Season 3, Post 39: Has quantum computing come of age?

Regular readers of this Blog will be familiar with our mantra that data have no value unless they are stored, secured and analysed. Look around and there is…

Season 3, Post 39: Has quantum computing come of age?

Regular readers of this Blog will be familiar with our mantra that data have no value unless they are stored, secured and analysed. Look around and there is ample evidence that data volumes are only accelerating with no current signs of ceasing. In order to avoid drowning in data, we need solutions. Quantum computing might provide the answer.

Satya Nadella, the Chief Executive of Microsoft, certainly believes so. He has said that quantum computing will be one of three technologies that will “radically reshape the world,” along with artificial intelligence and augmented reality. IBM’s Chief Executive, Arvind Krishna, is in the same camp. He announced last week that the company would host an investor event dedicated to the topic in November. 2021 has also seen the first pure-play quantum computing business list on the New York Stock Exchange (albeit via a SPAC structure). IONQ is currently capitalised at c$1.6bn. Press reports suggest that another business active in the field (Rigetti Computing) will list imminently, also via a SPAC, with a likely c$1.5bn valuation.

We first wrote specifically about the topic in 2017 and were attracted to the potential embedded in quantum. Using the principle of exponential acceleration, quantum systems have the ability to identify all potential answers to any given problem simultaneously, rather than in a binary fashion (how conventional computing systems operate). Theoretically, it has been possible to do this for some time under laboratory conditions but retaining practical stability in the real world has proven much more challenging.

It’s reassuring then that quantum computing has been one of the five largest areas where new patents have been issued in the US over the last five years (the others have been computer systems based on biological models, electrical smoking devices, angiosperms and machine learning; see here). Microsoft launched Azure Quantum earlier this year, where anyone with an interest in quantum computing can start experimenting with the service from a little as $10/hour. IBM’s System One has been commercially available for longer – since 2019 – but based on a recent interview with Krishna, he feels that quantum will “take off like a rocket ship” over the next decade. Many of the technical problems that have previously plagued quantum are apparently “solvable” per Krishna, while within the next two years, the processing power of IBM’s systems could increase by 50-fold. Here’s looking forward to what more we may learn in November.

13 October 2021

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Heptagon Capital is an investor in IBM and Microsoft. The author of this piece has no personal direct investment in the business. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers 

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital LLP's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital LLP's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
email [email protected] 

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Related Insights

Featured Insights
Featured Insights09 May 2022

Demystifying DeFi

Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Executive summary: Forget traditional financial institutions; put users in control instead. This is the promise offered by advocates of decentralised finance. Think of DeFi […]

Learn more
Heptagon Theme Pieces
Heptagon Theme Pieces21 March 2022

Rubicon Revisited: The New World Order

Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. There is no turning back. Just as the coronavirus pandemic resulted in significant and enduring changes to the ways in which we live, so […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights21 February 2022

Liquid data: digitalising the water sector

Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Executive summary: Over a third of the world’s population currently lives under some form of water stress. This figure is only likely to rise […]

Learn more

Get The Updates

Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right

GET THE UPDATES

Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.