Thanks to one hundred years of developments, we can control nature’s building blocks and finally have quantum computers. These devices are fundamentally different from their classical counterparts and offer astounding capabilities.

While classical computers store and process information with bits that can be either 0 or 1, quantum computers work with quantum bits, or qubits, that can be 0 and 1 simultaneously through a phenomenon called superposition.

To illustrate the power of qubit superposition, imagine you are lost in a maze and that a computer can help you find the way out. A classical computer would try one solution at a time, while a quantum computer uses superposition to solve it much quicker by trying all solutions at once.

The advantages of quantum computing extend beyond its ability to explore multiple solutions simultaneously. Qubits can also be linked, or entangled, meaning operations on a single qubit can affect others. This contributes immensely to quantum computing power, as the total number of operations can be decreased dramatically.

Together, entanglement and superposition make quantum computers not only incredibly powerful, but also superbly energy-efficient. Quantum computers consume at least a thousand times less energy than classical ones, and run for much shorter times, saving millions of dollars a year [1].

Quantum computing brings a deep paradigm shift and the possibilities are only limited by our imagination.

Let us give it wings.

Quick decisions in finance are worth gold, but it may take days for classical computers to conduct simulations of global markets, rendering most of them of little use.

Quantum computers, on the other hand, offer real-time simulations, enabling fast and precise pricing of derivatives and risk management.

Quantum computing also allows more precise fraud-detection in a shorter amount of time, saving money and reducing customer friction.

Discovering new drugs is an expensive and time-consuming effort [2], which can be made more efficient with simulations.

It turns out that simulations of large molecules, which make up most pharmaceutical drugs, are a limited or even impossible function for classical computers.

This is no problem for quantum computers, which can simulate even the largest molecules in fine detail, paving the way for faster and safer drug discovery and considerably lowering its cost.

Sometimes we need to study a new material’s mechanical properties or its electric and heat conductivities. One way, of course, is to build the material and perform measurements, but another is through simulations. Again, classical computers cannot tackle the majority of practical calculations in feasible times [3]. Quantum computers overcome this difficulty with flying colors. The reason for this is simple: quantum computers follow the laws of quantum mechanics, just as the material’s properties do.

Quantum computers will help us build improved batteries and find higher temperature superconductors. Both of these are revolutionary by themselves. These developments, in turn, will help humanity reduce its environmental footprint.

Imagine you are a truck driver starting your shift with many deliveries ahead. Knowing the shortest path while delivering all the parcels will save you both time and fuel, not to mention the reduced CO2 emissions. If you have only five deliveries on your schedule, there are 120 possible routes. A classical computer could help you find the shortest one quickly.

If you have 20 deliveries, however, there are 2,432,902,008,176,640,000 different routes, or about as many grains of sand there are [4], and a classical computer might stumble to find the shortest.

Quantum computers have no need for analyzing each instance separately. They test all of them simultaneously and provide you with the answer quickly.

A similar case is finding a company’s portfolio that maximizes return-on-investment or that minimizes risk. Again, trying many possibilities simultaneously is what quantum computers are built for.

Quantum annealers, powerful yet non-universal quantum computers, are specially suited for these tasks. These devices allow optimizing investment portfolios according to the risk margin. Recent studies predicted up to 60% annual return-on-investment, which is an amazing mark [5].

These are only a few applications of quantum computing.

Many others are coming, and ColibrITD wants to make them available to everyone.

We believe every company should profit from powerful quantum computing tools.

[2] Mullin, Rick (24 November 2014). “Cost to Develop New Pharmaceutical Drug Now Exceeds $2.5B”. Scientific American. Retrieved 6 March 2017.

[3] Current classical supercomputers can only simulate up to 61 qubits:

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-simulate-quantum-bits-supercomputer-compression.html

[4] https://text.npr.org/161096233

[5] Hybrid Quantum Investment Optimization with Minimal Holding Period. S. Mugel et al. https://arxiv.org/abs/2012.01091