The State of Quantum

What exactly is quantum computing?

  • Superposition: The qubit’s ability to be 1 & 0 at the same time, i.e. in the state of probabilities (’x%’ probability of being 1 and ‘y%’ probability of being 0).
  • Interference: The qubit can cross its own trajectory and interfere with the direction of its path.
  • Entanglement: Two qubits are entangled if changing the state of 1 qubit instantaneously changes the state of the other in a predictable way, despite the amount of distance between them.

What does a quantum computer look like?

Where can quantum computers add value?

  • Process optimization: QC can help with supply chain optimization and manufacturing process optimization, thereby cutting down costs and establishing an efficient way. Volkswagen is using QC to optimize its manufacturing process, and Daimler is working towards making better automotive batteries.
  • Drug simulation: QC can enable a significant reduction in R&D costs and time to market for a new drug. Riverlane & Astex Pharmaceuticals are working with Rigetti Computing to develop an integrated application for simulating molecular systems to enable drug discovery.
  • Cryptography: A powerful enough quantum computer can break the most secure encryption ever created in a matter of seconds, thus emphasizing the need for post-quantum encryption to secure future use-cases. QuintessenceLabs, an Australian company, has been working on Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) & Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technologies — the foundation for quantum encryption and data security.
  • Other interesting use cases: IBM is working on improving weather forecasting, JP Morgan is exploring applications in financial modelling & options pricing, and Rigetti is improving machine learning.

Who’s who in quantum computing:

  • Quantum hardware: Most challenging sub-vertical that requires millions of dollars in investments for building out the QC, with efforts from talented experts.
  • Quantum software: Building software solutions for horizontal (or) industry-specific applications like molecular simulation, error correction, algorithm testing, etc.
  • Quantum systems & firmware: Solving for hardware error and qubit instability arising from environmental disturbances and imperfect devices.
  • Quantum encryption & AI: Working on technologies like QRNG & QKD to develop quantum-based encryption chips (or) software.
  • Cloud computing: Providing direct access to emulators, simulators and quantum processors. Mostly offered by hardware players like IBM, Google, etc.
  • Full-stack: These are companies that offer end-to-end quantum computing solutions. They already have a built QCs in house and provide access to it via the cloud.

Indian outlook:

Road ahead:

Further reads:

  1. Hello quantum world! Google publishes landmark quantum supremacy claim
  2. Quantum computing can help prevent the onslaught of the next pandemic
  3. Quantum Hegemony? China’s Ambitions and the Challenge to U.S. Innovation Leadership
  4. Quantum Computing for Business Leaders
  5. Quantum Processor Market Takes Off: A New Industry Born

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Inflexor Ventures

Inflexor Ventures

Tech / IP focused, sector agnostic, VC fund. We invest in early stage companies solving real world challenges, from Seed to Series A+ stages.