Quantum Computing: The Future of Computing

By CIOReview | Tuesday, July 24, 2018
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Quantum computing, to a large extent, has remained as part of the science fiction, featured as visuals in movies and TV shows. Although the world has not experienced quantum computing affecting the lives yet, the technology community has been bullish about the kind of complex problems it can address in the upcoming future. It can tackle challenges that even powerful supercomputers cannot. Be it for predicting the weather, or medical diagnostics to perform complex surgeries.

While quantum computing is still in its early phase, in the laboratories of leading research institutions and companies, a team of researchers at the University of Adelaide has come closer to the possibility of realizing high-performance and reliable quantum computing. Unlike traditional computing that incorporates information in binary digits of 1 and 0, quantum computing uses ‘quantum bits’ to function at the sub-atomic level, requiring less energy to process information. Having been successful at developing a single-electron pump, which is a ground-breaking research in this field, the researchers claim that the pump that uses the power of quantum mechanics can easily product over a billion electrons in a matter of one second. The leading edge quantum computing is so effective the limitations of existing electronics equipment are soon going to vanish.

According to Dr Giuseppe C. Tettamanzi, a senior research fellow at the university, throws light on his research saying, “This research puts us one step closer to the Holy Grail –high-performance quantum computing. Quantum computing will find its application in myriad areas including cybersecurity, defence, and big data analysis. The researchers also mention that this development will be extremely beneficial to researchers who are working day in and day out on quantum computing development. With an ability to operate at atomic level, quantum computing promises to solve problems that even traditional computing systems could not.

While the traditional computing works based on binary—0’s and 1’s—to accept user instructions and process data, quantum computing uses every digit between 0 and 1 to enhance the number of calculations with a multiplying effect that a traditional computer cannot perform. Further, the University of Adelaide has collaborated with some of the coveted universities including the University of South Wales and University of Cambridge to work on building cutting edge quantum optics. Although many scientists are already working to make a breakthrough research in this area, the current progress is not sufficient to build a sophisticated computing system based on quantum computing.    

According to eminent scientist Dr. Tattamanzi, quantum computing can equip humans with the ability to control electrons at the atomic level, thereby overthrowing old physics principles and bringing a new paradigm in the field of physics. He also goes on to say that although humans have been controlling the flow of electrons ever since electricity was invented, we have not been able to gain its control at the micro level. Emphasizing on their goal in this arena, Tattamanzi says that the aim is to streamline the flow of electrons in a manner that is reliable and consistent while allowing them to invent a realistic quantum computing.

In another quantum computing-focussed development, scientists from Tong University in China claim to have successfully invented the most sophisticated quantum chip which promises to take quantum computing in a new direction. Since then, many organizations including the behemoths like Google has been competing to stepping up their efforts in quantum computing space. At the core, what differentiates a quantum computer from a run-of-the-mill super computer is less errors and more processing speed.

IBM is at the forefront of research in quantum computing and is continuously working to overcome the predicaments existing in this area. According to Dario Gill, who leads the AI and quantum computing wing at IBM, recently said his team is very close to a breakthrough research after having developed a prototype of a processor with 50 qubits. He further adds that this is the first time IBM has invented a quantum computing machine at such scale.

Although quantum computing is still in its evolutionary phase, technology leaders have made a remarkable progress in the field of quantum computing. More companies from different industries are collaborating to explore opportunities in the world of quantum computing.