Goldman Sachs, QC Ware and IonQ Tout Financial Services Quantum Breakthrough

September 23, 2021

New paper benchmarks quantum algorithms on IonQ’s new quantum computer, demonstrating the viability of the approach and providing a roadmap to commercial usage

Use of quantum computers in Monte Carlo simulations has relevance in many areas of finance, science, and engineering

The high performance of IonQ’s quantum hardware was critical for this demonstration and the experiment ran on IonQ’s proprietary Evaporated Glass Trap technology

Goldman Sachs, QC Ware and IonQ, touted a significant step forward in the real-world application of quantum computing for the financial services industry. Specifically, a new research paper 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. These simulations are key for problem solving in many industries, including finance, telecommunications, robotics, climate science, and drug discovery.

“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. We are working toward enterprise use cases that could have significant impact on strategic investing decisions,” said William Zeng, Head of Quantum Research, Goldman Sachs. “Working with IonQ has been essential for accessing the best quantum technology and accelerating our timeline.”

The quantum algorithm theorized by QC Ware and Goldman Sachs for Monte Carlo simulations has now been demonstrated in practice on the latest IonQ quantum computer. Together, the 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, 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,” said 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 (QPU), which features an order of magnitude better performance in terms of fidelity and greatly enhanced throughput compared to previous generations. 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. Technical details are outlined in a recently released research paper.

“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,” said 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.”

The news follows on the heels of a number of notable developments from IonQ. The company recently announced a partnership with the University of Maryland to create the National Quantum Lab at Maryland (Q-Lab), the nation’s first user facility that enables the scientific community to pursue world-leading research through hands-on access to a commercial-grade quantum computer. IonQ also debuted two breakthroughs in quantum computing that lay the foundation for increases to qubit count into the triple digits on a single chip. Finally, IonQ anticipates becoming the first publicly-traded, pure-play quantum computing company via a merger with dMY Technology Group III (NYSE: DMYI).

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