The future is quantum: Quantinuum is born from the union of Honeywell Quantum Systems and Cambridge Quantum

About six months after the announcement that Honeywell would spin off its fledgling quantum computer division Honeywell Quantum Solutions joined Cambridge Quantum form quantuma company capable of providing both hardware and software to its customers who want to work with quantum computers.

From Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum comes Quantinuum

Honeywell quantum computer 600

Honeywell took everyone by surprise when it announcement its entry into the quantum computing market last year. Given the great interest aroused in this area, the company had decided to separate from the division, thus creating a new reality, to leave it more free to develop and raise funds and external collaborations. This separation has now resulted in a new union with the British Cambridge Quantum.

Quantinuum, that is the name of the new reality, will have at its disposal both Honeywell Hardware This Cambridge Quantum software, thus combining the two worlds in order to be able to offer its customers a complete offer. Despite, the software will remain independent of the hardwareso it can also be used on quantum computers from other manufacturers such as IBM or IonQ.

The new company will be 54% owned by Honeywell, which has invested nearly 300 million dollars in Quantinuum to support its growth. The two companies will continue to work closely together: Honeywell will provide ion traps to Quantinuum, Quantinuum will in turn provide services to Quantinuum.

“Quantinuum is now the largest and most advanced quantum computing company in the world”says Ilyas Khan, CEO of Quantinuum and founder of Cambridge Quantum. “By combining best-in-class quantum software with the highest performance hardware available, we are uniquely positioned to deliver truly world-class products and services to quantum computing to large, high-growth markets in the short, medium, and long term as quantum computers increase in capacity and quality. We are guided by science […] and our scale and global presence in this truly critical technology will give us leadership in all of the key areas that make up a ‘must have’ for quantum computers to deliver real solutions to our customers and partners.”

Going forward, Quantinuum is a hardware upgrade, along with a successor to the H1 system, as well as a software product designed for companies that want to apply quantum computers to solve problems in pharmaceuticals, materials science, specialty chemicals and agricultural chemicals.

Quantinuum’s first service is Quantum Origin, the supply of cryptographic keys

With the launch of Quantinuum also came its first service, called Quantum origin: it is in fact a service of distribution of cryptographic keys generated by a quantum computer. The difference from conventional computer-generated keys is the difference degree of chance: classical computers, in fact, emulate randomness in various ways but are not able to create truly random numbers; with a sufficient number of generated keys, it is possible to predict the characteristics of the following. This is a major problem for areas where maximum data privacy protection must be offered.

Quantum Origin allows you to overcome some of these obstacles by using quantum computers to generate truly random cryptographic keys and, therefore, unpredictable and, at least theoretically, impossible to breach. The service provides that enterprise customers can request cryptographic keys through a specific API, which is provided through a traditional authenticated channel already established previously. The generated keys can then be used with current encryption methods such as AES or RSA.

The service is useful in limited cases and Quantinuum cites the method “hack now, decrypt later” as one of the main motivations for this launch. This method consists of capturing encrypted data which will then be decrypted once sufficiently powerful quantum computers become available. It cannot be understated that it could be more than ten years away (with some optimism: it could even be more), so organizations that have reason to be concerned about the security of their current data at such time scale are relatively few and mainly involve governments.

Quantinuum announces that it will initially offer Quantum Origin to companies active in the world of financial services and cybersecurity, before expanding to telecommunications, energy, defense, manufacturing and governments.