Quantum computing exchanges the bits of ordinary computers for quantum bits, and in theory, quantum machines may be better suited to solve some very complex problems in fields such as chemistry and machine learning. IQM claims its technology could also affect the climate, but there are reasons to be skeptical about the industry as a whole; we saw a lot of hype around quantum computing startups, and yet the field largely remains stuck in the labs today.
However, IQM predicts that its quantum computers will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. as early as the next three to five years “for some early use cases”. The company says it is already “is working on new approaches to develop better battery solutions with a leading automotive manufacturer,” and plans to spend its new funds on further research in battery technology, quantum chemistry, and other fields. IQM warned in an email to TechCrunch that “Scientific breakthroughs don’t follow a set schedule.”
The idea of applying quantum technology to climate change mitigation does not appear to be all that far-fetched. Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich said in an email to TechCrunch that he “[believes] quantum computing can help with climate change, especially with the problem of carbon capture (carbon fixation).” Microsoft’s research includes exploring how quantum computing can unlock “more efficientways of converting carbon dioxide into other chemical compounds.
The World Fund and other IQM investors also indirectly supported the idea through their checkbooks. The German venture capital said in a statement that it exclusively supports technologies capable of removing “100 million tons” – that is, 100 megatons – of “carbon from the atmosphere annually by 2040.” Other investors in the latest round are the European Innovation Council of the EU and Tencent. The deal brings IQM’s post-money valuation closer to the $1 billion mark, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
Some quantum computing companies have faced accusations of exaggerating their progress. IonQ Company of Maryland spoke its achievements in quantum computing, but activist investor Scorpion Capital recently accused the company of fraudcalling his technology “useless toy who can’t even add 1+1.” IonQ Founders dropped the charges, stating that they were “amused by the extreme level of ignorance behind this attack”. In a related field, former employees of the British quantum encryption company Arqit are reportedly questioned the usefulness and the maturity of its quantum technology.
Credit: techcrunch.com /