IBM and Raytheon collaborate on Quantum technology

IBM Quantum software development

Industry giants IBM and Raytheon recently announced that they would be working together to develop advanced AI, quantum-proof cryptographic solutions for the aerospace, defence, and intelligence industries. Over the last few years, both companies have conducted extensive research into quantum technology and artificial intelligence. Therefore, it is expected that the strategic collaboration between the two companies will result in solutions to previously unsolvable problems in the defence, aerospace, and intelligence industries.

Artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and cryptography can help the aerospace, defence, and intelligence industries design more efficient encrypted communication networks. This was duly noted by Mark Russell, Raytheon Technologies chief technology officer, stating, “with the advance of quantum technology today, existing cybersecurity and cryptography methods may soon become insufficient to secure customers’ communication networks fully.”

However, it is believed that this emerging issue may be kept in check with quantum-secure key cryptography and quantum key distribution networks that transmit crypto keys using quantum mechanics. 

“Our new collaboration with Raytheon Technologies will be a catalyst in advancing these state-of-the-art technologies – combining their expertise in aerospace, defense and intelligence with IBM’s next-generation technologies to make discovery faster, and the scope of that discovery larger than ever.”

Dario Gil, senior vice president, IBM, and director of Research

Quantum-secure key cryptography is impossible on classical computers because there is a limit to the computation and mathematical problems they can handle. Quantum computers, on the other hand, will be able to solve the problems – discrete logarithm and integer factorization – that quantum key cryptography is based on. 

Unlike classical computers that use bits as their building blocks, quantum computers utilize qubits. Bits are expressed as 0 or 1, but not both. Qubits, however, can exist as 0, 1, or a combination of both. The implication of this is that quantum computers can solve multiple complex problems simultaneously, making them far more powerful than classical computers. 

Raytheon Technologies has been invested in quantum technologies since the early 2000s, conducting several studies and research into quantum computing, optical and microwave photonics, advanced materials, quantum algorithms, and networking, and neuromorphic and related technologies.

IBM also has been a huge supporter of quantum technology, evidenced by the company’s willingness to invest considerable resources into quantum technology hardware and software development. IBM also has a large research community around its Q Experience platform.

The combination of Raytheon’s extensive quantum research and IBM’s commercial research can lead to the development of next-generation quantum technologies, which can improve the decision-making and problem-solving capabilities of customers in the aerospace, defence, and intelligence industries. Both companies are also expected to invest research dollars and talent into achieving this goal heavily.

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