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The first quantum computer company to approach a stock market made its debut on Wall Street on Friday, which was a milestone for a technology that until recently was thought to be practical for years.
The public listing of IonQ, through a merger with a specialty venture or Spac, comes as much larger amounts of capital in quantum enterprises began to increase on an increasing hope that rudimentary forms of technology would soon become the daily problems for businesses.
Quantum computers use the strange effects of quantum mechanics to process information in a way that significantly speeds up certain types of calculations. But the difficulty of controlling the qubits at the core of the systems made it difficult to build systems large enough to exploit the consequences in practical ways.
After raising $ 82 million in the first six years as a private company, including a round of financing led by SoftBank earlier this year, the public listing of IonQ brought in $ 635 million. PsiQuantum, which builds quantum computers using another photon-based technology, raised $ 450 million in private funding earlier this year. Honeywell has agreed to inject $ 300 million into a new quantum unit after it merged with Cambridge Quantum Computing in the UK.
Peter Chapman, the former CEO of Amazon who heads IonQ, predicts that the quantum machines of his company will fit ‘in a few years” at the fastest supercomputers in the world.
Software designed to work on the machines and run simulations already shows superiority over traditional computers, Chapman said. Much focus is on using a quantum computer to speed up the time it takes to train a machine learning model, he added. However, the quantum systems that can manage these algorithms have not yet transitioned from scientific experiments to production on a larger scale.
IonQ predicts a rapid increase in its business in the middle of this decade, with a turnover of $ 60 million in 2024 to $ 522 million in 2026. The revenue stream comes when companies that pay to develop quantum applications, it in their daily operations, Chapman said.
The ability to predict far in the future was one of the main attractions to go public through a Spac and IonQ, and might not be subject to the stricter regulatory restrictions on companies that follow a standard initial public offering , not allowed, he added.
Chapman conceded that the technology carries much higher risks than normal stock market investments, but added: ‘We need to get to a point where companies need to be perfect by the time you get to a stock market. Many of the risks were removed, but many of the returns were also removed. ”