The Quantum Technology Ecosystem – Explained

The Quantum Technology Ecosystem  Explained

If you think you understand quantum mechanics,
you don’t understand quantum mechanics

Richard Feynman

IBM Quantum Computer

Tens of billions of public and private wanted are stuff invested in Quantum technologies. Countries wideness the world have realized that quantum technologies can be a major disruptor of existing businesses and transpiration the wastefulness of military power. So much so, that they have collectively invested ~$24 billion in in quantum research and applications.

At the same time, a week doesn’t go by without flipside story well-nigh a quantum technology milestone or flipside quantum visitor getting funded. Quantum has moved out of the lab and is now the focus of commercial companies and investors. In 2021 venture wanted funds invested over $2 billion in 90 Quantum technology companies. Over a $1 billion of it going to Quantum computing companies. In the last six months quantum computing companies IonQ, D-Wave and Rigetti went public at valuations tropical to a billion and half dollars. Pretty wondrous for computers that won’t be any largest than existing systems for at least flipside decade – or more. So why the excitement well-nigh quantum?

The Quantum Market Opportunity

While most of the IPOs have been in Quantum Computing, Quantum technologies are used in three very variegated and unshared markets: Quantum Computing, Quantum Communications and Quantum Sensing and Metrology.

All of three of these markets have the potential for stuff disruptive. In time Quantum computing could obsolete existing cryptography systems, but viable commercial applications are still speculative. Quantum communications could indulge secure networking but are not a viable near-term business. Quantum sensors could create new types of medical devices, as well as new classes of military applications, but are still far from a scalable business.

It’s a pretty unscratched bet that 1) the largest commercial applications of quantum technologies won’t be the ones these companies currently think they’re going to be, and 2) defense applications using quantum technologies will come first. 3) if and when they do show up they’ll destroy existing businesses and create new ones.

We’ll describe each of these market segments in detail. But first a unravelment of some quantum concepts.

Key Quantum Concepts

Skip this section if all you want to know is that 1) quantum works, 2) yes, it is magic.

Quantum – The word “Quantum” refers to quantum mechanics which explains the policies and properties of two-bit or subatomic particles, such as electrons, neutrinos, and photons.

Superposition – quantum particles exist in many possible states at the same time. So a particle is described as a “superposition” of all those possible states. They fluctuate until observed and measured. Superposition underpins a number of potential quantum computing applications.

Entanglement – is what Einstein tabbed “spooky whoopee at a distance.” Two or increasingly quantum objects can be linked so that measurement of one dictates the outcomes for the other, regardless of how far untied they are. Entanglement underpins a number of potential quantum communications applications.

Observation – Superposition and entanglement only exist as long as quantum particles are not observed or measured. If you observe the quantum state you can get information, but it results in the swoon of the quantum system.

Qubit – is short for a quantum bit. It is a quantum computing element that leverages the principle of superposition to encode information via one of four methods: spin, trapped atoms and ions, photons, or superconducting circuits.

Quantum Computers – Background

Quantum computers are a really tomfool idea. They harness the unique policies of quantum physics—such as superposition, entanglement, and quantum interference—and wield it to computing.

In a classical computer transistors can represent two states – either a 0 or 1. Instead of transistors Quantum computers use quantum shit (called qubits.) Qubits exist in superposition – both in 0 and 1 state simultaneously.

Classic computers use transistors as the physical towers blocks of logic. In quantum computers they may use trapped ions, superconducting loops, quantum dots or vacancies in a diamond. The jury is still out.

In a archetype computer 2-14 transistors make up the seven vital logic gates (AND, OR, NAND, etc.) In a quantum computer towers a single logical Qubit require a minimum of 9 but increasingly likely 100’s or thousands of physical Qubits (to make up for error correction, stability, decoherence and fault tolerance.)

In a classical computer compute-power increases linearly with the number of transistors and clock speed. In a Quantum computer compute-power increases exponentially with the wing of each logical qubit.

But qubits have upper error rates and need to be ultracold. In unrelatedness classical computers have very low error rates and operate at room temperature.

Finally, classical computers are unconfined for unstipulated purpose computing. But quantum computers can theoretically solve some complex algorithms/ problems exponentially faster than a classical computer. And with a sufficient number of logical Qubits they can wilt a Cryptographically Relevant Quantum Computer (CRQC). And this is where Quantum computers wilt very interesting and relevant for both commercial and national security. (More below.)

Types of Quantum Computers

Quantum computers could potentially do things at speeds current computers cannot. Think of the difference of how fast you can count on your fingers versus how fast today’s computers can count. That’s the same order of magnitude speed-up a quantum computer could have over today’s computers for unrepealable applications.