Intel has announced an investment of 50Ml$ to foster the creation of a full quantum computer.
The research needed will be made in cooperation with Delft University and TNO, the Netherlands,
The investment will be flanked by significant engineering resources and this is what prompted me write this post. The fact that a company like Intel is getting ready to shell money on quantum computer may be a clear indication that quantum computation is within reach and that is reinforced by the fact that they are putting engineering resources at work to make sure that what comes out of research activities can quickly move into production.
Having spent most of my life in research labs, and the last four years trying to transform research results into innovation, I fully appreciate the gap existing between invention and innovation.
To make sure that research results can flow smoothly into manufacturing you need to take on board industry engineers from the very beginning. And that is not sufficient. Having a product that the market is not willing to buy does not result in any innovation. Hence you need to take the selling part of the company on board as well. True innovation is unlikely to be welcome by everybody, since true innovation displace a number of players, i.e. cut off their revenues, and often forces a change in processes and habits.
In the case of true quantum computers the ripples of disruption are likely to affect several areas, from communications to banking.
So far quantum computing science has been ahead of quantum computing technology (we know what should be done but we don’t know how to do it…). Let’s see if this Intel effort will succeed. It is, for sure, an indicator that big industry is taking quantum computing seriously.