Approximately over the next three months, Honeywell plans to bring to market the most powerful quantum computer at this time. It will be the most powerful in terms of the so-called quantum volume, an indicator that does not depend directly on the number of qubits and is a measure of the relative complexity of the tasks that can be solved using this computing system. The new Honeywell quantum computer will have a quantum volume of 64, which is twice as much as any of the existing quantum computing systems.
Quantum volume is a metric expressed as a single integer, the value of which can be obtained using specialized software, oriented so far to quantum systems of small and medium scale. This software determines the maximum dimensions (width and depth) of a quantum circuit that can be “assembled from building blocks” in the bowels of a computer.
The impressive performance of the Honeywell quantum system is the result of the use of innovative QCCD technology (quantum charge coupled device). The basis of this technology is ions enclosed inside an electromagnetic trap, which are controlled by laser light pulses. Two types of ions are used in this system, 171Yb + ions act as qubits proper, and 138Ba + ions play an auxiliary role, participating in the cooling process of the trap and ensuring the execution of parallel operations by qubits located nearby. Thanks to this approach, these qubits can be organized in the form of arbitrary quantum circuits, the control elements of which can be located at a distance of up to 750 micrometers from the qubits themselves.
Honeywell’s ion qubits can be manufactured using adapted technologies that have long been used to manufacture semiconductor chips. At the same time, production defects that arise are more understandable than defects that arise when using alternative qubit production technologies.
It is worth noting that the company’s management expects to increase the quantum volume of its systems by at least an order of magnitude each year over the next five years. This means that in 2025, the Honeywell quantum computer, whose qubits are trapped ions, will have a quantum volume of 6.4 million. For comparison, IBM expects only by 2025 to get a quantum volume of its systems equal to 1000, and a value of 100 thousand – by 2030.
The first company to receive a new Honeywell quantum computer at its disposal will be JPMorgan Chase, a global financial services company. And soon, Honeywell and JPMorgan Chase specialists will jointly develop specialized financial algorithms that are optimized for execution on a quantum computer.