(CNET) Tech giants are building their own quantum computing machines and speeding to make them available to the world as a cloud computing service. In the competition: IBM, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, IonQ, Quantum Circuits, Rigetti Computing and the newest to uncloak its quantum computing plans, Honeywell. They’re all competing to show off their nascent ability to tackle a new class of complex computational problems.
The company that can pull ahead could cash in on a computing revolution the way IBM did with personal computers and Apple did with smartphones. Quantum computers won’t displace conventional machines, but they could offer breakthroughs impossible for classical computers to achieve, including developing new materials, cutting city traffic or making a fleet of trucks deliver packages more efficiently.
Quantum computers are dauntingly expensive and difficult to build and run. Even major efforts have built only a few machines after years of work, and they’re typically run by many highly specialized researchers. At least for the foreseeable future, you’ll likely tap into them with a cloud computing service.