A vacuum chamber flange which is part of Honeywell’s quantum computer machine is seen in Boulder, Colorado, U.S. in this April 2021 handout photo released June 7, 2021. Honeywell/Handout via REUTERS
June 8, 2021
By Jane Lanhee Lee
(Reuters) – Honeywell International Inc and quantum computer software startup Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) on Tuesday announced they will form a joint venture, integrating Honeywell’s quantum computer unit with the software maker.
Honeywell will invest between $270 million and $300 million in the new company and have 54% of the new venture. CQC and its investors, including International Business Machines Corp will hold the rest. Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk will be the chairman of the board for the new entity, which will be named later.
Honeywell, a technology and manufacturing company, unveiled its quantum computer in late 2019 after many years of development. It invested and partnered with CQC from 2019.
“To really accelerate our path into developing full quantum capabilities for quantum solutions, solving customers’ problems, we felt this was the shortest, most compelling path,” Adamczyk told Reuters.
Researchers believe quantum computers could operate millions of times faster than today’s advanced supercomputers, potentially making possible tasks ranging from mapping complex molecular structures and chemical reactions to boosting the power of artificial intelligence.
Ilyas Khan, the CEO and founder of CQC who will be the CEO of the new venture, said CQC has been a founder member of IBM’s quantum ecosystem and will continue to work with IBM and other quantum computer makers, even after the joint venture formation.
“There are a number of different hardware choices, and we currently are active users of all of the devices in order to fulfill the … demand side from our clients. So we will always choose the best machine for the job in hand,” said Khan.
Quantum computing startups received a record $796 million of venture capital funding globally last year, according to data firm PitchBook.
(Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)