Quantum computers might one day become commonplace but, for now, they’re strictly the domain of large companies. QuantWare, a startup company based in the Netherlands, hopes to expand the reach of the burgeoning technology by creating and shipping quantum processors. Which is a fantastic development, though not one that matters to consumer computer technology yet.
QuantWare is my CPU?
Computers used to be something you had to rent by the hour, because they were as large as buildings and owning one was just far too expensive. It was only after the technology became more affordable that computer usage really exploded. Quantum computing finds itself in a similar situation now. Companies like IBM, D-Wave and Rigetti operate quantum machines and interested parties use them in kind of a time-share.
QuantWare hopes to change that, by offering quantum processors based on transmons (no, it’s got nothing to do with Pokémon Go) to companies. They’ll offer very low qubit counts — just five per transmon processor — but the company seems to feel that its target audience will be fine with that.
Speaking of the target audience, you’re not likely to be on the customer list. Universities and other research facilities might be keen, but creating and modifying a quantum computing environment seems to be the main requirement for wanting (or needing) a QuantWare chip. The company expects to increase qubit counts on its chips over the next few years and is obviously hoping that making them more generally available will further drive the development and adoption of quantum computing technology.
QuantWare’s first processor, called Soprano, supports 5 qubits, offers “99.9% single-qubit gate fidelities” and can be built, with or without device shielding, with a 30-day lead time. The supporting low-temperature hardware needed to run the thing? That’s something you’ll need to sort out for yourself. Will it speed up quantum computing adoption? Maybe check back with us in about five years on that one.
Source: Ars Technica