Quantum computing

Quantum computing — the most nascent of the four technologies of the new stack — has the potential to make the biggest impact. In late 2019, Alphabet (aka, Google) published peer-reviewed research that demonstrated a quantum computer had solved a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken a classic supercomputer 10,000 years. From 10,000 years to 200 seconds. Let that sink in.

On this current trajectory, a huge range of new possibilities come into focus: modeling new vaccines and medicines, as Boehringer Ingelheim is doing, predicting (with complete accuracy) economic outcomes, simulating new materials, creating new communications standards, manipulating genetic material (with a turbo-charged CRISPR) and developing fully autonomous vehicles, as some examples.

Although early in its commercial viability, quantum computing will, over time, become a more mainstream commercial offering. At that point, a new arms race of processing power will have started, making our current supercomputers look no more capable than the ENIAC and Apple 1 of old.