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$100 Million Fund Aims to Spearhead Quantum Computing

The Quantum Wave Fund is aiming to raise $100 million for funding for early-stage private companies that already boast viable products related to quantum computing.

"Too many people take quantum computing as hypothetical," Serguei Kouzmine, managing partner of the fund, told CNET. "We want to make a statement that it's serious and it's today. Yes, the really bright future may be around the corner, but today, there's enough to pay attention to."

The fund will focus on security, new measurement devices and new materials. It's currently raised around $30 million in funding, with those managing the fund planning to invest in 10 to 15 companies, giving each around $2 million to $10 million.

In addition to the delivery of the investment, the fund will help said companies "improve processes in engineering, production, marketing, and sales when ready to supply these devices to the global market."

The fund was founded by scientists-turned-entrepreneurs, with its scientific advisory board comprised of professors and scientists from Harvard, Purdue, and quantum centers from around the globe.

Vladimir M. Shalaev, scientific director of nanophotonics and professor of biomedical engineering and physics at Purdue University, said he and other advisers would analyze firms in order to determine if they're worth investing in from a scientific perspective.

"I've been involved in research with meta materials and [have been] asked when is a good time to invest," he explained. "My reply is 'still early to invest though tomorrow could be late.' You can apply this here, and quantum has a huge potential impact. Quantum, I believe, will be the next technology evolution to impact our society."

"It addresses societal needs of processing information faster and making computers faster by all running on quantum science. Science is now moving there. The Nobel Prize this year was an example of what is possible. The science is there, the technology is getting there. The fund has great timing now to launch. Science that can make a big impact in the world, it will change our lives."

Back in September, Australian researchers had said quantum computers are five years to a decade away from coming to fruition.

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  • alidan
    question, what id the difference between the theoretical quantum computer and traditional?

    i mean operateing differences and what would the processing power be between a cpu that uses quantum mechanical to work, and one that does not?

    thats the part that i never understood, what the difference would be.
    Reply
  • fuzznarf
    in layman's terms, a quantum computer can effectively compute 'traditional' bits and either on (1), off(0), or both. this is called a qubit. It basically can 'predict' the oucome of a given logical gate given a said instruction. Traditional computers are staggeringly inefficient compared to quantum computers. imagine a 64 bit computer (2^62), or a qubit quantum computer (3^64) possibilities given a relatively small set of instructions. The more computational intensive the instruction the exponentially more time a traditional computer would take to complete the computation. Imagine a state where a computer has 1000 qubits of instruction to perform. A traditional computer would require 1000 1's and 1000 0's whereas a quantum computer could calculate all 2^1000 states simultaneously in one cycle. and the more qubits for a computation the the larger the gap in computation time.
    Reply
  • Quantum computers 'predict' the 'answer' to problem very quickly. But the prediction might not be the real answer.

    They would likely be very useful for statistical calculations, but would be useless for general computing.
    Reply
  • First time comment, long time reader. The effect of quantum computing is tied directly to the physics of electromagnetism. Right now as we approach 14 nanometer chips and smaller we see a materials bottleneck where we cannot stream more data across the interfaces. The effect of quantum computers will be similar to what happened with transistor technology. In a period of 60 years we went from analog glass tube computing complexes that could only do basic math to phones that can process on the gigahertz spectrum. The difference this time is that we already have established communication networks and the supply chain economics to aid distribution. Quantum computers have far reaching technological implications for the miniaturization of electronics (LED contact lenses with translucent processors, etc.). Ultimately theoretical speeds are in the terahertz range which changes the precision of the tooling from Micro (Millionths) to Nano (Billionths). The implications also include storage which will theoretically increase to more than 1000 times the storage highest capacity disc platters ever made. Simply put, quantum computing will change everything because of the science and technology required to fully realize the idea. Materials science will have to improve drastically probably leading to a new industry involving high level chemistry, physics, and electronics to atomically assemble circuits. Quantum computing is also going to be a huge boon for nano machines because of decreased power use and the control of scale quantum computing offers.
    -Julian
    Reply
  • alidan
    fuzznarfin layman's terms, a quantum computer can effectively compute 'traditional' bits and either on (1), off(0), or both. this is called a qubit. It basically can 'predict' the oucome of a given logical gate given a said instruction. Traditional computers are staggeringly inefficient compared to quantum computers. imagine a 64 bit computer (2^62), or a qubit quantum computer (3^64) possibilities given a relatively small set of instructions. The more computational intensive the instruction the exponentially more time a traditional computer would take to complete the computation. Imagine a state where a computer has 1000 qubits of instruction to perform. A traditional computer would require 1000 1's and 1000 0's whereas a quantum computer could calculate all 2^1000 states simultaneously in one cycle. and the more qubits for a computation the the larger the gap in computation time.so, from what you are saying, instead of processing 1000 things, it can guess every state in that 1000 thing in 1 tick where a normal processor would take 1000

    somehow that doesn't sound incredibly efficient for most tasks i can think of, however code cracking and such, this processor would be a godsend.

    Reply
  • IndignantSkeptic
    No matter how many explanations of quantum computing I read, I still cannot understand WTF they are, but maybe that's intentional.
    Reply
  • alidan
    IndignantSkepticNo matter how many explanations of quantum computing I read, I still cannot understand WTF they are, but maybe that's intentional.
    knowing exactly what they are isnt an issue right now as knowing how to even properly utilize them isnt even well known, at least i beleive, i cant really find anything about even prototypes that put it into simple terms.

    thats why im asking a more reasonable, what they mean to the consumer, what will it do for me.
    Reply
  • Matt C
    http://membercentral.aaas.org/blogs/member-spotlight/raymond-laflamme-and-potential-quantum-computers

    I work for this guy.
    Reply
  • ronch79
    Just $100M? Isn't that a little bit on the cheap side considering this is one major, major project? I also read somewhere that the Obama administration and the DOE is putting out $120 for universities to come up with next-generation batteries with 5x the capacity within a 5 year period. Everyone's being totally cheap these days funding these big projects that not even the big companies in their respective fields have had success doing.
    Reply
  • Matt C
    ronch79Just $100M? Isn't that a little bit on the cheap side considering this is one major, major project? I also read somewhere that the Obama administration and the DOE is putting out $120 for universities to come up with next-generation batteries with 5x the capacity within a 5 year period. Everyone's being totally cheap these days funding these big projects that not even the big companies in their respective fields have had success doing.
    This is $100 Million for creating a business from the current research. Someone thinks they can start the quantum revolution, we'll see how it goes.

    The Insitute for Quantum Computing just moved into a $160 Million building. They've received $100 Million from the Canadian and Ontario governments. Personal donations of $200 Million from Mike Lazaridis (co-founder of RIM)

    There's some minor commercialization but it's still mainly within the scientific research realm. Better tools to further the research IN the quantum world.

    http://iqc.uwaterloo.ca/faculty-research

    Almost $500 Million spent in one single insitute and they're still a little ways away form technology based on their research let alone a full blown quantum computer for high level computation at a performance level surpassing supercomputers.
    Reply