The World’s First “Commercially Useful” Quantum Computer

image provided by pixabay

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

The Australian government is investing in quantum computing startup PsiQuantum to build the world’s first ‘useful’ quantum computer and bring the quantum industry to its shores.

Quantum computing is generally regarded as the next frontier of computing and has so far largely been led by private tech giants like Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Australia, however, is set on ensuring that quantum computing technology remains on its shores, and so its government is investing in a startup that wants to make a “useful quantum computer.”

But what is a ‘useful’ quantum computer? This refers to the issues being currently tackled by demonstrations of quantum computing, which are quite far from real-world problems. This new Australian endeavor sets out to build the world’s first “fault-tolerant” quantum computer that is error-free (unlike other quantum computers being built today), making quantum computers useful for defense and industry research applications.

So how is this so-called “useful” computer so different? According to Interesting Engineering, while the quantum computing industry focuses on error reduction by building quantum computers with more physical qubits, PsiQauntum’s approach is slightly different –instead of using superconductors to build its quantum computer, the company is using a fusion-based approach where photons serve as qubits and are processed on semiconductor chips, much like today’s computers. The company’s first utility-scale quantum computer to have a million physical qubits and operate using cryogenic cooling.

PsiQuantum CEO Prof Jeremy O’Brien, said in a press release: “A utility-scale quantum computer represents an opportunity to construct a new, practical foundation of computational infrastructure and, in so doing, ignite the next industrial revolution. This platform will help solve today’s impossible problems and will serve as a tool to design the solutions we so desperately need to safeguard our future.”