Quantum Computing Is Almost here & It’s Going Transform the future

Quantum Computing Is Almost here

Quantum Computing is close at hand

Dario Gil,  the chief operating officer of IBM Research and Chad Rigetti, founder of  Rigetti Computing feel that quantum computing is almost here.  They both state that quantum computers will be able to perform operations better than today’s computers in roughly only three years.

“[It’s] generating a solution that is better, faster or cheaper than you can do otherwise,” said Rigetti. “Quantum computing has moved out of a field of research into now an engineering discipline and an engineering enterprise.”

 

 

The Chinese government is building a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information in Anhui province, which borders Shanghai and is slated to open in 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. public research into quantum computing is running at around $200 million per year.

Cloud Quantum Computing

“A user logs on to their own device and uses our software development kit to write a quantum application,” said Rigetti. “That program is sent to a compiler and kicks off an optimization kit that runs on a quantum and classical computer… This is the architecture that’s needed to achieve a quantum advantage.”

IBM has more than a million chips performing millions of quantum operations requested by users in over 100 countries around the world.

“In a cloud-first era I’m not sure the economic forces will be there that will drive us to develop the miniaturized environment in the laptop,” Rigetti said. But the ramifications of the technology’s commercialization will be felt by everyone, everywhere.

“Quantum computing is going to change the world and it’s all going to come in our lifetime, whether that’s two years or five years,” he said. “Quantum computing is going to redefine every industry and touch every market. Every major company will be involved in some capacity in that space.” Full Story

IBM makes 20-qubit quantum computers

Dario Gil, IBM Research VP of AI and IBM Q, says the increased number qubits is only part of the story. The more Qubits you deal with, the more complex the qubit interactions become because they interact with one another in a process called entanglement. If you have more qubits, but there is a high error rate as they interact, then they might not be any more powerful than 5 qubit machine with a lower error rate. He says that IBM researchers have managed to achieve the higher qubit number with low error rates, making them highly useful to researchers.

“We have more qubits and less errors, which is combined to solve more problems,” Gil said.

More Qubits with fewer errors

He sees this is an incremental process and today’s announcement is a step along the path, but he believes that even what they can do today is quite powerful. With today’s release and the improvements that IBM made to the QISKit, a software development kit (SDK) to help companies understand how to program quantum computers, they can continue to advance the technology. It’s not going to happen overnight;

IBM sees applications for quantum computing in areas like medicine, drug discovery and materials science as this technology advances and becomes better understood.

Gil says they are working with standards bodies to try and develop post-quantum computing encryption algorithms, and while they are a long way from achieving that, they certainly seem to understand the magnitude of the issues and are trying to mitigate them. Full Story

Serious quantum computers are finally here

“The biggest boost quantum information theory got was from Feynman,” Bennett told me. “He said, ‘Nature is quantum, goddamn it! So if we want to simulate it, we need a quantum computer.’”

IBM’s quantum computer

One of the most promising in existence—is located just down the hall from Bennett’s office. The machine is designed to create and manipulate the essential element in a quantum computer: the qubits that store information.

Engineers are working on a version of the computer with 50 qubits. You can run a simulation of a simple quantum computer on a normal computer, but at around 50 qubits it becomes nearly impossible. That means IBM is theoretically approaching the point where a quantum computer can solve problems a classical computer cannot: in other words, quantum supremacy.

“If you had 50 or 100 qubits and they really worked well enough and were fully error-corrected—you could do unfathomable calculations that can’t be replicated on any classical machine, now or ever,” says Robert Schoelkopf, a Yale professor and founder of a company called Quantum Circuits. “The flip side to quantum computing is that there are exponential ways for it to go wrong.”

Quantum Computing Is Almost here; even imperfect Quantum machines could still be useful

Last year, Gambetta and colleagues at IBM used a seven-qubit machine to simulate the precise structure of beryllium hydride. At just three atoms, it is the most complex molecule ever modelled with a quantum system. Ultimately, researchers might use quantum computers to design more efficient solar cells, more effective drugs, or catalysts that turn sunlight into clean fuels.

Those goals are a long way off. But, Gambetta says, it may be possible to get valuable results from an error-prone quantum machine paired with a classical computer. Full Story

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Quantum Computing Is Almost here and you better ready for the huge change