No doubt that this year has been a difficult time for many – if not just about everyone. But as the year comes to a close we have seen a massive uptick in interest in Quantum Computing, which can only be a very good thing. We’ve seen broadly a great deal more commercialism of Quantum Computing with release after release – especially into the cloud with announcements from Amazon for example of Bra Ket. So whilst 2020 has been dominated by Covid-19, Quantum Computing and its allied technologies have been a bit of a sleeper – quietly but surely improving, developing and seemingly becoming more applicable.
We get the impression that 2020 was rather the seeding of the Quantum Industry and 2021 will see the green shoots of those early seeds. Companies such as Cambridge Quantum Computing, Psi Quantum, Riverlane (to name just a few) have garnered investment for everything from their Quantum Computing platforms to Quantum Operating systems. We expect that 2021 will continue the trend of investment, but as the world wakes up to the potential of Quantum, it’s likely we see even more funds flowing into the sector (especially as the traditional technology sector appears rather over-heated). So coupled with finance looking for bigger gains, interest in quantum computing (especially) as an element of “deep tech” will snowball (sorry we managed to squeeze in Christmas reference!).
In 2021 we can expect more announcements over improving quantum computing power, however you wish to measure it. We have seen IBM coin their own metrics for measuring Quantum Computing power beyond the metric of simply the number of qubits in the device. Quantum Volume has been adopted by IBM but also by its rivals over at Honeywell with their alternative Ion Trap Quantum Computer. Whether QV or Quantum Volume metric sticks as a metric is hard to say, and of course there are other metrics. But QV is fairly hard to interpret and we are at the early days of an entire industry. For many simply the number of qubits is simple to understand and maps quite easily to existing metrics – like transistor count. IBM is even itself publishing its road-map based qubit counts and we think that “qubit count” will still drive headlines – as it’s just much easier for users to understand despite the well-intentioned alternative metrics.
Let’s say that 2020 was challenging, but let us congratulate all the many companies, organisations and individuals that we have interacted with over the past year. We have seen some truly amazing projects, products and services – even art!
We look froward to seeing more of you in 2021! Enjoy the Christmas festivities and last few days of 2020.