101: The quantum vendor market race is heating up

How is the quantum market progressing?

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“In China there is a ton of money going in [to quantum computing] and no public record coming out,” said Jaya Baloo, CISO at Dutch telecoms company, KPN, at a recent Kaspersky event in Dublin.

Baloo is a very cogent and forthright individual. She was on the steering committee for the European Commission’s work into quantum technology—the EU is putting €1 billion ($1.18 billion) into this, a sum it only matches with its Human Brain Project and it graphene research. However, as Baloo points out this is significantly less than the $15 billion that Chinese vendor, Alibaba, is putting in on its own (although this figure covers other areas too). And even this is still only the tip of the iceberg.

The global race is most definitely on to crack quantum computing with vendors and nations alike getting stuck in. Baloo has been involved in various public trials across Europe. Yet, she believes many Chinese initiatives are quietly going on behind closed doors with the 2,000km Quantum Communication Line between Beijing and Shanghai already the most advanced thing of its kind out there.

Everything looks a little different in the vendor space. Quantum computing presents the opportunity for behemoths like IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Google—along with established startups like Rigetti Computing—to stamp their name onto the next wave of computing.

This will open up a whole new level of processing power to solve previously unanswerable problems. As Neil Bramley, B2B client solutions business unit director for Toshiba in North Europe put it to me recently: The basic building blocks of computing are set to morph from maths to physics. Global Industry Analysts forecasts its global market to reach $2 billion by 2024, a growth which is primarily driven by a constant need for the most secure online data transmission possible.”

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