Today, a new wave of technologies based on quantum mechanics is poised to bring revolutionary changes in computing, communication, security and metrology. Q&I provides independent solutions across the full breadth of quantum technology sectors on how to resolve critical quantum information and technology challenges, as well as exploit their opportunities.
Our products range from broad scoping reports to detailed applicationspecific design studies, and services include quantum readiness consulting and support with due diligence in quantum technologies.
Q&I offers access to an unrivalled team of quantum technology leaders: our consultants don’t just know the stateoftheart, they’re building it.
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WHY?

Some security protocols, such as RSA encryption, rely on the computational difficulty in factoring the product of large prime numbers. Quantum computers developed in the future are expected to be able to crack such encryption – even though such computers they aren’t available today, encrypted data being transmitted could be stored and decrypted in the future. We can offer guidance in planning ahead and considering measures such as postquantum secure encryption methods and quantum security.

The inherent fragility of quantum systems can be engineered to provide new levels of performance to a range of sensor technologies. Sensors of magnetic field, electric field, gravity, acceleration and more can be enhanced to give greater spatial resolution, precision and sensitivity.

Quantum computers “think” in radically different ways compared to conventional computers, allowing them to tackle problems which are seen as impractical today, including breaking cryptographic protocols, solving hard optimisation problems, and modelling chemical systems. Universal quantum computing hardware is still at an early stage, but specialised mediumscale computers employing quantum effects are already beginning to emerge. Given the disruptive influence that quantum information processing could have, early planning could be highly beneficial in many areas of business.

Many mundane problems which today’s computers can solve with ease are not amenable to quantum speedup: a quantum computer is unlikely to be used for word processing or web browsing, for example. Rather, quantum computers excel at certain specialised computational problems, some of which challenge today’s supercomputers. Characterising the power and limitations of quantum computing for certain problems is a very active area of investigation.

Quantum technologies are developing rapidly. Already products are available for imaging and sensing applications, along with pointtopoint secure communications systems. An early form of specialised quantum computer, the DWave system, is being benchmarked for optimisation and statistical learning. In the next five years we can expect the sensor and imaging systems to approach maturity, while prototype ‘repeater’ systems will enable communications over full networks, rather than dedicated links. In 510 years, computing systems capable of performing quantum logic will begin to emerge, with limited fidelity and size but useful for accelerating discovery in chemistry and materials science, and in other highperformance computing applications. On the 1015 year timescale, communication networks may be implemented on a multicity scale, while the first fault tolerant computers emerge: This will mark the beginning of the era of full scale universal quantum computing, with diverse disruptive applications.

The idea of ‘quantum precision’ offers opportunities in a range of different measurement scenarios, from imaging with single particles of light, to monitoring current one electron at a time, to performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the single molecule level. Example applications include gravity mapping in the construction industry, singlecell imaging in nextgeneration preventative medicine, nanochemistry for pharmaceutical research, and superresolution heat mapping within nextgeneration nanoelectronic circuits.

A restricted type of quantum computer, known as a ‘quantum annealer’ is capable of solving problems such as optimisation – the DWave computer claims to be such a system, though the full extent of its ‘quantumness’ and how that affects its capabilities remains the subject of active investigation. A fully universal quantum computer able to run any quantum algorithm is likely still a decade away, but research on a range of hardware platforms is progressing fast. Superconducting circuit and trapped ion platforms have demonstrated devices with 510 quantum bits and are at the stage of developing error correcting schemes and architectures to enable scale up. Prototype machines that begin to challenge conventional computers for some tasks could be only 5 years away. Other platforms, such as those based on silicon and diamond, have also demonstrated basic viability and could prove disruptive further in the future.

There are devices on the market that extract randomness from unpredictable measurements of quantum states. Such devices offer the possibility of true randomness, assuming they have been properly built and adversarial tampering is avoided. Whether harnessing quantum mechanics for random number generation is the right approach depends on the application, alternatives include using classical sources of noise or using cryptographic pseudorandom number generators. Recent research has suggested ways quantum mechanics may provide guarantees of randomness for untrusted devices. In these systems a few quantum devices can be used to expand a small number of initial bits into a large number of certified random bits, where it is possible to verify that the output is truly random.
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