In order for a computer to function, it must handle and store information composed of binary digits called bits. These bits can only have two values: one or zero. Binary code, which a computer must read in order to carry out a certain action, is created from these numbers, according to Fundamentals of Computers.
Quantum computers are a new kind of computer that is 158 million times faster than the world’s most sophisticated supercomputer. This device is so powerful that it could finish a task that would ordinarily take a traditional supercomputer 10,000 years in just four minutes.
Our computers have followed the same design for decades, whether a massive machine at NASA or your home laptop. They are all essentially glorified calculators, but they can only perform one action at a time.
A bit is a tiny unit of information that can have either of two values, 1 or 0. Computers process and store information in bits, and these bits are what create binary code, which a computer must read in order to carry out a specific function, as explained in Fundamentals of Computers.
What is quantum technology?
According to Documenta Mathematica, a branch of physics that studies atoms and the subatomic particles inside them, quantum theory operates in the tiny world of atoms. The laws of physics are very different in this minuscule world than they are in the world that we commonly experience. For example, a quantum particle may exist in several states at once, a phenomenon known as superposition.
A quantum bit, referred to as a qubit, replaces a regular bit in a quantum computer. According to a paper published from IEEE International Conference on Big Data, a qubit can be either a one or a zero or both at the same time. Instead of bits, quantum computers rely on qubits.
A quantum computer can execute multiple processes simultaneously, rather than having to wait for one process to finish before starting the next.
To determine which door is open, a traditional computer would try each one, one after the other, until it found the open one. A quantum computer, on the other hand, would be capable of trying all the doors at once, which would significantly reduce the time it takes. Depending on how many doors there are, a traditional computer might take anywhere from five minutes to a million years, whereas a quantum computer might take seconds.
Quantum particles’ additional bizarre behaviour, entanglement, is also what makes this technology so groundbreaking. When two entangled quantum particles are separated, they form a connection to each other. When one is altered, the other reacts in the same way—even when they are thousands of miles away. According to Nature, Einstein dubbed this particle attribute ‘spooky action at a distance.’
In addition to speed, quantum computers have one more advantage over traditional computers: size. According to the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Moore’s Law predicts that computing power will double every two years. However, in order to do so, engineers must fit more and more transistors onto circuit boards. A transistor is a microscopic light switch that can either be off or on. This is how a computer processes a zero or a one in binary code.
According to the Young Scientists Journal, traditional computers will reach their maximum intelligence level in the near future, and that’s where quantum machines can make a difference. The problem is that no matter how small those transistors are, there’s only so many of them you can fit onto a circuit board.
Governments and some of the greatest firms on the planet are competing to advance quantum computing, resulting in a surge in interest for quantum computing stocks on the financial markets.
D-Wave has created the Advantage system, which it says is the first and only business-oriented quantum computer, according to a company press release.
According to D-wave, its new processor architecture with over 5,000 qubits and 15-way qubit connectivity has been designed to enable companies to solve their biggest and most complex business issues.
According to the firm, their new quantum computer is the first and only quantum machine that customers can use to develop and run real-world, mass-market quantum applications in the cloud. It is 30 times faster and delivers equivalent or superior solutions 94% of the time than the previous generation system.
Quantum computers, despite their enormous theoretical computational power, do not need to be relegated to the wheelie bin just yet. According to Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI), conventional computers will still have a role to play in any new era, and will be better suited to everyday activities such as creating spreadsheets, sending email, and writing documents.
Quantum computing could bring about radical change in predictive analytics, where a quantum computer could make analyses and predictions at breakneck speeds, predicting weather patterns and performing traffic modelling, where there are millions if not billions of constantly changing variables.
The D-Wave is split up into modules known as qubits, which function as the core processing unit of the system.
Why is quantum computing necessary?
It’s true that computers can perform their job well if they’re given the right computer program by a human. However, when it comes to forecasting, they aren’t particularly smart. This is why the weather forecast isn’t always accurate. There are too many variables, too many things changing too rapidly for any conventional computer to keep up.
An ordinary computer may never be able to perform certain computations, or it might require a billion years to finish them. In such cases, a quick prediction or piece of analysis is not much help.
Researchers at Rigetti Computing said a quantum computer could process information at lightning speed, examining an inexhaustible number of outcomes and permutations simultaneously.
Since quantum computers don’t rely on transistors like traditional machines, they are relatively small. They also consume less power, which in theory would be better for the environment.
There are additional resources available.
You can find out how to begin with quantum computing by reading this article from Nature. For more information on the future of quantum computing, check out PhD student Jason Ball’s TED talk.
List of references
- Rajaraman, V., & Adabala, N. “Fundamentals of Computers(opens in new tab)”. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd (2014).
- “Quantum Computing(opens in new tab)”. Documenta Mathematica (1998).
- “Implementing Grover’s Algorithm on the IBM Quantum Computers(opens in new tab)”. IEEE International Conference on Big Data (2018).
- “Testing the speed of ‘spooky action at a distance(opens in new tab)'”. Nature (2008).
- “Establishing Moore’s Law(opens in new tab)”. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (2006).
- “Synthetic weather radar using hybrid quantum-classical machine learning(opens in new tab)”. Rigetti Computing (2021).