AI and quantum computing are expected to be the two main technologies that will most influence our evolution in the coming years. While AI seems to be seeing much more accelerated development thanks to all sorts of open source projects, experimenting with quantum computing requires exorbitant and bulky hardware. Developments in quantum computing have been relatively slow, but some companies like China-based SpinQ and Japan-based Switch-Science are already exploring solutions that can help democratize access for the masses.

SpinQ/Switch-Science’s Gemini Mini, Gemini, and Triangulum handheld quantum computer models are much smaller than today’s fastest quantum computers, and as such their computational power is commensurately reduced. Compared to IBM’s Osprey QPU which incorporates 433 qubits, SpinQ portable processors only offer a maximum of 3 qubits. Of course, due to the reduced size, the qubit technology is also more rudimentary. Instead of superconducting qubits that require very low temperatures, the wearable quantum processor comes with qubits that work based on nuclear magnetic resonance. Unfortunately, this type of technology does not release the quantum entanglement properties that make QPUs potentially faster than transistor-based processors.

Even though the SpinQ models are considered portable, don’t expect to carry them like a laptop, as the most compact version weighs 14 kg. Moreover, these models do not provide enough processing power to run complex problem-solving scenarios. They are designed as educational devices that introduce users to quantum circuit programming. Pricing is also not what we would call mainstream.

SpinQ’s most affordable quantum computer is represented by the Gemini Mini model. It measures 200 x 350 x 260mm, weighs 14kg, and features a dual-qubit processor that delivers over 20ms of coherence time with over 10 gate operations per dual-qubit circuit or over 30 operations per single qubit. It is the only model with an integrated screen that gives users easier access to up to 18 demo algorithms complete with documentation and training materials. The entire device requires 60W of power and its price in Japanese yen converts to US$8,100.

With the mid-range Gemini model, portability can already be forgotten, since the device looks like a rounded PC tower case that measures 600 x 280 x 530 mm and weighs 44 kg. Power requirements are increased to 100W, but the processor still only has 2 qubits with the same consistency of over 20ms. However, 1 qubit is capable of processing 200 gate operations while dual qubit circuit is capable of 20 gate operations. All this for just US$41,500.

The flagship Triangulum model isn’t much more expensive than the Gemini model at around US$57,400. Despite the larger case which measures 610 x 330 x 560 mm, this model weighs 40 kg. It offers a more advanced 3-qubit processor with coherence times over 40ms for extended working times, but processing power is reduced to 40 gate operations per single qubit, or 8 gate operations per dual circuits or triple qubits. For increased coherence times, this model requires 330 W of power.

Looking at the price of these models, quantum computing for the masses still seems a long way off. Processing power is also far too limited at the moment, but at least some miniaturization and mass production efforts are underway.

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