Quantinuum enters the quantum fray as Honeywell, CQ complete business combo

By Dan O'Shea posted 30 Nov 2021

The newest entrant in the quantum technology sweepstakes has arrived: Quantinuum.

Although, the new firm doesn’t exactly come from humble beginnings. Quantinuum is the result of the long-awaited business combination of two names with which  everyone in the sector is well-acquainted. Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS) and U.K.-based Cambridge Quantum (CQ) said in a statement Tuesday that they had received regulatory approval for the business combination that was announced earlier this year, and formally completed the deal.

Quantinuum, they claim, is now “the largest and most advanced full-stack quantum computing company,” though the firm will have clear competitors in both the trapped-ion hardware (IonQ, most directly) and software markets (ID Quantique, Arqit and others target some of the sme segments) from the start. 

However, the new company will be well-armed. It has a staff of 400, most of whom are scientists and engineers, and it pushes away from the dock with between $270 million and $300 million in spending money provided by Honeywell corporate, which retains a 54% ownership stake in Quantinuum.

Honeywell also will continue to benefit from Quantinuum’s success in the form of a long-term agreement for former to help manufacture the critical ion traps needed to power Quantinuum’s trapped-ion quantum hardware. Honeywell’s businesses also will continue to serve as a proving ground for the new company’s quantum offerings. 

There is no change to Honeywell’s financial outlook as a result of the transaction, the statement said.

Though the deal took about six months to complete, HQS and CQ already were showing off their combined expertise back in July, when they worked together on a project that achieved a quantum volume of 1,024.

“The formation of Quantinuum marks an important milestone for the quantum computing industry,” said Darius Adamczyk, chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell, and chairman of Quantinuum, in the statement. “Quantinuum customers will now have access to the world’s first quantum operating system, applications, and hardware-agnostic software, all of which will be used to address extremely challenging business needs with which conventional computing systems struggle. The combination of the quantum industry’s top talent, growing customer base, and most comprehensive technology will position Quantinuum extremely well for future growth.”

Quantinuum’s products and solutions support cyber security and encryption, drug discovery and delivery, material science, finance, natural language processing and optimization across major industrial markets. These products are delivered in an integrated manner and are compatible with a variety of quantum hardware processors, including the system Model H1, powered by Honeywell, and also IBM’s suite of quantum computers.

“The pace and scope of engineering advances, innovations in algorithm discovery, and the development of early-stage quantum software has picked up markedly in the past 12 months and is now ahead of most projections,” said Ilyas Khan, chief executive officer of Quantinuum. “Quantinuum is an accelerator for the quantum computing ecosystem as a whole, and I am thrilled and honored to be able to lead the new company as we enter a critical phase in the birth of the quantum computing sector.”

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