What do Intel, AMD, Apple, Cyrix, IBM, VIA Technologies, Centaur Technologies, and Arm Ltd all have in common?

In case you don’t know — but I’m sure many of you will — they’re all CPU manufacturers.

As we leave the world of Web 2.0 and enter Web3, a salient point comes into the conversation that the computational power required just so things run as smoothly as possible will be many orders of magnitude greater than what they are now, putting pressure on them like never before — Gordon Moore and his law are obviously going to be compromised at some point.

Hopefully, one day, classical processing chips — at least for some tasks — will be replaced by their quantum equivalent, quantum processing units (QPUs).

Although we are now in the noisy intermediate-scale quantum — or NISQ — era of quantum computation, still far away from reaching a level of quantum error correction, scalability and manufacturing good enough to make quantum computers useful in our everyday lives, we’ve come a long way since a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology designed and manufactured the first chip-scale quantum computing device in 2009.

However, to get to where we want to be, we need to have companies like the ones above manufacturing CPUs doing just that for QPUs.

According to The Quantum Insider’s proprietary data platform, there are close to 200 companies organized in our taxonomy whose primary focus is on Software; while just over twenty enterprises are working on Processors and Chips.

Of all different sizes, budgets and strategies — from 1QBit, Xanadu, QuTech to SeeQC and others — these companies are the future of our industry. However, when we want to talk about the here and now, and about enterprises actually producing QPUs to an acceptable standard and quantity as of June 2022, five really stand out: Google, Intel, IBM, D-Wave, and Rigetti Computing

1. Google: Sycamore

“Sycamore” is a 53-qubit quantum processor created by Google’s Artificial Intelligence division. Released in 2019, it is based on superconducting transmon architecture.

2. Intel: Tangle Lake

 

In 2018 Intel released “Tangle Lake”, a superconducting 49-qubit processor, named after a chain of lakes in Alaska.

3. IBM: Eagle

 

Another company leveraging superconducting qubits, IBM achieved a huge milestone in 2021 when it broke the 100-qubit threshold with its processor codenamed “Eagle”, containing 127 qubits

4. Rigetti Computing: Aspen-M/Aspen-11

Rigetti Computing’s superconducting Rigetti Aspen-M processor is based on scalable multi-chip technology and is assembled from two 40-qubit chips. The single 40-qubit Aspen-11 processor is also available.

5. D-Wave: Advantage

A QPU based on quantum annealing — an optimization process for finding the global minimum of a given objective function over a given set of candidate solutions — the Advantage processor has over 5,000 qubits and 15-way qubit connectivity, empowering enterprises to solve their largest and most complex business problems. It was released in 2020.

James Dargan

James Dargan

James Dargan is a contributor at The Quantum Insider. His focus is on the QC startup ecosystem and he writes articles on the space that have a tone accessible to the average reader

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