Top Quantum Stories of 2022: Part 1

This year saw traditional tech giants tap quantum, the path toward quantum advantage set out and governments invest in quantum
Berenice Baker

December 27, 2022

A woman researcher works on a quantum computer
IBM was one of the companies to set out a roadmap to quantum advantage in 2022.IBM

This year has been a defining one for quantum computing and its applications. The stories covered by Enter Quantum in2022 fell under a number of broad themes.

This first retrospective looks at three of those: traditional tech giants threw their weight behind quantum computing; providers set out pathways toward quantum advantage; and new levels of government support and investment showed quantum is being taken seriously.

Tech Giants Throw Weight Behind Quantum

Many of the earliest quantum computing companies were startups that originated in the labs or a select few universities. But this year saw some familiar names pick up the baton and use their international heft and deep pockets to drive quantum computing into the public eye.

When Google restructured under its parent company Alphabet in 2015, it gave the company flexibility to form separate businesses. Alphabet

spun out its quantum business SandboxAQ

in March under Jack Hidary. It went on to make a statement about its route to market via

professional services companies by announcing

strategic alliances with EY and Deloitte


It was one of the companies that NIST announced would work with on its

Migration to Post Quantum Cryptography Project

, something Sandbox reinforced with its

acquisition of Cryptosense

in September.

For much of its history, IBM was perhaps best known for its mainframes and could have been accused of being a bit slow to new markets. But in October 2019 it debuted its Quantum System One. In 2020 it released its first quantum roadmap, which it most recently

updated in May


It expects to release its 433-qubit Osprey processor latest this year, and the 1,000+ qubit


will follow hot on its heels.

To illustrate IBM’s commitment to quantum, last month it announced a

$20 billion investment

in the Hudson Valley region in New York state over the next 10 years to stimulate a technology ecosystem and boost the quantum economy. This was announced during a visit by President Biden to its Poughkeepsie site, which houses IBM's first Quantum Computation Center.

Pathway to Quantum Advantage

Defining quantum advantage remains challenging, but this year saw multiple efforts to define it and several approaches to get there. Here are some examples Enter Quantum covered.

Capgemini’s Q Lab talked about how organizations should set out a personalized

quantum advantage roadmap

based on their applications and ambitions.

Phasecraft is partnering with Google, IBM and Rigetti to

reduce the timescale for quantum advantage

in several sectors by developing efficient algorithms, aiming to get the most out of near-term quantum computers and inform the development of next-generation hardware.

In July IBM set out its own

path to quantum advantage

by focusing on error mitigation. Its reasoning was that implementing quantum algorithms that perform better than classical devices requires a large, fault-tolerant quantum processor.

This isn’t possible in an era of NISQ devices, so until fault-tolerant machines are developed, IBM says it has developed new error mitigation techniques so researchers can continue to make improvements to quantum computers with current noisy processors.

Global Government Investment

It’s a sign that a new technology has legs when governments get involved, not just to provide funding but also legislation and an ecosystem in which it can thrive, and quantum has seen global government backing in 2022.

Japan was one of the first nations off the mark when in April it set out a technology investment strategy that includes having

10 million quantum computing users by 2030

and a homegrown quantum computer in operation by early next year.

President Biden’s $200 billion


made available included funds to help expedite the lab-to-market process for quantum projects.

The legislation also authorized the National Science Foundation (NSF) Next Generation Quantum Leaders Pilot program, designed to support domestic quantum to the value of $32 million.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previously held the role of chancellor of the exchequer, in charge of the UK’s finances, and

backed quantum computing

. During London Tech Week the government allocated an R&D budget of $48 billion over the next three years, intended to support the U.K.’s drive to become a science superpower and announced that the

National Quantum Computing Center

had launched a program to help build quantum literacy and share knowledge.

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