Keeping up with competitors is often a matter of capitalizing on digital data. Gathering and analyzing information can reveal new market opportunities, areas for improvement, and more — but all this requires substantial computing resources. Quantum computing companies aim to deliver that on an unprecedented scale.
Quantum computing has already made impressive leaps despite being a relatively new technology. As these machines improve, they could usher in the next wave of the data revolution.
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What Is Quantum Computing?
It’s vital to understand exactly what quantum computing is. Traditional computers process information in bits, which represent a value of either 1 or 0. By contrast, quantum computers use qubits, which can be 1 and 0 simultaneously. That lets these machines handle much more complex problems.
Unlike bits, which increase linearly with more linked together, qubits deliver exponentially more computing power when connected. As a result, quantum computers are far faster and more powerful than traditional machines. In a 2019 demonstration, a quantum computer solved a problem in three and a half minutes that would take a classic computer millennia.
Top Quantum Computing Companies
Given the novelty of this field, many investors and businesses may not know who is leading in quantum computing. While it is still unclear which companies will see the most success as adoption rises, some early industry leaders have started to emerge.
Paying attention to these promising innovators could be important as this technology reaches new heights in the next few years. Here are five of the top quantum computing companies for 2022.
IBM has been one of the leading quantum computing companies for some time. In 2016, it became the first to offer cloud-based quantum computing access, letting virtually anyone access these once-prohibitive resources. Cloud usage has since become a dominant business model for many companies.
Today, IBM is steadily releasing new versions of its quantum computing technologies to deliver more to its clients. In 2022, it plans to release a 433-qubit processor called Osprey. A 1,121-qubit processor called Condor will succeed it in 2023. At that point, IBM hopes this system will solve problems more efficiently than a supercomputer.
This steady progression map indicates a clear vision of the future and a plan of how to get there. IBM also has the resources to achieve these lofty goals that some startups may not.
Another top quantum computing company is Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI). QCI has a unique vision for this technology, believing it will never replace traditional computers but, rather, complement them.
QCI aims to deliver on that vision by focusing on services that make quantum resources available on classic machines. The company unveiled a software-as-a-service (SaaS) quantum computing platform called Qatalyst early in 2021 to let companies access resources from other companies through the cloud.
QCI followed that announcement by extending this program to partners’ clients, not just the companies themselves. This chain of delivering quantum computing resources could make this technology far more accessible — and is something to watch in 2022.
Canadian startup Xanadu has an impressive claim in the quantum computing world. It offers the first photonics-based quantum computing platform available through the cloud. These systems use light instead of superconductors, letting them operate at room temperature.
That breakthrough has gained the startup $45 million in funding and attention from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The company has also released open-source tools for its platform, helping potential partners and developers take full advantage of its quantum resources.
Xanadu claims its system is ideal for issues businesses deal with now — like networking, planning, and logistics — not theoretical future problems. Whether or not that’s an accurate statement may remain uncertain for a few years, but room-temperature quantum computing’s potential is hard to ignore.
Microsoft Azure Quantum
Microsoft, a more familiar name for many people, is another leading quantum computing company. Its Azure cloud platform gives companies access to quantum resources without the high expenses and infrastructure costs that typically come with it.
Like QCI’s Qatalyst platform, Azure Quantum offers a collection of resources from more than just Microsoft itself. Users can also access resources from QCI, Honeywell, Toshiba, IONQ and 1Qloud. This range of options has attracted the attention of clients like Ford, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and more.
Microsoft has a more reserved vision of quantum’s future, but it still offers some of the most accessible approaches to this technology.
Another top quantum computing company to watch in 2022 is D-Wave. The company was one of the first to deliver real-time cloud access to quantum computing resources, and remains a leader in the field.
In early 2020, D-Wave unveiled the Leap 2 platform, which gives users cloud access to a hybrid of quantum and classical processors. This system can calculate problems with as many as 10,000 variables, balancing workloads between classic and quantum resources for maximized efficiency. Leap 2 also includes various developer tools to help users capitalize on the platform without extensive experience.
More people taking advantage of this accessible platform could lead to new applications and use cases for the technology. It could make 2022 an exciting year for quantum computing.
What are the Benefits of Quantum Computing for Businesses?
Such massive computing power could have equally impressive consequences for businesses. Perhaps quantum computing’s most potential lies in artificial intelligence (AI), where it could make data analysis faster and more accurate.
Many companies rely on AI for critical tasks. For example, Nasdaq uses AI to detect irregular stock market activity, helping fight fraud. Quantum computing would enable this AI to look at far more cases and consider many potential outcomes at once. It would then deliver faster, more reliable insights, even acting autonomously to stop fraud before it happens.
Quantum computing-powered AI could also help tackle complex subjects like sustainability initiatives or supply chain operations. These algorithms could provide reliable, long-term insights to help companies adapt to changing circumstances without expensive experiments.
As data becomes increasingly crucial to enterprise operations, quantum computing’s value rises. These machines can process massive amounts of information at remarkable speeds, providing better insights faster. Its potential is boundless.
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Current Trends in Quantum Computing
While quantum computing’s potential covers many applications and processes, trends have already started to emerge in the technology. The most current movement revolves around making it more accessible and affordable.
For many leading quantum computing companies, this means addressing these machines’ temperatures. Quantum computers typically have to operate just above absolute zero to avoid overheating, which requires expensive specialized equipment. Steps to make this infrastructure smaller and cheaper, or to let quantum computers work closer to room temperature, are a popular pursuit as a result.
Other trends revolve around making these expensive machines more accessible. Quantum computing as a service has seen growing adoption across many top companies.
Quantum Computing Holds Significant Potential
Quantum computing is already starting to disrupt industries, although it remains a mystery to many laypeople. As the top companies continue to innovate, this technology will only become more powerful and accessible, paving the way for untold benefits.
The data-driven revolution has its next big step in quantum computing. While the future of this technology is still uncertain, these companies are the most likely to usher in that change.
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