Quantum computers have the potential to improve everything from medical research to climate change mitigation. Despite the billions of dollars invested on quantum computing, the wait for these computers has been protracted.
Quantum-inspired software startups are raising billions in funding as they race to develop new software that can simulate the power of quantum computing. QC Ware, a software company that raised $33 million, initially focused on software for quantum computers, but as these machines remain unavailable to customers, the company has shifted its focus to develop a new breed of software inspired by quantum physics algorithms.
To achieve this, QC Ware has partnered with Nvidia Corp’s graphic processing units (GPUs) to create a software platform called Promethium, which can simulate chemical molecules on traditional computers. The software can significantly reduce simulation times compared to existing solutions, from hours to minutes for molecules of 100 atoms and months to hours for molecules of up to 2000 atoms.
Quantum software startups, including SandBoxAQ, have raised about $1 billion in the past 18 months, attracting investment from big-name investors such as Eric Schmidt, former chairman of Alphabet Inc. Startups are working hard to convince prospective clients, with customers lining up to be ready for the arrival of quantum computing’s “iPhone” moment, which is in turn luring investors.
Meanwhile, investors have not been discouraged by the poor stock performance of publicly traded quantum computer businesses, with some turning to startups that are pivoting to leveraging powerful CPUs to execute quantum-inspired software on traditional computers while they wait for quantum machines to come.
Startups are creating a new kind of software inspired by quantum physics algorithms, a field of study that investigates nature’s fundamental building elements.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.