SpinQ presents world's first portable quantum computers
AI and quantum computing are supposed to be the two main technologies that will influence our evolution the most in the coming years. While AI seems to be seeing a much more accelerated development thanks to all sorts of open source projects, quantum computing experimentation requires exorbitantly expensive and cumbersome hardware. Developments in the quantum computing field have been relatively slow, but some companies like China-based SpinQ and Japan-based Switch-Science are already looking into solutions that can help democratize access for the masses.
The Gemini Mini, Gemini and Triangulum portable quantum computer models from SpinQ / Switch-Science are far smaller than the current fastest quantum computers, and, as such, their compute power is proportionately reduced. Compared to IBM’s Osprey QPU that integrates 433 qubits, the portable SpinQ processors only offer a maximum of 3 qubits. Of course, due to the reduced size, the qubit technology is more rudimentary as well. Instead of superconducting qubits that require very low temperatures, the portable quantum processor comes with qubits that work based on nuclear magnetic resonance. This type of technology unfortunately does not unlock the quantum entanglement properties that make QPUs potentially faster than transistor-based processors.
Even though the SpinQ models are considered portable, do not expect to carry these around like a laptop, as the most compact version weighs 14 kg. Moreover, these models do not actually provide enough processing power to run complex problem-solving scenarios. They are meant as educational devices that introduce users to quantum circuit programming. Pricing is also not what we would call mainstream.
SpinQ’s most affordable quantum computer is represented by the Gemini Mini model. It measures 200 x 350 x 260 mm, weighs 14 kg and features a dual-qubit processor that offers more than 20 ms of coherence time with more than 10 gate operations per dual-qubit circuit or more than 30 operations per single qubit. It is the only model with an integrated display that makes it easier for users to access up to 18 demo algorithms complete with documentation and training materials. The entire device requires 60 W of power and its price in Japanese Yen converts to US$8,100.
With the mid-range Gemini model, we can already forget about portability, since the device resembles a rounded PC tower case that measures 600 x 280 x 530 mm and weighs 44 kg. Power requirements are increased to 100 W, but the processor still features only 2 qubits with the same 20+ ms of coherence. However, 1 qubit is able to process 200 gate operations, while the dual-qubit circuit is capable of 20 gate operations. All this for just US$41,500.
The flagship Triangulum model is not much more expensive than the Gemini model at ~US$57,400. Despite the larger case that measures 610 x 330 x 560 mm, this model weighs 40 kg. It offers a more advanced 3-qubit processor with 40+ ms coherence times for extended worktimes, yet the processing power is reduced to 40 gate operations per single qubit, or 8 gate operations per dual or triple-qubit circuits. For the increased coherence times, this model requires 330 W of power.
Looking at how these models are priced, quantum computing for the masses still seems quite a way off. The processing power is also way too limited for now, but at least some efforts on miniaturization and mass production are being made.