WIRED: IonQ’s Chapman Writes We Will See First Demonstration of Modular ‘Networked’ Quantum Computers in 2021
(Wired.uk) Quantum computers will need to go modular and be networked achieve scale according to this article by Peter Chapman is CEO and president of quantum-computing startup IonQ. He writes, “In 2021 we will see the first demonstration of this”.
In 2021, Chapman says we will see the first demonstration of modular quantum computers that are “networked” for the purpose of building a single, but much larger, example. This will happen in the real-world quantum industry, outside of theoretical experiments in academic labs, and will show us a clear path towards creating more powerful quantum computers.
Quantum technology is often linked to three different areas of networking. The first is to improve the security of the internet, by adding quantum encryption to its communications technology. Second is to build tomorrow’s internet using next-generation quantum technology. And the third is to build more powerful quantum computers. It’s in this third area where we will see a significant advance.
IonQ, IBM, Google and others are working on bigger and better quantum processing units (QPUs), the equivalent of CPUs in traditional computing. But it is also possible to get to scale by simply building more quantum computers and “networking” them, as we see with the cloud today. As your computational needs increase, the number of servers escalates to meet the demand. If you have a 100 qubit QPU and your application needs 2,000 qubits, you can simply “network” 20 QPUs together to create a cluster that acts as a single, more powerful quantum computer. In “classical” computing, going modular often incurs some sort of penalty in terms of performance, or additional overhead cost in terms of both money and time.