Two Perspectives on Quantum Computing: Google & Quantum Machines
(Diginomica) Neal Raden compares two somewhat different perspectives on quantum computing. One is Google’s (public) ten-year plan and the second is Itamar Sivan, CEO of Quantum Machines.
Google plans to search for commercially viable applications in the short term, but they don’t think there will be many for another ten years – a time frame I’ve heard one referred to as “bound but loose.” What that meant was, no more than ten, maybe sooner. In the industry, the term for the current state of the art is NISQ – Noisy, Interim Scale Quantum Computing.two somewhat different perspectives on quantum computing. One is Google’s (public) ten-year plan.
Google is seeking customers to work with them to find applications working with Google researchers. Quantum computing needs algorithms as much as it needs qubits. It requires customers with a strong in-house science team and a commitment of three years. Whatever is discovered will be published as open source.
In summary, Google does not see commercial value in NISQ. They are using NISQ to discover what quantum computing can do that has any commercial capability.
Dr. Itamar Sivan, co-founder of Quantum Machines says a quantum computer needs three elements to perform: a quantum computer and an orchestration platform of (conventional) hardware and software. There is no software in a quantum computer. The platform manages the progress of their algorithm through, mostly laser beams pulses. The logic needed to operate the quantum computer resides with and is controlled by the orchestration platform.
The crucial difference in Google’s and Quantum Machines’ strategy is that Google views the current NISQ state of affairs as a testbed for finding algorithms and applications for future development. At the same time, Sivan and his company produced an orchestration platform to put the current technology in play. Their platform is quantum computer agnostic – it can operate with any of them. Sivan feels that focusing solely on the number of qubits is just part of the equation.
Raden concludes, “I’ve always believed that action speaks louder than words. While Google is taking the long view, Quantum Machines provides the platform to see how far we can go with current technology.”