pre-Event for “Bringing Quantum Computer to Life” in Thai Quantum Information Forum's seminar (Q-Thai SEM #6 - November 30, 2023)
(CEO’s TALK) - Updated quantum computing technology and its business from Shenzhen SpinQ technology by its co-founder, Dr.Guanru Feng. This Q-Thai forum's annual seminar#6 (Q-Thai SEM 2023) will be organized jointly with the annual meeting of IEEE Thailand section on November 30, 2023. Dr.Feng will give us about thirty minutes online talk that focuses on quantum computer from its concept through SpinQ's R&D, to its products of desktop quantum computers. This topic is good for all technology management & policy makers, researchers, as well as students (more detail).
Q-Thai forum organizes this pre - event session, in deep, to convey more specific information via seven Q & A. Dr.Feng provides her answers at below including the latest progresses on quantum computing industry in China, related market & hype, and many others. Those are important for the public understanding. Let’s update !
| interviewed by Keattisak Sripimanwat | Published - October 21, 2023 |
Q1) Please update us overall situation of quantum computing industry in China and related supported policy from the government.
Guanru Feng: Since 2016, China has been continuously issuing new policies in and providing funding to quantum technology. University units, research institutions, and companies have actively engaged in quantum computing.
In terms of policy, China has issued several quantum-related policies since 2016. For example, in the country's "Fourteenth Five-Year Plan", quantum technology is a strategic emerging industry. Local governments in places like Shenzhen have also made quantum information one of the directions in the Shenzhen 20+8 strategic emerging industry cluster, encouraging everyone to develop the quantum information industry, especially the industrialization of quantum computing.
Regarding funding, the Chinese government has established multiple innovation funds and research support plans, encouraging universities, research institutions, and enterprises to participate in the R&D of quantum computing. These funds and plans provide financial and resource support to accelerate the development of quantum technology.
As for enterprises, not only have domestic tech companies and Internet enterprises started conducting research on quantum computing, but many quantum computing startups have also emerged.
After years of hard work, China has made significant progress in quantum computing in recent years. This includes the successful development of two quantum computer prototypes, "Jiuzhang" and "Zuchongzhi". Not only do these represent that China's independent R&D capabilities in certain areas of quantum computing have reached an internationally advanced level, but they also signify that China has crossed the first stage of quantum computing development and entered the industrialization stage of quantum computing from 1 to N.
Q2) For the most frequent question from non-technical background people on “what quantum is ?”, how desktop quantum computers or other SPINQ’s products could imply, elaborate, or answer ?
Guanru Feng: Desktop quantum computers are products that we have developed specifically for quantum computing scientific research, training, and talent cultivation. Combined with the company's independently developed quantum computer courses, they offer a complete quantum computing education solution.
In the built-in courses of the quantum computer, users can start from the most basic concepts, to learn about what quantum and quantum computer is, to understand the basics of quantum superposition, entanglement, measurement, quantum states, quantum gates, quantum circuits, quantum algorithms, etc., and then to learn and experience quantum computing in-depth through calculation derivation and practical operations.
Its application scenarios are mainly aimed at educational and research institutions, including universities and high schools, and may continue to be promoted in elementary and junior high schools, and science popularization bases in the future. At present, based on desktop nuclear magnetic resonance technology, we have launched multiple products such as "Gemini", "Triangulum", "Gemini Mini", and "Triangulum Mini", which have achieved widespread sales locally and abroad and absolute leadership.
Q3) Before the first day of SPINQ, what was in the meeting that kill the idea and being today well known startup selling quantum computer based on nuclear magnetic resonance - NMR ? Please also update recent progresses of larger system of superconductor QPU.
Guanru Feng: Since it’s started, SpinQ has been steadfast in our goal to create products that can be used commercially, not just experimental instruments in the laboratory. Therefore, we chose to make a breakthrough with education-level products which are easier to implement for commercial use. In 2020, SpinQ released the world's first desktop nuclear magnetic quantum computer (2-qubit), "Gemini". This small desktop quantum computer, with a research and development cost of only 4 million RMB, became SpinQ's "foot in the door" to achieve commercial implementation in the industry. Due to its low cost and portability, it quickly attracted the attention of research users such as universities, high schools, and research institutes, helping the company achieve revenue in its second year of establishment.
