One Week Old Quantinuum Releases Totally Random Product
One week after the creation of its newly formed company, Quantinuum announced the release of Quantum Origin, the first-ever commercial software security product built on quantum computers. This blog will provide some background on Quantinuum, their initial product offering, and what we might expect from them moving forward.
Who is Quantinuum?
On November 30, 2021, Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum finalized their previously announced merger and gave birth to Quantinuum, a fully integrated quantum computer company developing the entire stack of hardware, operating system, and software.
Quantinuum is a 400 employee quantum computing firm led by CEO Ilyas Khan, founder of Cambridge Quantum, has joint headquarters in Cambridge, UK, and Colorado, and has offices in Japan and Germany.
Cambridge Quantum, founded in 2014, is one of the first companies to exclusively focus on quantum computing operating systems and software. Their focus is on several areas of software, starting with a quantum software development toolkit, but also focusing on cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Cambridge Quantum has partnered with educational institutions, industries, and government agencies in developing its software in a platform-agnostic manner.
Honeywell Quantum Solutions was formed in 2020 within Honeywell with the express purpose of developing quantum computing hardware based on trapped-ion technology. This technology differs from the solid-state superconducting circuit designs that many of the other quantum hardware companies are using in that it uses electromagnetic fields to isolate each ion for encoding using lasers and microwaves. The promise of this technology is that there are much fewer errors generated. Honeywell maintains a 54% ownership position in Quantinuum and has invested $300 million to ensure that Quantinuum is well-capitalized.
What is Quantum Origin, and Why Does it Matter?
Quantum Origin is a cloud-based cryptographic key generation platform running on quantum computers. Unlike traditional computers, quantum computers can generate truly random numbers, and random numbers are essential to creating highly secure encryption keys. Because of this, the encryption keys generated by Quantum Origin are far less susceptible to cracking than keys created on traditional computers.
Quantum Origin supports traditional algorithms like RSA and AES, as well as newer Post Quantum Cryptographic (PQC) algorithms currently being assessed by the National Institute of Standards (NIST). Once the Quantum Origin service is launched, users should be able to make an API request for a quantum-generated key that would then be sent back to them in a secure manner. This key can be used in traditional software applications and is a direct replacement for non-quantum-generated keys.
These quantum-enhanced encryption keys should also protect against the latest cybersecurity threat of ‘hack now, decrypt later’ where cybercriminals are collecting and storing data encrypted with traditional keys traversing the internet with the goal of decrypting this data in the future when quantum computers will be more readily available and provide the ability to easily decrypt it.
What Else Can We Expect From Quantinuum?
Cybersecurity is only one facet of what Cambridge Quantum is working on. They have been making advances in quantum software development toolkits, general optimization, and algorithms in the areas of chemistry, probability, and mathematics, as well as in artificial intelligence, specifically in machine learning and natural language processing. The announcement of Quantum Origin one short week after the new company formed gives hope that some of the other quantum technologies make it to market soon as well.
The synergy of these two growing industry leaders, both with existing products and fueled by the deep financial backing of Honeywell bodes well for the future of Quantinuum. This is a huge step in the maturation of the quantum computing industry as it continues to transform from an academic curiosity focused on hardware to a full-stack quantum commercial market.