Honeywell, a company known for building control systems for homes, businesses, and aircraft, claims to have built the most powerful quantum computer ever.
Though other researchers are skeptical about its power, the company says, it is a step towards integrating quantum computing into its everyday tasks.
Honeywell measured the capabilities of its computer using a metric called Quantum Volume by IBM. This takes into account the number of quantum bits – or qubits – that the computer has, their error rate, how long the system can compute before the qubits stop working, and some other key properties.
“About 220 different algorithms will be used to measure quantum volume,” says Tony Uttley, president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions.
Honeywell’s quantum computer has a volume of 64, twice the next highest quantum volume to be recorded, which was measured in an IBM quantum computer.
“Quantum computing will support for business challenges and scientific calculations and the feature will support also autonomous car improvements and more affordable speed”said Chief Executive Officer Darius Adamczyk and Honeywell Chairman
Like other quantum computers, it can eventually be useful for calculations that deal with large amounts of data.
“Materials companies will explore new molecular structures. Transportation companies will optimize logistics. Financial institutions may need faster and precise software applications. the discovery of the new drug by the pharmaceutical companies.”Read more
In order to achieve Quantum supremacy (first claimed by Google), the machine should able to perform calculations that would be troubling for classical computers.
While Honeywell’s machine has only six qubits so far, the one that Google used to achieve quantum supremacy had 53 qubits.
The feat that was achieved by Honeywell’s quantum computer can even be achieved by a laptop in order to achieve quantum supremacy it should have at least 50 to 60 qubits.
Ciarán Gilligan-Lee of University College London says that having the highest quantum volume could mean that Honeywell’s qubits are remarkably accurate and can be computed over a long period of time, but it is not the most powerful quantum computers available.
Although Honeywell’s machine cannot yet outperform classical computers Uttley says it is a step in the right direction to make quantum computers practically useful.