The relationship between higher education and the tech companies I cover as an analyst is close and mutually beneficial. The private sector often provides technology resources, capital, expertise, and knowledge of industry needs and challenges to research institutions, the sandbox of tomorrows tech innovators and leaders.
Quantum technology is at an exciting crossroads now, where it is beginning to migrate out of the realm of research and academia to seek out early commercialization opportunities. Much quicker and more powerful than traditional computing, quantum technology promises to revolutionize everything from medicine to climate science. It could very well change the world as we know it within our lifetimes.
So naturally, I immediately perked up at this weeks news of the University of Maryland (UMD)s $20 million, 3-year investment in quantum computing, the majority of which will go to IonQ, to co-develop a groundbreaking quantum laboratory at the College Park campus of the University.
The National Quantum Lab at Maryland, or Q-Lab for short, looks to be an ambitious project that could pay significant dividends in the efforts to advance and commercialize quantum technology. While I had initially viewed the word investment as a balance sheet impact, versus revenue, IonQ announced today it has tripled its bookings forecast for 2021, suggesting the UMD deal is very much a revenue event. To be clear, the tripling of bookings isnt only UMD, but includes other customers, too.
Lets look at the players, the deal and what it includes.
Something is happening in College Park
Based in College Park, MD, IonQ was founded in 2015 by Christopher Monroe, a professor at the University of Maryland and Jungsang Kim, a professor at Duke University (a great example of higher eds interconnectivity with the private sector). Built on its founders 25 years of academic quantum research, IonQs bread and butter is a subcategory of quantum computing known as trapped ion quantum computing. While a full explanation of trapped ion computing is well beyond the scope of this blog and more in Moor Insights & Strategys Quantum principal analyst Paul Smith-Goodson, know that it is one of the more promising proposed approaches to achieving a large-scale quantum computer.
UMD College Park, for its part, is known as a leading public research universityparticularly in the field of quantum computing. Marylands flagship university has invested approximately $300 million into the field of quantum science over the last 30-plus years and currently hosts over 200 quantum researchers and seven quantum facilities. The campus is already home to the Quantum Startup Foundry and the Mid-Atlantic Quantum Alliance, two organizations committed to advancing the nascent quantum ecosystem.
Q-lab promises to be the worlds first on-campus, commercial-grade quantum user facility. The stated goal of the Q-lab is to significantly democratize access to IonQs state-of-the-art technology, giving students, faculty and researchers hands-on experience with technology such as the companys 32-qubit trapped-ion quantum computer (the most performant quantum computer in operation). Lab users also stand to benefit from the opportunity to collaborate with IonQs quantum scientists and engineering experts, who will co-locate within the lab (which will be located next door to IonQs College Park headquarters).
IonQs market momentum
The announcement of the Q-lab comes along with a flurry of other exciting activity at IonQ. Last month, the company demonstrated its 4X16 Reconfigurable Multicore Quantum Architecture (RMQA), an industry first. IonQ says this breakthrough could enable it to boost its qubit count up to the triple digits on a single chip, also laying the groundwork for theoretical future Parallel Multicore Quantum Processing Units.
Another significant recent announcement from IonQ was that it will now offer its quantum systems on Google Cloud (the first quantum player to do so). For that matter, it is now the only quantum provider available via all three of the major cloud platforms (Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS) and through direct API access. I see this as another crucial way in which IonQ is democratizing access to quantum computers.
Additionally, the company recently announced a strategic integration with IBM Qiskit. This quantum software development kit will make it easier for quantum programmers to get up and running with IonQs systems. Rounding out the new developments was the announcement of a partnership with SoftBank Investment Advisors to facilitate enterprise deployment of quantum solutions worldwide.
All of these developments, including the Q-lab, considered, its no wonder today IonQ recently tripled its expectations for its 2021 contract bookings, from an original goal of $5 million to an ambitious $15 million. To be clear, the tripling of bookings isnt only UMD, but includes other customers, too. All of this must look good to investors, who will soon get a crack at the Quantum company when it goes public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) later this month (a merger with dMY Technology Group, Inc) under $DMYI.
