Sundar Pichai led Alphabet has spun off its quantum computing wing, SandboxAQ into a separate entity, this is after the software-as-a-service business raised an undisclosed amount from the likes of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Salesforce’s CEO Marc Benioff and businessman Thomas Tull.
The six-year-old quantum computing group was working on creating commercial products in the verticals of telecom, financial services, health care, security and other sectors which requires complex solutions. The AQ in the name of SandboxAQ stands for AI and quantum and aims to look into the intersection of quantum, physics and AI to help in the areas of clean energy, drug development and cybersecurity.
Alphabet said that the company already provides quantum computing solutions to a few customers. Some of these customers include Vodafone business and Softbank mobile.
With the spin-off, Alphabet will no longer have a stake in the company, however, some of Google employees are a part of the board of SandboxAQ.
Founded in 2016, Sergey Bin appointed technology researcher Jack Hidary as AQ’s CEO, who will now continue to head operations in the company. While Hidary will continue to run the company of 55 employees, the undisclosed funding will be utilised to increase hiring, more specifically for the roles of engineers, AI experts and physicists.
It is to be noted that Google has another quantum computing team separate from Sandbox, which sits out of Santa Barbara and reportedly focuses on experimental quantum related projects, according to January 2020 reports.
First reports of the spin-off emerged in January this year.
According to a November 2021 report by IDC, the quantum computing market is expected to grow to $8.6 billion by 2027, up from $412 million in 2020. Investments into the technology will hit $16.4 billion by the end of 2027, the report stated.