Some interesting facts from the study include the RS Components inquiry finding there has been a steady increase in the number of patent applications over the past 10 years, going from 12 applications in 1998 to 558 in 2018. This growth in patents indicates the level of research going into the technology.
Examples of patents include technologies designed to advance quantum memory. This field is important as quantum memories are an essential component for quantum computers, and this area is tied to developing the computing power necessary for quantum computers to realize their full potential.
In terms of who the leading technology players are, Microsoft is the company leading the way in patent application filings, racing ahead of its rivals with an impressive 425 applications. This is not to say that other technology firms are slow to innovate. Other notable companies include IBM, with 296 patents, and Intel with 242 patent applications
Despite the growth in patent applications, there are still some formidable hurdles to overcome before quantum computers become commonplace. Nevertheless, with technology firms investing heavily in the field, at a level estimated to be in the region of $1 billion to date, and with more funding being directed into the pipeline, thishas led many researchers to be confident that quantum supremacy will be a landmark for computing in the not too distant future.
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