(WSJ) Tech companies and investors have splashed out on quantum computing in recent years. The field attracted a total of at least $450 million in private investments in 2017 and 2018, according to the science journal Nature. Yet some big technology companies and startups are discovering that the road to market for quantum computing remains longer than planned despite years of often heavy investment.
Microsoft Corp. has funded research in the field for decades and said in 2016 it had embarked on building a quantum computer. But after the company missed internal deadlines in building a working machine in 2018, it restructured the project.
Intel, which last month unveiled a chip designed to help speed the advance of quantum processing, said it could take many years to produce a quantum computer that is better than today’s digital counterparts.
IBM, which also has a long history of quantum-computer research, last month said “these are still early days for one of the future’s most promising technologies.”
But even Google’s quantum success hasn’t been clear-cut.
One of the hottest startups has been Berkeley, Calif.-based Rigetti Computing. It has attracted $120 million in funding since it was founded by Chad Rigetti in 2013. Yet several executives, including its chief technology officer and chief operating officer, departed last year, according to two former executives.
The industry’s struggles haven’t scared off Amazon.com Inc. The cloud-computing giant said in December that it was starting academic partnerships on quantum technology.