Archer Exploration (ASX: AXE) has executed a binding licence agreement with the University of Sydney’s Commercial Development and Industry Partnership program for exclusive rights to develop and commercialise intellectual property relating to its carbon-based quantum computing technology.
The technology to be developed is a device, or chip, capable of quantum information processing at room temperature.
The materials which would form the critical componentry of the chip are currently available in the inventory of Archer’s wholly-owned subsidiary and online graphite and graphene marketplace, Carbon Allotropes.
Archer said successful development of the technology would represent a major global breakthrough in the quantum computing industry, estimated to reach $40 billion by 2021.
The industry is linked to the $690 billion semiconductor market, catalysed by technical advances which allow for practicality, accessibility and widespread consumer adoption.
The advent of next-generation quantum computers is expected to impact industries which rely on computational power to run their activities including finance, cryptography, digital currencies, and artificial intelligence.
The technology consists of a core device or chip manufactured from materials known as qubits which are capable of processing the quantum information necessary to solve complex calculations.
One of the biggest challenges to the technology’s widespread use relates to keeping a qubit stable at room temperature while integrating it into electronic devices.
“They are extremely difficult to integrate into modern electronics,” said Archer chief executive officer and founder of Carbon Allotropes Dr Mohammad Choucair.
“Simply put, they are limited in their practicality and use [due to the need to remain at low temperatures].”
Mr Choucair said the IP being licenced by Archer is “a potential solution to these problems”, and gives the company a competitive advantage of being a first mover.
“It is exciting to think of the possibilities quantum computing can offer and being part of something so revolutionary,” he said.
While key terms of the agreement remain confidential, he said the technology at the heart of licenced IP will need to be realised through development.
The licenced IP has been filed by the University of Sydney through a patent co-operation treaty application.
Archer has an option to acquire it following the achievement of commercial milestones linked to the technology development.
According to McKinsey research, Australia, the European Union and North America made up 70% of the total $2.1 billion world spend on high-value quantum computing research and development in 2015.
Morgan Stanley believes quantum technology could double the value of high-end computers to $13 billion by 2027, while investment bank Goldman Sachs has predicted quantum computing could become a $40 billion industry by 2021.
Globally, quantum computing forms part of the mature semiconductor and electronic parts manufacturing industry – a $690 billion revenue market which manufactures approximately 70% of its goods in Asia by the likes of Samsung, Intel and Qualcomm.
At midday, shares in Archer Exploration were trading 29.23% higher at $0.084.