Google has a research paper on the crystal of time, but quantum startups have millions of funding

The Boston Consulting Group predicts that QC’s investments could reach $ 800 million this year with growing support from established companies as well.

Image: Shutterstock / Perig Production

Google has been in the news recently with its pre-publication research paper on time crystals and quantum computing. The paper has yet to be peer reviewed, but the discovery has the potential to add stability to quantum hardware. This work is further developed in the laboratory, but other advances in quantum computing bring the field even closer to production.

Researchers from Google, Stanford, Princeton and other institutions explain in the research paper how they used quantum computing to create a time crystal. Another group of researchers submitted an article in early July who claimed to do the same with a diamond.

A time crystal defines the second law of thermodynamics, which says that disorder always increases. This object is predictable in that it reliably switches back and forth between two states. In addition, a time crystal does not use any energy during these transformations.

SEE: Quantum computing: a memory aid (TechRepublic)

Time crystals break another rule called translational symmetry of time. This rule is that a stable object remains the same over time. As Natalie Wolchover explained in an article in Quanta magazine, “The temporal crystal is the first ‘out of equilibrium’ phase (of matter): it has perfect order and stability although it is in an excited and evolving state.”

This new research paper is just the very first step in making time crystals a reality and scientists aren’t sure what to do with these perpetual motion machines.

QC investments are heading towards $ 800 million this year

Although the time crystal element of quantum computing is still in an embryonic phase, the hardware and software to run real quantum machines is becoming more and more a reality every day. According to PitchBook data, quantum computing companies raised $ 770.3 million in venture capital funds in 2020. That number was $ 288.3 in 2019. Boston Consulting Group predicts investment could reach $ 800 million this year. The firm predicts that quantum computing will generate $ 850 billion in annual value by 2040.

In July, PsiQuantum announced a giant fundraiser of $ 450 million to build a commercially viable quantum computer. The company plans to use the money to build a million-bit quantum-bit machine.

IonQ went public earlier this year with an initial valuation of $ 2 billion.

Rigetti Computing, which develops hardware and software for quantum computers, closed a $ 79 million C round last August.

There have also been other important technical advancements beyond time crystals.

On Tuesday, Cambridge Quantum and Tecnologico de Monterrey as well as IDB Lab announced that they had developed a cryptographic layer to protect blockchain networks from the security threat posed by the development of quantum computing. According to the company, transactions and communications were protected by quantum-proof keys from CQ’s IronBridge platform, which uses quantum computers to generate certified entropy. Post-quantum cryptography was then developed on the Ethereum-based LACChain Besu blockchain network.

SEE: Quantum entanglement as a service: “The key technology” for unbreakable networks (TechRepublic)

Honeywell and Cambridge Quantum also announced at the end of July three scientific and technical milestones that demonstrate the viability of large-scale quantum computing and show that quantum solutions for optimization are closer than expected.

These achievements included:

  • Repeated cycles of real-time quantum error correction
  • A quantum volume of 1024
  • A new quantum algorithm that uses fewer qubits to solve optimization problems

Nir Minerbi, CEO and co-founder of quantum software company Classiq, believes quantum computing could be part of day-to-day business operations as early as 2023, especially in finance, supply chain, biochemistry and pharmacy.

Minerbi said the problem is quantum software doesn’t keep up with hardware.

“The existing quantum development is at the qubit and gate level, a concept similar to connecting wires in a large switchboard many years ago,” he said. “For the quantum revolution to truly take off, organizations must make quantum computing accessible to domain-specific experts and adapt development methods that work for hundreds, thousands of qubits and beyond.”

Building the quantum ecosystem

Matt Langione, a director of BCG and one of the report’s authors, predicted a significant increase in institutional and corporate investment in quantum technology.

“The critical change since our last market survey two years ago is the surge in corporate interest and investment. It was the latest domino to fall after governments and equity investors started investing. overwhelmingly, ”Langione said in a press release.

Gartner research predicts that 20% of companies will have a quantum computing budget by 2023, up from just 1% in 2018.

Another boost to the industry is the $ 250 billion U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which identifies quantum information science and technology as one of the National’s ten key focus areas. Science Foundation.

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