Are Quantum Computers readily available?
Whilst there are organisations leading the way such as IBM, Microsoft and Google, to create the ability requires a great level of expertise and resources.
A preferred route for the majority of organisations at present is to pay for access to cloud based Quantum Computing through services offered by IBM, Google and Microsoft. In fact, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon have collaborated to increase research into this service, investing in the National Science Foundation (NSF).
IBM already offer this service supporting approximately 150 clients worldwide with access to their cloud-based Quantum Computing service. At present the offering allows access to a 65 Qubit Quantum Computer, by 2023 they aim to increase this to a 1000 Qubit computer.
In the UK the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) represent a £93m investment over 5 years for the UK Research Initiative.
The NQCC look to collaborate with partners and develop a UK based quantum computing supply chain for use by academia, business and government. This system will provide assured and direct access to technology as an alternate to purchasing solutions from service providers. As mentioned previously, cloud-based access will likely remain the preferred option until the technology develops as opposed to purchasing physical solutions from providers.
For example, recent announcements from a Dutch company named QuantWare stated the ability for customers to purchase customisable 25 Qubit Quantum Processing Units (QPUs) for delivery within 30 days. However, the reality is that there are still major challenges with the resources required for the technology. The sheer computing power requires the assets to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures similar to outer space. Therefore, assets required are housed inside ‘super fridge’ units and read by devices that are not available commercially and require bespoke design.