(TechnologyReview) Researchers building quantum computers can’t easily get some of the exotic components they need. Demand for components is growing much faster than supply in some critical areas. For example, it can sometimes take a year or more—to get hold of specialized dilution refrigerators that can be cooled to temperatures colder than outer space to help create quantum bits. Another choke point is the specialized cabling needed to transmit microwave signals that control qubits.
quantum computers can’t use much of the infrastructure developed for classical machines. “They are based on exotic principles, and that means they have really exotic hardware,” notes Chris Monroe, a professor at the University of Maryland and the CEO of IonQ.
Researchers are encouraging electronic-components companies to take an interest in the quantum industry. The new US national plan to advance quantum information science, and a similar one in Europe, may also stimulate more activity among potential suppliers. Startups may see this arena as an opportunity, too.