The U.S. National Security Agency is spending about $80 million for basic quantum computing research, and that funding may eventually support the commercialization of quantum computing and even make it accessible through the cloud.
IDC analyst Earl Joseph notes the quest for quantum computing currently is an academic competition between various nations. "The goal is to fund basic research and make new discoveries that may be useful for our safety and national defense," he says.
Meanwhile, Intersect360 Research's Christopher Willard sees quantum computing as one manifestation of a widespread market shift to more innovative computing architectures driven by the recognition that commercial, off-the-shelf technologies are becoming less and less capable of integrating into high-performance systems.
In May, Google, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Universities Space Research Association began jointly working on quantum computing research and are using a quantum computer developed by D-Wave Systems. D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell says such a system has wide applications to big data problems, analytics, and machine learning, and he envisions quantum computing ultimately fulfilling the role of co-processor rather than being a direct substitute for classical computing systems. Brownell foresees cloud-based quantum computing resources that are accessible to any developer wishing to tackle a particularly formidable challenge.
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