In terms of superconducting quantum computers, we benchmark the most promising technological routes internationally. Through comprehensive research and development in superconducting quantum chips, quantum chip EDA (Electronic Design Automation), superconducting quantum measurement and control systems, to superconducting quantum computer systems and related algorithms and software, we provide customers with higher cost-performance module units, integrated machines, and complete solutions. In April 2023, we released three models of superconducting quantum chips "Shao Wei", including 2-qubit/10-qubit/20-qubit versions. These are among the few standardized, mass-produced superconducting quantum chip products in the world, boasting advantages like long coherence times, fast operation speeds, and high fidelity.
Q4) Obviously worldwide, there are a number of fake or fabricated reports on quantum computing’s market, the rhetoric from advertising and also from R&D have been trying to “OVER SELL” results. Hype is too high ! Then, how people could find trusted sources for their future business. Please suggest.
Guanru Feng: Firstly, we oppose some of the "over-promising" or exaggerated false statements in the industry. Not only can these potentially mislead investors and decision-makers, but they could also harm the reputation of the entire industry, which is detrimental to the long-term healthy development of the whole sector. Therefore, we encourage all participants in the industry, including companies, research institutions, governments, and media, to actively advocate for the verification of the authenticity and credibility of information.
On the other hand, we firmly believe that quantum computing has tremendous potential and can bring innovation and value to various industries. However, we must honestly acknowledge that this is a complex field and the development process takes time. We will not over-promote or exaggerate our capabilities. Instead, we are focused on scientific research and technology development to advance the practical application of quantum computing.
Q5) Gartner mentioned on February 2023 that "The quantum segment is also highly fragmented with an estimated 600+ startups and some established companies currently operating in the space" and "This level of market activity is unusual and unsustainable for a market segment that currently does not deliver business value". What do you think ?
Guanru Feng: We appreciate Gartner's insights into the state of the quantum computing market. The rapid growth of quantum computing technology has led to a diversified ecosystem, with each participant exploring various methods and applications within the field. We believe this reflects the characteristics of the early stages of quantum computing technology. Since it is still in its infancy, the full potential of quantum computing technology has not been fully realized. Much of the current market activity is focused on research, development, and relevant exchanges, which is quite typical in emerging technologies.
However, the reality we need to recognize is that at this stage, quantum computing may not bring immediate business value to all industries, but it holds enormous potential for the future. Quantum computers have the ability to solve complex problems that are nearly impossible to solve using classical computers, such as simulating molecules for drug discovery, optimizing supply chains, and enhancing encryption methods. As the technology matures and breaks through, the range of practical applications will continue to expand.
Q6) Is there any effect from tech war between China and the western countries on SPINQ’s quantum computing business ? What about marketplaces & collaboration in ASEAN countries ?
Guanru Feng: There are many impacts of the international environment on technology across various cutting-edge scientific fields. However, we always believe that this cannot hinder the progress of human technology. At the same time, we should also see that despite the existence of competition, international cooperation is also continuously developing. Many leading quantum computing research groups and companies are still engaging in cross-national collaboration to jointly solve complex scientific and engineering problems.
On the other hand, such an environment provides us with opportunities for independent innovation. In this competitive setting, we encourage companies to strive for excellence, constantly improve and innovate, and maintain competitiveness in future developments through comprehensive research and development. Currently, we are also cooperating with some organizations and schools in Southeast Asia, such as schools in Indonesia, quantum computing research institutions in Singapore, etc., to jointly build a local quantum ecosystem and promote quantum computing and research.
Q7) What about the future plan and goal of SPINQ as a new comer in this business where many others have started much earlier and invested with massive budget such as IBM and Google ?
Guanru Feng: Since its startup, SpinQ Technology has established a strategic principle of "dual-wheel drive" for technology research and development and commercial implementation, which is our core competitive advantage relative to other companies. Under this principle, we are laying out our industry based on three major businesses: industrial quantum computers, educational quantum computers, and quantum computing cloud platforms.
In the future, we will continue to iterate around these three businesses:
For industrial products, we will continuously improve the technical research and development, and refinement of various links such as prototypes, superconducting quantum chips, radio frequency measurement and control systems, fully promoting the integration strategy across the entire chain.
For educational products, we will continue to upgrade and iterate the products, while perfecting related series of supporting courses, creating more user-centered products.
As for the quantum computing cloud platform, based on the existing IaaS services (Infrastructure as a Service), we will co-build scenario-based solutions with partners around many cutting-edge fields such as scientific research and teaching, drug development, fintech, artificial intelligence, etc., bringing quantum computing into thousands of industries and making it a truly productive tool.
— end of Q&A session
Full talk video [ Q-Thai SEM2023 #6 will be on Nov 30, 2023]
Q-Thai SEM#6: Q-Thai Annual SEMINAR
Quantum Computer: Background & Community