Matter Based Quantum Computing Is Not Scaleable
As an investor in the Quantum Computing space I believe that matter based quantum computers are about as useful as a vintage Motorola car phone or my personal favorite the Erickson Hotline Combi 450.
The Quantum computers being built by IBM, Honeywell and Google are not scaleable and wont be truly useful at 6 qubit (Honeywell) or 53 qubit (Google). They are matter based solutions dependent on cryogenic cold storage (12.6 Kelvin for Honeywell’s most recent announcement) and need to be housed in large spaces with outlandish requirements to reduce noise and limit vibration. They will not prove to be useful on a large commercial scale because each one is cumbersome with an elaborate maze of tubes requiring large spaces with stringent control room requirements to operate a single computer.
IBM's Quantum Computer "Q" has less wires but is still dependent on cold storage. It sits behind a wall of 1/2 inch thick borosilicate glass and was designed with input from the glass case manufacture that designed the protective case for the Mona Lisa in The Louvre. Is the real Mona Lisa really in the Louvre? This approach is more of a marketing gimmick than a true scientific breakthrough. No disrespect to the people building it but the marketing arm at IBM is a distraction and Big Blue has now showed us all that they are too large to think outside of a glass cube.
Will a 6 qubit oversized matter based quantum computer from Honeywell prove to be scaleable and useful with a Quantum Volume (QV) of 64? Time will tell but my prediction in that it will not. Quantum computers will be useful at 1 million qubits and to get there they will need to be scaleable. This will be achieved by taking an approach that is not derived from scientific papers authored by university professors chasing after a decades old approach that to this day has never proven to be useful.
Light based Silicon Photonics is the way forward and will allow for breakthroughs that make an existing scaleable process such as semiconductors, quantum. Once this is achieved Quantum As A Service will become scaleable and the pathway to new discoveries will be readily available. Roadster Capital's investment in the Quantum space is with PsiQuantum alongside investors such as Atomico, Founders Fund, BlackRock and Microsoft’s M12. Keep an eye on them. It's going to be impressive.
The Venture Capital Fastlane is written and directed by Ryan Else. He is the founder of Roadster Capital, a seed stage venture capital fund investing in the convergence of disruptive frontier technology.