Honeywell turns up the thermostat by buying Cambridge quantum specialist

Ilyas Khan CQC.jpg

Former computer company Honeywell has acquired a controlling stake in a UK-based quantum technology company.

Honeywell, now better known for central heating thermostats, will invest US$270-$300 million in the venture, formed with Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS).

CQC’s CEO Ilyas Khan (pictured), who becomes CEO of the new entity, said: “Joining together into an exciting newly combined enterprise, HQS and CQ will become a global powerhouse that will create and commercialize quantum solutions that address some of humanity’s greatest challenges, while driving the development of what will become a $1 trillion industry.”

HQS shareholders will own 54% of the new entity, which has not yet been named, with CQC shareholders owning 46%. Tony Uttley, CEO of HQS, will be president.

Khan said: “Together we will lead the industry as it grows and matures, and create tangible, credible, provable and science-led advances.”

The companies said their aim is to “bring together their hardware and software capabilities into a combined business”, and that will form what they call “the most advanced integrated quantum computing company in the world, uniting hardware and software solutions under one roof”.

The technology is seen my many as likely to lead to more poiwerful data centres. IBM has already started building quantum computers, and ColdQuanta, headed by former Zayo CEO Dan Caruso, plans one later this year.

It aims to “take a leadership position in global quantum computing, which is projected to become a $1 trillion industry over the next three decades”.

The company wants to grow CQC’s scientific team “by attracting the world’s best talent in quantum computing, offering the chance to work on the world’s most powerful quantum computer, the first and most advanced quantum operating system and software that will drive the future of quantum”.

Honeywell’s chairman and CEO Darius Adamczyk said: “The new company will have the best talent in the industry, the world’s highest performing quantum computer, the first and most advanced quantum operating system, and comprehensive, hardware-agnostic software that will drive the future of the quantum computing industry.”

He added: “The new company will be extremely well positioned to create value in the near-term within the quantum computing industry by offering the critical global infrastructure needed to support the sector’s explosive growth.”