Even though we utilize computers for various tasks every day, there’s still a form of computing that is still in its infancy. This form is none other than quantum computing. Built on the understanding of quantum mechanics, quantum computing goes beyond the binary systems we use.
Are you curious about what quantum computing is or how it could affect the future? We here at Seamgen are, so we set out to find the top 3 recent developments in the realm of quantum computing.
Go Beyond Binary
What sets quantum computing apart from the normal systems we use is how memory works. While traditional computers use binary, quantum computers use qubits. Binary is limited to one state at a time, meaning a one or a zero. Qubits operate under quantum mechanics and allows a superposition of both a one and a zero at the same time. By being both a one and a zero at the same time, more information can be stored.
Understanding how quantum computing operates can be tough due to the knowledge of advanced mathematics and physics required. Regardless of its complexity, implications of how it will affect our future can already be made.
Quantum Computing Development #1: Business and Consumer
Technology takes a long time before it is available for consumer and business use. This is usually due to cost. Today, quantum computing exists only on paper and experiments, and buying one off Amazon is not reality, or at least not yet.
That being said, there is a form of quantum computing that is purchasable. Canadian company D-Wave System is shipping a 10-feet tall quantum computer with the nice price tag of $15 million.
So, what does a $15 million quantum computer get you? D-Wave breaks it down as:
In nature, physical systems tend to evolve toward their lowest energy state: objects slide down hills, hot things cool down, and so on. This behavior also applies to quantum systems. To imagine this, think of a traveler looking for the best solution by finding the lowest valley in the energy landscape that represents the problem. Classical algorithms seek the lowest valley by placing the traveler at some point in the landscape and allowing that traveler to move based on local variations. While it is generally most efficient to move downhill and avoid climbing hills that are too high, such classical algorithms are prone to leading the traveler into nearby valleys that may not be the global minimum. Numerous trials are typically required, with many travelers beginning their journeys from different points.
In contrast, quantum annealing begins with the traveler simultaneously occupying many coordinates thanks to the quantum phenomenon of superposition. The probability of being at any given coordinate smoothly evolves as annealing progresses, with the probability increasing around the coordinates of deep valleys. Quantum tunneling allows the traveler to pass through hills—rather than be forced to climb them—reducing the chance of becoming trapped in valleys that are not the global minimum. Quantum entanglement further improves the outcome by allowing the traveler to discover correlations between the coordinates that lead to deep valleys.
Quantum Computing Development#2: The Corporate Race
D-wave is not alone in the race to develop a quantum computer. In the era of Internet and computer technology giants, it is no surprise that they have stakes in the race too. To name a few, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Alibaba have their own projects already in development.
The determination that commercial quantum computing will revolutionize computing overall is a big motivator for developers. But, the uncertain state of how this future will unravel keeps everyone including us, on our toes.
Quantum Computing Development#3: Other Applications
Quantum computing allows for processes to be done quicker which also applies to security and hacking. We all know protecting data is important and the folks at ID Quantique are taking security to the next level by offering quantum-safe cryptography.
Using qubits, information can be securely encoded but due to the basics of quantum mechanics and property shifts, attempting to hack would be easily noticed.
We here at Seamgen have talked quite a bit about A.I. and quantum computing can play a role in the advancement of it. A.I. and machine learning takes time due to the amount of data the machine needs to process in order to execute the action. As quantum computing can process faster than traditional computing, A.I.’s can learn quicker.
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