California has Silicon Valley, and soon Colorado could be the home of the Quantum Front Range.
Quantinuum, a company newly spun out of Honeywell International Inc. (Nasdaq: HON), aims to make Broomfield the center of gravity of quantum computing.
The company formed with the newly closed merger of Honeywell Quantum Solutions, formerly a division within the parent company, with U.K.-based Cambridge Quantum Computing.
Quantinuum is hitting the ground running with the planned release next month of its first product: a cybersecurity platform.
Next year, the company plans to release quantum-computing software applicable to industries such as pharmaceuticals, materials science, specialty chemicals and agrochemicals.
Quantum computing taps into the power of quantum mechanics and its properties of superposition, interference and entanglement to solve problems that are far too complex for traditional computers.
“We are in the aerospace industry, we make chemicals, we’re part of how oil and gas products are refined, we control some of the most intricate and complex systems on the planet,” Quantinuum president Tony Uttley said.
About 10 years ago, leaders at Honeywell decided that if the company brought together resources and technology from disparate divisions in the company — from photonics, cryogenics, to ultra-high vacuum systems, to precision position controls, to magnetics and lasers — they could build a quantum computer. They succeeded.
“When history looks back at this moment in time, it will be just a tiny little sliver,” Uttley said. “But it’s an incredibly important sliver.”
In a statement, Quantinuum CEO Ilyas Khan said, “Quantinuum is now the largest and most advanced integrated quantum computing company in the world. By uniting the best-in-class quantum software available with the highest performing hardware available, we are uniquely positioned to bring real, quantum computing products and solutions to large, high-growth markets in the near term, the medium term and the longer term as quantum computers scale in capacity and quality.”
He continued, “We are science led, and enterprise driven, and our scale and global presence in this most critical of technologies will provide leadership in each of the key areas that constitute the ‘must haves’ for quantum computing to deliver real world solutions to all our customers and partners.”
Honeywell, after a nationwide site search, opted five years ago to sink its quantum stakes in Broomfield in large part because of the talent in the region, he said, citing the presence of the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
“The scarcest resource in all of quantum computing is the human resource,” Uttley said.
The company’s decision to headquarter its quantum division along the Front Range has set the region up to become a worldwide leader in the field, he said.
“Many people don’t know the type of technology that exists right in their backyard and that this technology has the potential to make us the next Silicon Valley,” Uttley said. “What’s being built in the Front Range is of that scale in terms of future technology.”
Quantum-computing technology “is going to be very meaningful to Colorado and especially this area (in the Boulder Valley),” he said.
The newly formed Quantinuum, of which Honeywell holds a 54 percent ownership stake, has 400 workers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. About half are in Broomfield.
The company occupies two buildings in the Interlocken business park, has just leased a third and is now searching for a fourth.
“We are continuing to expand rapidly,” Uttley said.
As Quantinuum begins the process of releasing its first products, company leaders are looking ahead at capital needs and considering the option of going public.
“That is certainly on the table,” Uttley said. “One of the reasons why we decided to combine (Honeywell’s quantum division with Cambridge) is that we had companies coming to us asking to invest directly.”
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