Honeywell advances quantum computing with release of System Model H1

Merck and DHL are the company's newest customers for the trapped-ion computer with a quantum volume of 128.

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Honeywell laid out a 10-year roadmap for advancing quantum computing that spans 10 years and five generations of computers.

Image: Honeywell

Honeywell has hit a new milestone in quantum computing with the release of the System Model H1, the company announced Thursday. The company has seen such a spike in demand for access to its quantum computer that time slots on the H1 are currently sold out through the end of 2020. 

The newest generation quantum computer offers 10 fully connected qubits, a proven quantum volume of 128, and midcircuit measurement and qubit reuse. 

SEE: The CIO's guide to quantum computing (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

Tony Uttley, president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions, said that this increase in interest is due in part to the fact that more organizations are realizing how profoundly impacted their industry could be by quantum computing. 

"They are seeing other companies in their industry show up as leaders in the space and are asking themselves, 'What are we missing?' and 'Are we going to fall behind?'," he said. "Also, the ability to take advantage of unique features like mid-circuit measurement, qubit reuse and conditional logic have exposed areas that were until now unavailable and showing great promise."

Customers can access the System Model H1 via a subscription model and a cloud API. Honeywell's quantum partners include Microsoft Azure Quantum, Zapata Computing, and Cambridge Quantum Computing. Uttley said that working with partners and customers over the past year that influenced Honeywell's quantum strategy of frequent iteration. 

"Since our trapped-ion quantum charge-coupled device (QCCD) architecture provides enormous flexibility to add qubits as well as increase fidelities, it made tremendous sense to allow customers to use the system right away and then get the benefit of rapid expansion of capability as 'in-field' upgrades," he said.

SEE: Honeywell claims to surpass IBM with world's fastest quantum computer (TechRepublic)

In June, Honeywell announced it had perfected a quantum computer with a quantum volume of 64

The company also announced on Thursday that it has started integration activities for its future System Model H2 generation and development work for its H3 generation. The company's roadmap for advancing quantum computing covers five generations of computers and 10 years. The design starts with a linear design, moves to a racetrack loop, and then a grid design.

DHL and Merck are now using Honeywell's quantum computer. These new customers expand the range of quantum computing use cases to include pharmaceuticals and logistics as well as Honeywell's own internal applications in its aerospace and performance materials and technologies businesses. 

Kam Chana, director, computational platforms at Merck, said in a press release that seeing one of Orquestra's native QML algorithms run on Honeywell's H1 system was an exciting moment in Merck's journey to quantum readiness. 

"The combination of Orquestra's programming environment with quantum hardware opens up quantum computing widely to our data scientists and brings new approaches for development of AI/ML based models," he said.

Accenture is also working with Honeywell to develop new use cases for quantum technology. Marc Carrel-Billiard, senior managing director and technology innovation lead at Accenture, said in a press release that the collaboration has already yielded new insights.

Honeywell has a cross-disciplinary team of more than 150 scientists, engineers, software developers, and functional professionals working on quantum computing and addressing enterprise problems across industries.

Honeywell uses a distinctive approach in building quantum computers

Editor's note: This article was updated on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 with new information.

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