A quantum computing cleanroom.

Honeywell

Special Report

The CIO’s guide to Quantum computing

Quantum computers offer great promise for cryptography and optimization problems, and companies are racing to make them practical for business use. ZDNet explores what quantum computers will and won’t be able to do, and the challenges that remain.

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Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum have completed their business combination and have re-emerged as Quantinuum, which aims to be a “full-stack” quantum computing company.

Quantinuum’s launch is a precursor to the release of its flagship cyber security product in a few weeks. Quantinuum will feature Ilyas Khan as CEO. Tony Uttley will serve as its President and COO. Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk will be chairman of Quantinuum.

The launch of the quantum notable on a few fronts:

  • First, Quantinuum is an example of how conglomerates can use spinouts to take on new innovations and fields.
  • Quantinuum is hardware agnostic and will continue to be an IBM Quantum Hub and operate the Quantinuum Model H1 quantum computer powered by Honeywell. The company will also aim to allow access to multiple quantum systems via the cloud.
  • Uttley and Kahn are steering Quantinuum to be more of a collaborative force in quantum computing. In other words, the quantum computing pie is large enough for multiple players, and the industry has to work together to grow. “Quantinuum is an accelerator for the quantum computing ecosystem as a whole,” said Kahn.
  • Cybersecurity is a key area for Quantinuum, and the bet is that quantum computing will impact security first.
  • CIOs and enterprises are starting to explore quantum computing applications.

Quantinuum’s core markets will be cybersecurity, encryption, drug discovery and delivery, material science and natural language processing across industries. Quantum computing has seen an investment boom that was in part driven by the IPO of IonQ. According to Constellation Research, 241 quantum computing related companies have garnered $8.512 billion in investmnet to date. That tally doesn’t include investments from giants like Amazon, Google, IBM, Nvidia and Microsoft.

Constellation Research principal Ray Wang said that quantum computing is likely to enter a period of consolidation.

Early investors have seen the potential and the market is entering a period of consolidation to acquire talent, intellectual property, and product offering roadmaps.  With over 241 startups in this space, Constellation expects at least a dozen full stack winners to emerge along with five to seven specialists in each category and emerging use case. Security will continue to receive the most funding and attention.

Quantum computing has had a few recent milestones, including:

The company said that it will have a staff of nearly 400 with 300 engineers and scientists. Quantinuum’s emerging quantum computing stack includes:

  • Tket, an open-source quantum software development kit.
  • Lambeq, a quantum natural language processing toolkit and library.
  • System Model H1-1 and H1-2 quantum computers powered by Honeywell.
  • A cyber security product will be launched this month.
  • A second product aimed at quantum chemistry is expected in 2022.
  • Additional products aimed at industries such as financial services, logistics and supply chain.

Honeywell owns a majority stake in Quantinuum and will use quantum computing as a proving ground for solving operational problems and technologies. Honeywell said there’s no change to its financial outlook due to the transaction.



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