Firms Claim “Significant Step” Forward in Quantum Computing
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: September 22, 2021
Goldman Sachs, QC Ware and IonQ have released a research paper they say demonstrates a “significant step forward in the real-world application of quantum computing for the financial services industry.
The paper shows shows how IonQ’s quantum computers are now powerful enough to demonstrate a state-of-the-art quantum algorithm from Goldman Sachs and QC Ware that could one day speed up Monte Carlo simulations – a key problem solving technique in financial markets as well as other industries.
“As part of our firm’s focus on delivering ever-increasing value for our clients, our research group has been making fundamental contributions to quantum technology,” says William Zeng, head of quantum research at Goldman Sachs. “We are working toward enterprise use cases that could have significant impact on strategic investing decisions. Working with IonQ has been essential for accessing the best quantum technology and accelerating our timeline.”
The quantum algorithm theorised by QC Ware and Goldman Sachs for Monte Carlo simulations has now been demonstrated in practice on the latest IonQ quantum computer, the firms say. Together, their teams are designing quantum algorithms intended to let firms evaluate risk and simulate prices for a variety of financial instruments at far greater speeds than today, which, if successful, they say could transform the way financial markets worldwide operate.
“This is a demonstration of how the combination of insightful algorithms that reduce hardware requirements and more powerful near-term quantum computers has now made it possible to start running Monte Carlo simulations,” says Iordanis Kerenidis, head of quantum algorithms – international, QC Ware. “While QC Ware has designed novel practical quantum algorithms and software for enterprise implementation, IonQ has built unique hardware with quantum gates of high enough quality to run these algorithms.”
This experiment was performed on the newest generation IonQ quantum processing unit, which features an order of magnitude better performance in terms of fidelity and greatly enhanced throughput compared to previous generations, the firms say. This allows for deeper circuits with many shots to be run over a significantly shorter period of time than previously possible. The combination of these features makes it possible for the first time to run algorithms of this nature.
“To get to useful solutions in quantum computing today, we must bring together state-of-the-art quantum hardware and best-in-class quantum algorithms,” says Peter Chapman, CEO and president of IonQ. “Most people are tracking quantum hardware progress, but they often miss that quantum software is accelerating at similarly breakneck speeds. The convergence of hardware and software will enable a quantum future sooner than most think, and our work with Goldman Sachs and QC Ware is a great example of that.”