While 2020 was a major year for quantum networking, 2021 is shaping up to be even more impactful. Here are 5 companies to watch in 2021:
The quantum networking world has been waiting to see how this giant of classical networking would get involved in quantum communication. Recently, we got a sneak peek as Cisco made news with some early signs of their emerging efforts. Alireza Shabani, previously of Google Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, announced that he had joined Cisco and that the company was interested in collaboration on research topics in quantum networking. Some topics that Cisco seems to be interested in are:
- Distributed/modular quantum computing architectures
- Hybrid-classical quantum architectures
- Quantum transducers
- Quantum memory
- Quantum network end-to-end transport integrity & improved reliability
- Operation models for quantum networks
- Quantum networks management & operations
- Optimized protocols for quantum communications
- Quantum algorithms
We're excited to see where these ambitious plans lead in the coming year.
2. Aliro Quantum
Last year, we at Aliro Quantum announced our quantum networking platform— enabling QIS researchers and engineers to design quantum networks with simulation and emulation tools.
From the announcement: "The quantum internet will enable transformative applications with wide-ranging societal impacts, including physics-based secure communications, ultra-precise long-baseline astronomy, and advances in medical imaging," said Aliro Quantum CTO Prineha Narang, PhD. "But to build these networks, telecom and government organizations have an immediate need for accurate simulation and emulation tools. Aliro is proud to unveil pioneering research and simulation products, significant milestones on our mission to make quantum technologies accessible with a write-once-run-anywhere cloud platform."
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Aliro’s quantum networking products. Keep an eye for more announcements of solutions for quantum network design and management in 2021.
A young company, Qunnect has already started to make waves in the quantum networking industry. A spin-off venture from the Quantum Information Technology group at Stony Brook University, Qunnect focuses on engineering novel quantum devices enabling future information networks and quantum computing using photons to communicate and atoms to store and process quantum information.
Qunnect has already made progress applying its technology. The company was recognized by IEEE for the planned use of their technology in the quantum network between Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. This year, we should see more updates from this collaboration, which could be a major step towards practical quantum networking.
Unsurprisingly, Verizon has shown interest in getting involved in the quantum communication space. In addition to other efforts, Verizon is now an industry partner on the Chicago Quantum Exchange, a major hub for quantum network development. While it’s still early, we’re hoping to hear more updates from the networking company soon.
Toshiba has already been very active in the quantum encryption space. So far, the company’s focus has been on QKD technology, a kind of encryption that uses quantum networks to establish secure communication. Going beyond experimentation, Toshiba said last year that it expects quantum secure communications to produce revenue of $3 billion by 2030. We’re excited to see what Toshiba and partners accomplish this year.
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