Honeywell Creates Minnesota-Developed Quantum Computing Division in New Company, Quantinuum

One of the most powerful quantum computers in the world can be found in Golden Valley, where Honeywell has spent more than a decade building what it sees as the next big technological innovation.

“It’s like being in the early days of the Internet, or the early days of classical computing and Minnesota was at the forefront,” said Tony Uttley, president of Honeywell-owned Quantinuum. “We started this whole business in Minnesota.”

Quantinuum was formed this week with the merger of Honeywell Quantum Solutions and English software company Cambridge Quantum Computing. The new company, first announced this summer, will be headquartered in Colorado and the UK, but will retain a workforce of 40 in Minnesota which Uttley says will continue to grow.

“There is long-standing expertise here,” he said, including in other Honeywell operations in Minnesota that make “the beating heart” of the company’s quantum computers.

The combined company brings together Honeywell’s physical quantum computing hardware with Cambridge applications for the use of this advanced technology. Until recently, all of this only existed in theory.

Quantum computing is touted as revolutionary for its ability to quickly perform complex calculations that would take even hundreds of years for the most powerful supercomputer.

Next year, Quantinuum will launch software to “solve complex scientific problems in pharmaceuticals, materials science, specialty chemicals and agrochemicals,” according to the company’s press release on Tuesday which reported revealed its new name and new product offerings.

Where computers today use binary signals of 0 and 1 – bits that form electronic instructions that turn code into applications – quantum computing relies on non-binary “qubits” that exist both under form of 0 and 1, simultaneously, to store and transfer data.

Uttley calls this property “overlay”. It’s like a “superpower” that allows quantum computers to quickly simulate an incredible number of combinations, for example, in manufacturing processes or molecular systems.

“The very large uses that are promising are the development of new life-saving drugs, the development of new materials used for more durable batteries in vehicles, or materials that can be used to sequester carbon from the atmosphere,” a- he declared. “These are very big problems at the level of humanity that quantum computers promise to solve.”

North Carolina-based Honeywell expects quantum computing to represent a $ 1 trillion market over the next several decades. The company owns a 54% stake in Quantinuum and has invested an additional $ 300 million in the spin-off company.

Constellation Research estimated this week that the market is already worth $ 174 billion.

“Early investors saw the potential and the market is entering a period of consolidation to acquire talent, intellectual property and product offering roadmaps,” the Silicon Valley consultancy wrote in a statement. new report. winners will emerge over the next five years.

The power of quantum computing can cut passwords and encryption like a hot knife in butter. So it’s no surprise that Quantinuum’s first product is in the area of ​​cybersecurity.

“We are racing against other countries where it has been a national imperative,” Uttley said. “No one wants to be behind.”

Cybersecurity was the primary motivation behind the National Quantum Initiative Act passed by Congress in 2018. The US and UK governments also pledged earlier in November to “accelerate the realization of subsequent new technologies for the benefit of society and for the benefit of society. support for our common defense interests. “

While industrial, pharmaceutical, and security applications are the near-term goal of quantum computing – companies around the world have already connected to the Golden Valley-based quantum computer – the technology will eventually affect the world as well. personal computing, Uttley said.

“When you open an app on your phone, it connects to a cloud server – it’s a conduit to all this computing power,” he said. “The same is going to happen with quantum computing. You might end up having an app on your phone that uses quantum without you knowing it.”

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