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Honeywell Promises World’s Best Quantum Computer by Mid-2020

Honeywell quantum computer

(Image credit: Honeywell)

Honeywell plans on launching the world's most powerful quantum computer, it announced this week. The company made this claim based on the promised “quantum volume” of 64, which it said is double what the best quantum computer can deliver right now. 

Honeywell didn't specify, but it seems that quantum computer in question belongs to IBM, which invented the term quantum volume and in January said it hit a quantum volume of 32. 

“Quantum computing will enable us to tackle complex scientific and business challenges, driving step-change improvements in computational power, operating costs and speed,” Honeywell CEO and chairman Darius Adamczyk said in a statement. 

“Materials companies will explore new molecular structures. Transportation companies will optimize logistics. Financial institutions will need faster and more precise software applications. Pharmaceutical companies will accelerate the discovery of new drugs."

Race to Quantum Heats up

Quantum volume is a metric that considers the number, connectivity and low error rate of qubits. 

According to IBM, the number of qubits is not enough to prove that one quantum computer is more powerful than another. A quantum computer with a high number of qubits but a high error rate will not be able to solve the complex problems that quantum computers are supposed to be good at cracking. The reverse is also true because a quantum computer with a very low number of qubits isn’t that useful. We could achieve the same result through a simulation on a classical system, whether we’re talking about laptops or supercomputers, which have been able to simulate up to 56-qubits in certain scenarios.

Honeywell said that over 100 scientists, engineers and software developers have been working on its quantum computing project in order to develop both the physical hardware as well as the algorithms that will be running on it.

JPMorgan Chase Will be a Honeywell Quantum Customer

JPMorgan Chase seems to be one of the first major quantum computer customers, as the company aims to support its own customers for various financial services in which quantum computing may provide an edge. Honeywell announced that JPMorgan will use its quantum computer but admitted that they're still looking to figure out how to solve complex financial problems with quantum computers.

The Honeywell Ventures capital fund has also made two strategic investments in quantum software and algorithm startups Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and Zapata Computing.

We’ve seen IBM and D-Wave offer their own quantum computing cloud access services, and Amazon has also integrated some of these services from other competitors into Amazon Web Services (AWS) too. 

Honeywell said it partnered with Microsoft's Azure Quantum offering. End users will also be able to use Azure's classical computing resources with Honeywell's quantum computing resources to develop and use hybrid algorithms to solve various problems.

Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.