We are only five years away from a quantum desktop computer
February 10, 2021
Today leaders from three quantum computing startups have gathered to discuss the future of the technology and suggested we could be as little as five years away from a desktop quantum computer, but not everyone agreed on that optimistic timeline.
But that seemed a tad optimistic when it comes to developing the superconducting technology that his company is building. It requires a special kind of rather large quantum refrigeration unit called a dilution fridge, and that unit would make a five-year goal of having a desktop quantum PC highly unlikely.
We have a lot of steps to go before we see that kind of technology, and a lot of hurdles to overcome to make that happen.
This challenge is not within a specific, singular problem about finding the right material or solving some very specific equation, or anything. It’s really a challenge, which is multidisciplinary to be solved here.
We could have edge quantum machines, for instance on a military plane, that couldn’t access quantum machines from the cloud efficiently.
We can’t rely on a system which is sitting in a cloud. So, it needs to be on the plane itself. If we are going to apply quantum to military applications, then we are going to need edge-deployed quantum computers.
One thing worth mentioning is that the quantum approach is very different from other Quantum Machines.
Qfinity relies on technology pioneered in atomic clocks for its form of quantum computing. Quantum Machines don’t build quantum processors. Instead, it builds the hardware and software layer to control these machines, which are reaching a point where that can’t be done with classical computers anymore.
On the other hand, other companies use a concept called quantum annealing, which allows it to create thousands of qubits, but at the cost of higher error rates.
As the technology develops further in the coming decades, these companies believe they are offering value by giving customers a starting point into this powerful form of computing, which when harnessed will change the way we think of computing in a classical sense. But there are many steps to get there.
This is a huge challenge that would also require focused and highly specialized teams that specialize in each layer of the quantum computing stack, one way to help solve that is by partnering broadly to help solve some of these fundamental problems, and working with the cloud companies to bring quantum computing, however they choose to build it today, to a wider audience.
In this regard, this year we’ve seen some very interesting partnerships form which are essential for this to happen. We’ve seen several companies and others partnering with cloud providers who deliver their own quantum computers through other companies’ cloud service, Qfiinity labs would be announcing some partnerships of its own in the coming years.
The ultimate goal of all three companies is to eventually build a universal quantum computer, one that can achieve the goal of providing true quantum power.
“We can and should continue marching toward universal quantum to get to the point where we can do things that just can’t be done classically,” Moche said.
But the others recognize we are still in the very early stages of reaching that end game.