Goldman Sachs is claiming a quantum computing breakthrough, designing algorithms it says could be used on hardware that may be available in as little as five years.
The bank has been working with Silicon Valley startup QC Ware for the past couple of years to investigate the use of quantum algorithms in finance, exploring how the technology will eventually outperform classical computers for finance applications.
Researchers at the two firms have been looking at how quantum computing can be tapped for the Monte Carlo algorithm used to evaluate risk and simulate prices for a variety of financial instruments.
Using traditional hardware, the complex calculations needed for Monte Carlo are typically executed once overnight, which means that in volatile markets, traders are forced to use outdated results.
Researchers have long known that quantum algorithms can perform Monte Carlo simulations 1000x faster than classical methods but that this would require error-corrected quantum hardware projected not to be available for 10 to 20 years.
Now, the Goldman and QC Ware team say they have made a “significant step,” that could see the simulations carried out on near-term quantum hardware expected to be available in just five to 10 years. To do this, the researchers sacrificed some of the speed up from 1000x to 100x to produce shallow Monte Carlo algorithms.
William Zeng, head, quantum research, Goldman Sachs, says: “Quantum computing could have a significant impact on financial services, and our new work with QC Ware brings that future closer.”