Honeywell has made good on its promise to build the highest performing quantum computer in the world. Back in March, the multinational conglomerate said it would launch the world’s most powerful quantum computer “within the next three months.” On Thursday, it did just that with a system featuring a quantum volume of 64 – twice as powerful as the next fastest system in the industry, Honeywell claims.
Quantum volume is a measurement that takes into account the number of qubits, or quantum bits, of a machine as well error rates and the connectivity of the qubits.
For comparison, IBM’s Raleigh achieved a quantum volume of 32 earlier this year.
Tony Uttley, president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions, said the key to making their systems so powerful is having the highest quality qubits with the lowest error rates. “This is a combination of using identical, fully connected qubits and precision control,” he added.
Quantum computers abide by the curious rules of quantum physics meaning they aren’t limited to performing a single calculation at a time but can perform many calculations simultaneously. This has the potential to make them far more powerful than “classical” computers although their incredibly complex nature has thus far limited their potential to research projects. In short, researchers are still struggling to understand the intricacies of quantum computers.
And not everyone is convinced of their usefulness. Some, like physicist Michel Dyakonov from the Université Montpellier in France, believe quantum computers have limited practical appeal.