The development and evolution of quantum computers is one of the main points of interest in the scientific field. This is a development that is expected to facilitate and optimize various areas of science and people's daily lives.
The remarkable properties of a quantum computer are calculated in the behavior of qubits - the quantum equivalent of the classic bits that encode information about today's computers in the 0s and 1s series. But unlike bits, which can be represented by either 0 or 1, qubits can take on a state that is quantum-specific, in which they exist as 0 and 1 in parallel or superposition. This is, in essence, the reason why quantum information technology is still at an early stage. Most quantum computers currently operate at less than 100 qubits, while technology giants such as IBM and Google are struggling to increase this number in order to create a significant quantum computer as soon as possible.
Although quantum computing is still in its infancy, there is great interest from businesses who are willing to experiment with this industry that could yield significant developments.
Technology companies are struggling to make a start in this industry. IBM Q Network launched in 2016 to provide developers and industry professionals access to the company's quantum processors. In addition, the American multinational "Honeywell" recently took its first steps in the field of quantum computing, making the company's trapped ion quantum computer available to customers through in cloud. Also, Rigetti Computing, which has been operating since 2017, provides cloud access to a 31 qubits quantum computer.
Another approach, called quantum annealing, is particularly suitable for optimization tasks. D-Wave has proven to be a popular choice in this field and has been offering a quantum cloud over the cloud since 2010, which has now been upgraded to a 5.000 qubits processor.
However, quantum annealing is only suitable for specific optimization problems, and experts argue that technology will be relatively limited when gate-model quantum computers reach a mature stage. Still, the exponential computing power of quantum technologies will be a game of change in many areas. Qubits, with their unprecedented ability to solve optimization problems, will benefit any supply chain organization, while upsetting the financial industry by maximizing portfolio profits. Quantum artificial intelligence is also a promising science, with models expected to benefit from better training in larger datasets.
For example, by simulating molecular interactions that are very complex for classic computers, qubit will allow biotechnology companies to quickly track the discovery of new drugs and materials. Indicatively, the Microsoft products has already shown how quantum computers can help make fertilizers more efficient. This could have a huge impact on the primary sector.
The fields of chemistry, oil and gas, transportation, banking and cybersecurity are often cited as areas that quantum technology could significantly transform.
While no CIO expects quantum computing to pay off in the next five to ten years, the most forward-thinking companies are already anticipating the wave of innovation that technology will eventually bring. This involves proper training, skills development, projects and building an understanding of how quantum computing can help solve real business problems.
One branch that has shown strong interest in quantum technology is the financial sector. From JP Morgan Chase partnerships with IBM and Honeywell, to BBVA's use of Zapata services, banks are actively exploring qubits. Quantum computing, given the exponentially high numbers of factors and variables, could provide much better forecasts for potential financial risks and uncertainty, as well as enhance the effectiveness of key operations such as investment portfolio optimization or options pricing.
As with other fields, much of the research is devoted to exploring evidence-based concepts for the financial industry. In fact, in solving smaller problems, scientists continue to use quantum algorithms alongside classical computers to validate the results.
Companies currently working on quantum solutions focus on the so-called "path to value creation". In other words, they use quantum potential as it stands to tackle small-scale problems, building trust in technology as they do so, while waiting for potential to develop and allow larger problems to be solved. In many areas, much of the research is devoted to exploring evidence-based concepts for quantum computing in industry.