Good morning, the Archer team recently attended the Q2B 2021 Conference in Silicon Valley and I would like to provide you with some key insights from the 3-day event held 7-9 Dec 2021.
Current state of quantum computing
It is no longer a matter of “if” quantum computing works, but rather “how” companies can get quantum computing to work for them. A consensus emerged among the delegates that the widespread use and applications of quantum computing technology is inherently tied to the maturity in hardware development.
There are few hardware players in the quantum computing ecosystem, and fewer developing qubit processor chips:
- IBM reminded delegates that IBM’s quantum computing systems went “live” in the cloud 5 years ago, going from a 1 qubit machine to the first generation of IBM’s Eagle 127 qubit quantum computer that uses an innovative ‘multichip stack’ comprising a qubit (control) layer, readout layer, and wiring layer.
Optimism in the quantum computing ecosystem is giving rise to a ‘Quantum Spring’ after a period of ‘Quantum Winter’, with investment now starting to pour in more than ever before. Many organisations continue to set more balanced expectations around making steady progress towards achievable yet challenging goals required for quantum advantage, and more generally, for the widespread use of quantum computing.
It takes a global community to advance quantum computing. Collaboration is valued over competition by many in the early stage of quantum computing development. Partnerships and talent are needed for growth. It was fantastic to see the global IBM Quantum Network that includes Archer, grow to 170+ members, which includes Fortune 500 Companies, national research labs, academia, industry, and start-ups.
Early use cases are emerging
Many early-adopters of quantum computing present at Q2B 2021 included global industry leaders across finance, chemicals, big pharma, cyber security, and government and defence organisations. Multiple perspectives pointed to a more proactive, long-term approach to quantum computing: enterprise end-users need to get ‘quantum ready’.
There was no shortage of big names tapping into quantum computing using various few qubit machines in the cloud to begin realising their long-term strategic goals. For example, BP is leveraging quantum computing technology to help reach BPs net zero goals by 2050, Roche is looking at how quantum computing can accelerate drug discovery having formed a 7-person taskforce in 2018, while PayPal’s attempts are focused on cracking fraud rings around the world.
PayPal operates a large-volume payment system, handling a tremendous amount of data. PayPal is actively assessing fraud detection under its Protection Policy using quantum technology. This involves searching through and analysing tens of millions to hundreds of millions of data points, possibly even billions of raw data points, linked with thousands of parameters, using quantum optimisation and machine learning approaches; quite a formidable optimisation task, and one that may well be suited for quantum computing technology.
Q2B 2021 was a friendly, collaborative forum, with the quantum computing ecosystem leaders’ mindsets firmly-set to growth. Archer’s attendance to Q2B 2021 was a productive time to meet with our colleagues from IBM, and to explore opportunities for strategic business relationships with US organisations, and I look forward to updating you on our progress.
Dr Mohammad Choucair, FRACI FRSN GAICD
Chief Executive Officer
Archer Materials Limited (ASX:AXE)