Quantum Bayesian Networks

June 13, 2009

Who will be the Microsoft of the Quantum Computer Age?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 9:55 am

In a recent article, Patrick Cox at Penny Sleuth advises investors to invest now in companies that look like they might become the Intel of the quantum computer age. For every Intel, there is usually a Microsoft. So I advise investors to also invest in companies that might become the Microsoft of the quantum computer age. (Needless to say, I wouldn’t mind working as a programmer at this future Microsoft 🙂 ) If I were an investor interested in investing in quantum computing, I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the hardware basket, I would also put some in the software basket. This, not only because diversification usually lowers risk, but also because investing in QC software companies is far less risky than investing in QC hardware companies. Indeed, a QC software company has the following advantages over a QC hardware one:

  • No need for bricks and mortar. You could have a QC software company in which all the employees worked at their homes, at different geographical locations. They could easily collaborate via the internet. On the other hand, a QC hardware company requires a laboratory/workshop at which most of its employees congregate daily.
  • Cheaper equipment. The tools required by a QC software company are mostly just computers and internet connections. These are relatively cheap. The tools required by a QC hardware company are much more expensive. Low temperature and high vacuum equipment, clean rooms, etc., all this costs millions of dollars. Some of the tasks that use expensive, highly specialized equipment can be contracted out, but that too is expensive.
  • No need to bet on a specific hardware model. There are several hardware models vying to become the first large scale quantum computer. (ion-trap, semiconductor, superconductor, photons, quantum dots. etc.) It’s hard to predict which hardware model will win out. Because of the high costs involved in the equipment and human expertise, each QC hardware company is forced to bet on just one hardware model. The beauty of QC software is that it can be written so that it is pretty much hardware-model independent. Alternatively, one can write translators that translate software that only works on a specific hardware platform, to software that works on another.

See also this blog post on a Pixar analogy.

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2 Comments »

  1. You should start your own company 🙂

    Comment by physicsandcake — June 15, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  2. […] 15, 2009 by physicsandcake Courtesy of Quantum Bayesian Networks, an article entitled “The Quantum Leap of Quantum Computing” on Penny Sleuth. […]

    Pingback by Quantum computing fail…again. « Physics and cake — June 15, 2009 @ 10:14 am


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