Quantum computing has been a popular conversation for several years in the tech world. Although quantum computers have yet to become commercially available, we’re getting closer every day. With multiple companies competing for the top spot to go public first, including Microsoft, IBM, and Google, we’ll see the first quantum computer soon.
IonQ is about to become the first publicly traded quantum computing company
One of the companies competing for the top position in the quantum computer field is IonQ. IonQ has officially entered into a merger agreement with dMY Technology Group III for $650 million. The merger will make IonQ the first publicly traded company to commercialize quantum hardware and software.
Once the merger is complete, IonQ shares will be publicly traded under the symbol “IONQ.” The merger will likely be completed online, in a secure virtual data room to prevent hackers from obtaining proprietary information.
What is quantum computing?
According to IBM, “quantum computing harnesses the phenomena of quantum mechanics to deliver a huge leap forward in computation to solve certain problems.” This includes complex problems that even the most powerful supercomputers can’t solve.
IBM says quantum computers consist of superconductors, chilled by superfluids to one-one-hundredth of a degree Celsius above absolute zero. Electrons are fired through superconductors, forming Cooper pairs that “quantum tunnel” through a Josephson junction.
Other components of a quantum computer include photon-powered qubits that can hold, change, and read out information. Multiple qubits are used to create vast computational spaces. The quantum computers IMB is working on are the size of a refrigerator.
The details of how quantum computing works are quite technical, and there are several variations regarding how it all works.
Although the quantum computing technology described above belongs to IBM, there are other forms. For example, the technology used by IonQ leverages the natural quantum mechanical effects of trapped ions to power the machine.
IonQ could produce a breakthrough in quantum computing
Quantum computing is expected to make an impact in the computing world exponentially bigger than all classical computing advancements in the last 100 years.
IonQ has several advantages in the field. The company recently hired Dave Bacon to serve as the vice president of software. Bacon is Google’s former quantum computing software team lead.
Two other advantages are access to capital and new technology, which will both support the company in creating a breakthrough prototype.
The funding that will come from the merger deal will give IonQ enough capital to create a quantum computer the size of an Xbox console that will work at room temperature. If successful, this will be a huge breakthrough considering current prototypes are large and require massive cooling to support high processing speeds. The first room temperature prototype is expected to be done by 2023.
IonQ quantum computers are available on Amazon Braket and Microsoft Azure
Although physical quantum computers aren’t yet available commercially, consumers can harness the power through the cloud using Amazon Braket and Microsoft Azure. IonQ is working on scaling existing computing power by their 2023 goal. The company plans to manufacture modular quantum computers that can create a network and become even more breakthroughs by 2025.
IonQ is working with car manufacturers
If you’re wondering what quantum computing is being used for currently, IonQ has partnered with Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Hyundai, and Kia to use quantum computing to solve design problems in the transportation industry that affect climate change.
IonQ quantum computers are expected to be worth $65 billion by 2030
Although it’s a big goal, it’s not impossible. dMY III expects its quantum computers to be worth $65 billion by 2030 and in full use by a variety of industries.
With around $300 million coming from dMY III’s trust account and $350 million in proceeds from investors, the funds are available for IonQ to make the next greatest breakthrough in computer technology in the last 100 years. The only question is can they do it? It’s possible, but only time will tell.