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Quantum computing can soon address many of the world’s toughest, most urgent problems.
That’s why the semiconductor legislation Congress just passed is part of a $280 billion package that will, among other things, direct federal research dollars toward quantum computing.
Quantum computing will soon be able to:
- Save businesses on fuel and lower carbon footprints by enabling optimal routing.
- Lead to materials science advances that enable homeowners to buy and install highly efficient solar cells to power their homes. This is valuable as extreme heat across the planet is driving record power consumption and straining power grids.
- Increase the accuracy of credit risk analysis, giving lenders additional confidence to loan money to underserved populations.
Solving the unsolvable
The economy and the environment are clearly two top federal government agenda items. Congress in July was poised to pass the most ambitious climate bill in U.S. history. The New York Times said that the bill would “pump hundreds of billions of dollars into low-carbon energy technologies — like wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles — and would put the United States on track to slash its greenhouse gas emissions to roughly 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.” This could help to further advance and accelerate the adoption of quantum computing.
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Because quantum technology can solve many previously unsolvable problems, a long list of the world’s leading businesses — including BMW and Volkswagen, FedEx, Mastercard and Wells Fargo, and Merck and Roche — are making significant quantum investments. These businesses understand that transformation via quantum computing, which is quickly advancing with breakthrough technologies, is coming soon. They want to be ready when that happens.
It’s wise for businesses to invest in quantum computing because the risk is low and the payoff is going to be huge. As BCG notes: “No one can afford to sit on the sidelines as this transformative technology accelerates toward several critical milestones.”
The reality is that quantum computing is coming, and it’s likely not going to be a standalone technology. It will be tied to the rest of the IT infrastructure — supercomputers, CPUs and GPUs.
This is why companies like Hewlett Packard Enterprise are thinking about how to integrate quantum computing into the fabric of the IT infrastructure. It’s also why Terra Quantum AG is building hybrid data centers that combine the power of quantum and classical computing.
Gearing up for the quantum computing revolution
Amid these changes, employees should start now to get prepared. There is going to be a tidal wave of need for both quantum Ph.D.s and for other talent — such as skilled quantum software developers — to contribute to quantum efforts.
Earning a doctorate in a field relevant to quantum computing requires a multi-year commitment. But obtaining valuable quantum computing skills doesn’t require a developer to go back to college, take out a student loan or spend years studying.
With modern tools that abstract the complexity of quantum software and circuit creation, developers no longer require Ph.D.-level knowledge to contribute to the quantum revolution, enabling a more diverse workforce to help businesses achieve quantum advantage. Just look at the winners in the coding competition that my company staged. Some of these winners were recent high school graduates, and they delivered highly innovative solutions.
Leading the software stack, quantum algorithm design platforms allow developers to design sophisticated quantum circuits that could not be created otherwise. Rather than defining tedious low-level gate connections, this approach uses high-level functional models and automatically searches millions of circuit configurations to find an implementation that fits resource considerations, designer-supplied constraints and the target hardware platform. New tools like Nvidia’s QODA also empower developers by making quantum programming similar to how classical programming is done.
Developers will want to familiarize themselves with quantum computing, which will be an integral arrow in their metaphorical quiver of engineering skills. People who add quantum skills to their classical programming and data center skills will position themselves to make more money and be more appealing to employers in the long term.
Many companies and countries are experimenting with and adopting quantum computing. They understand that quantum computing is evolving rapidly and is the way of the future.
Whether you are a business leader or a developer, it’s important to understand that quantum computing is moving forward. The train is leaving the station — will you be on board?
Erik Garcell is technical marketing manager at Classiq.