Industrial giant Honeywell on Thursday said it is now live with a quantum computer running client jobs that uses six effective quantum bits, or qubits, and a resulting "volume" of compute that it claims makes the system the most powerful quantum machine currently in production. The announcement fulfills a vow the company made in March to offer a machine with a quantum volume of 64, as related on March 3rd by ZDNet's Lawrence Dignan in a conversation with Honeywell's head of quantum, Tony Uttley, who is president of the division Honeywell Quantum Solutions. "In March we said within the next three months we're going to be releasing the world's highest-performing quantum computer, and so this is a case of Honeywell did what it said it was going to do," Uttley told ZDNet in a telephone call. Customers including J.P. Morgan Chase are using the machine with a variety of early applications, Uttley told ZDNet, some of which are prohibitively complex to carry out on a classical electron-based computer. J.P. Morgan Chase has had "multiple hours of access" to the Honeywell machine, said Uttley, "and they are ecstatic."
A company that used to make home thermostats is now building a quantum computer. Honeywell, which is known for making control systems for homes, businesses and planes, says it has big plans for the quantum future. "You would have never suspected Honeywell was doing this," says Tony Uttley, the president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions. The company has been working on its plans for a decade, he says. "We wanted to wait until we could just show people how good we are at this instead of telling them about it."
A company that makes home thermostats is now building a quantum computer. Honeywell, which is known for making control systems for homes, businesses and planes, says it has big plans for the quantum future. "You would have never suspected Honeywell was doing this," says Tony Uttley, the president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions. The company has been working on its plans for a decade, he says. "We wanted to wait until we could just show people how good we are at this instead of telling them about it."
Honeywell's Model H1 machine makes use of Honeywell's unique hardware approach based on "trapped ions." An ion is an atom that has a net positive or negative electrical charge. The trap in this case is a fabricated device, like a computer chip, that can be used to manipulate those ions, similar to moving electrons through the gates made up of silicon transistors. The tech world may have to make room for a new acronym, perhaps qubits-as-a-service, QaaS, or some such, as Honeywell has introduced what appears to be the first subscription-based plan for quantum computing usage. With the introduction Thursday of the company's Model H1 quantum computer, with 10 qubits and a logical quantum volume of 128, the company detailed a plan to charge in a subscription fashion based on monthly access to the machines.
Honeywell expects that as advances in quantum computing continue to accelerate over the next 18 to 24 months, the ability to replicate the results of a quantum computing application workload using a conventional computing platform simulation will come to an end. The company's System Model H1 has now quadrupled its performance capabilities to become the first commercial quantum computer to attain a 512 quantum volume. Ascertaining quantum volume requires running a complex set of statistical tests that are influenced by the number of qubits, error rates, connectivity of qubits, and cross-talk between qubits. That approach provides a more accurate assessment of a quantum computer's processing capability that goes beyond simply counting the number of qubits that can be employed. Honeywell today provides access to a set of simulation tools that make it possible to validate the results delivered on its quantum computers on a conventional machine.