The development and delivery of full-functioning big quantum devices are a way off. So the question meanwhile is whether smaller quantum devices closer to market use can demonstrate meaningful real-world uses. The hope being that revenue generated from selling these devices will help attract even more funding for further development of the field. These smaller devices are known as NISQS for Noisy, Intermediate-Scale Quantum Computers. According to physicist Doug Finke (Quantum Computing Report) “87 organizations, big and small, [are] trying to construct quantum computers.” At this time, several technologies are being pursued. Using Qbits calculations happen fast and so far most chips are plagued by a high error rate. To overcome this issue companies are honing error-correction schemes. To help bring these devices to market, companies are also focused on improving hardware, software and usability. To attract interest and prove usability, IBM is allowing qualified clients to experiment with "IBM's Q Network"-a cloud-computing service using IBM's quantum computers.

“The big question is what is all this is leading up to.” “Lots of promise…no certainty.” Having said this “The industry has been cheered by Google’s demonstration last year of ‘quantum supremacy’, in which it used a NISQ machine to perform, within minutes of computing time, a calculation that would have taken thousands of years on classical hardware.” “Optimists like Dr. Finke think that…the first commercial relevant applications of quantum computing will appear within the next two or three years.” The quickest applications are likely to be trading algorithms. Once developed they can be rapidly deployed but most likely closely-held if a commercial breakthrough.

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