With both a preeminent quantum research school and a private sector quantum leader located in College Park, the Maryland city could soon be a (if not the) veritable epicenter of quantum technology in the United States. The Q-lab has the potential to produce the next generation of quantum innovators, generate new quantum IP and draw even more quantum startups and scientific and engineering talent to College Park.
Were likely a bit away from recognizing quantum computings full potential as a paradigm shift. However, IonQs moves this summer demonstrate that the technology is entering a new, exciting phase of commercialization, which should only accelerate the process of innovation at research locations such as the new Q-lab. Ill be watching with interest.
From the business point of view, it is great to see IonQ drive orders and subsequently revenue. I hear from some of the uninformed that theres no money in quantum. I think the doubters are wrong and when we all get a closer look at IonQs financials, I believe there will be some surprises.
Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and analyst firms, provides or has provided paid research, analysis, advising, or consulting to many high-tech companies in the industry, including 8x8, Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Applied Micro, ARM, Aruba Networks, AT&T, AWS, A-10 Strategies,Bitfusion, Blaize, Box, Broadcom, Calix, Cisco Systems, Clear Software, Cloudera,Clumio, Cognitive Systems, CompuCom, Dell, Dell EMC, Dell Technologies, Diablo Technologies, Digital Optics,Dreamchain, Echelon, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, Flex, Foxconn, Frame (now VMware), Fujitsu, Gen Z Consortium, Glue Networks, GlobalFoundries, Google (Nest-Revolve), Google Cloud, HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Huawei Technologies, IBM, Ion VR,IonQ, Inseego, Infosys, Intel, Interdigital, Jabil Circuit, Konica Minolta, Lattice Semiconductor, Lenovo, Linux Foundation,MapBox, Marvell,Mavenir, Marseille Inc, Mayfair Equity, Meraki (Cisco),Mesophere, Microsoft, Mojo Networks, National Instruments, NetApp, Nightwatch, NOKIA (Alcatel-Lucent), Nortek,Novumind, NVIDIA, Nuvia, ON Semiconductor, ONUG, OpenStack Foundation, Oracle, Poly, Panasas,Peraso, Pexip, Pixelworks, Plume Design, Poly,Portworx, Pure Storage, Qualcomm, Rackspace, Rambus,RayvoltE-Bikes, Red Hat,Residio, Samsung Electronics, SAP, SAS, Scale Computing, Schneider Electric, Silver Peak, SONY,Springpath, Spirent, Splunk, Sprint, Stratus Technologies, Symantec, Synaptics, Syniverse, Synopsys, Tanium, TE Connectivity,TensTorrent,TobiiTechnology, T-Mobile, Twitter, Unity Technologies, UiPath, Verizon Communications,Vidyo, VMware, Wave Computing,Wellsmith, Xilinx, Zebra,Zededa, and Zoho which may be cited in blogs and research.
Patrick was ranked the #1 analyst out of 8,000 in the ARInsights Power 100 rankings and the #1 most cited analyst as ranked by Apollo Research. Patrick founded Moor
Patrick was ranked the #1 analyst out of 8,000 in the ARInsights Power 100 rankings and the #1 most cited analyst as ranked by Apollo Research. Patrick founded Moor Insights & Strategy based on in his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasnt getting from analysts and consultants. Moorhead is also a contributor for both Forbes, CIO, and the Next Platform. He runs MI&S but is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the software-defined datacenter and the Internet of Things (IoT), and Patrick is a deep expert in client computing and semiconductors. He has nearly 30 years of experience including 15 years as an executive at high tech companies leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.Before Patrick started the firm, he spent over 20 years as a high-tech strategy, product, and marketing executive who has addressed the personal computer, mobile, graphics, and server ecosystems. Unlike other analyst firms, Moorhead held executive positions leading strategy, marketing, and product groups. He is grounded in reality as he has led the planning and execution and had to live with the outcomes.Moorhead also has significant board experience. He served as an executive board member of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the American Electronics Association (AEA) and chaired the board of the St. Davids Medical Center for five years, designated by Thomson Reuters as one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America.
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