The news: Honeywell, a US company best known for its home thermostats, has claimed that it has built the world’s most powerful quantum computer. While all eyes were on IBM and Google, which last year knocked heads over quantum supremacy, Honeywell has been working quietly on quantum tech that it plans to make available to clients via the internet in the next three months.
How it works: Most quantum computers are built around superconducting qubits, which use supercooled circuits. Honeywell’s quantum computer uses a different technology, called ion traps, which hold ions—the computer’s qubits—in place with electromagnetic fields. Superconducting quantum chips are faster, but ion traps are more accurate and hold their quantum state for longer. Honeywell claims its computer will be twice as powerful as IBM’s machine, Q System One, when it launches, although that particular claim is likely to be contested.
Do we believe it? There are good reasons to. Honeywell might seem like an outsider in this space, but it is a massive company with a wealth of industrial expertise that goes well beyond thermostats. Read the full story.