Even though 2021 may have been yet another year in the slow evolution of the world of quantum computing, there are a number of vendors that did roll out offerings that could give the technology a boost into production IT environments soon. In the last five years, technology startups and dinosaurs have discussed the dramatic changes that could happen with quantum products, but it appears that corporate IT pros are still unsure. However, there has been an introduction of foundational products recently that has renewed hope of quantum computing becoming a more immediate and practical contributor for solving the pressing IT issues in the next couple of years.
The most powerful quantum system that had the code-name Eagle was launched by IBM last month, which has a 127-qubit processor. This is the first machine that has broken the 100-qubit barrier. There are also new refrigeration and chip packaging technologies in the system, which includes a new cryogenic platform that can deliver better system stability because it keeps temperatures low. These technologies will come in handy for at least the next two quantum systems by IBM; the 433-qubit Osprey, which is scheduled for next year and the 1,121-qubit Condor that has a due date of 2023.
The company expects these systems to be up and running by 2023 at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, which is located in Yorktown Heights, New York. The chief quantum exponent at IBM, Bob Sutor said that they had made a technological breakthrough when they figured out how more qubits could be added to make the powerful machines fast enough for solving more complex problems. He said that this milestone was an important one when it comes to scalability. Other than IBM, there are other companies that have also made some progress.
This includes Honeywell, which launched its H1 quantum system this year, which boasts a quantum volume of 1,024. This metric measures the overall performance and capability of a quantum system. Another first that the company achieved this week is a cryptographic key generation platform that draws its power solely from a quantum computer. The offering is named Quantum Origin and works with the existing classical systems’ infrastructure and will be delivered as a service. It can be used with a number of algorithms that already exist, such as AES and RSA. Plus, it will also be compatible with the cryptographic algorithms that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is now standardizing.
Due to these latest products and services, both IBM and Honeywell can now be classified as full-stack quantum suppliers and this can give the technology the validation it needs in the eyes of corporate IT professionals. The two companies have server hardware that uses their own processor technology, hardware and software that integrates classical and quantum requirements, a software portfolio that includes software development kits and compliers and are now developing exploitive applications. Their competitive position will also improve against a number of companies that only specialize in quantum components or server hardware for niche markets.