Quantum Computing's Path to Commercialisation
These challenges are significant, but progress is being made on all fronts, researchers and companies around the world are working on developing new hardware and algorithms to overcome these obstacles and bring quantum computing to the real-world.
As part of our quantum computing interview series, we asked some of the people at the cutting-edge, which challenges they are most concerned with in the next six months.
Dr. Michael J. Hayduk, PhD, DR-V, DAF, Deputy Director, Information Directorate - US Air Force Research Lab:
“Quantum computing architectures must continue to scale, and practical error correction techniques must also be developed before these systems become truly useful. There must also be a continued emphasis on the development of useful quantum algorithms and software.
I’m excited to follow how the commercial companies are doing in making progress on their roadmaps. There has been some great progress made in several qubit technologies in the last couple of years and I expect this to continue this year. I’m also really excited to see how these systems will practically scale as more qubits are added into their respective architectures.”
Abhinav Kohar, Machine Learning Engineering Manager – Schlumberger:
“While quantum computing has already made significant progress, there are still several obstacles that need to be overcome before it can be commercialised at scale. Some of these obstacles include:
- Noise and error correction: Quantum computing is inherently noisy due to environmental factors and hardware imperfections, which can introduce errors in the computation. Effective error correction methods will be necessary to mitigate the impact of these errors and enable reliable computation.
- Scalability: The most powerful quantum computers have only a few dozen qubits, and it's unclear how to scale up to the thousands or millions of qubits that would be needed for practical applications. Building larger and more complex quantum computers will require significant advances in hardware, software, and control systems.
- Standards and interoperability: Currently, there are no widely accepted standards for quantum hardware or software, making it difficult for developers to create interoperable applications. The development of standards and best practices will be necessary to create a robust ecosystem for quantum computing.
- Talent shortage: There is currently a shortage of skilled researchers, engineers, and developers with the expertise needed to design, build, and operate quantum computers. Building a talented workforce will require significant investment in education and training.”
Dr. Faisal Kamran, Technology Partnerships Europe, Principal Technology Analyst, Sony:
“Quantum computing needs to overcome the obstacles like scalability issues, carbon footprint, and power consumption. One of the major scalability issues is to build larger quantum computers with more qubits in a way that scaling the qubits doesn’t come with scaling of accompanying hardware and associated costs.
To commercialise quantum computing, it is crucial to develop solutions to these obstacles. This can involve research into new materials and technologies for qubits and error correction, improvements in cooling and power efficiency, and the development of software and algorithms specifically designed for quantum computing.”
While the road to commercialisation may still be long, it is a field that is undoubtedly worth investing in. The potential benefits of exponential processing power, accelerated scientific discoveries, and disruptive innovations are vast.
To explore progress being made in overcoming the challenges of scalability, standards and interoperability, and to be a part of this transformative journey, head to the Quantum Computing Summit this June.