The amount of online data is rapidly increasing, which means the time required to process this information is also increasing. Internet of Things (IoT) that runs on algorithms now requires more cloud storage to be faster than ever, unlimited computing power and an endless amount of… (Featured image is intended for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from https://www.flickr.com/photos/ibm_research_zurich/40786969122)
The amount of online data is rapidly increasing, which means the time required to process this information is also increasing. Internet of Things (IoT) that runs on algorithms now requires more cloud storage to be faster than ever, unlimited computing power and an endless amount of storage.
As technology keeps growing exponentially, it allows computers to get smaller and more powerful simultaneously. But this process also has a physical limit. Computer parts are reaching atomic size, leading to the rise of Quantum Computers. Quantum computing provides massively parallel processing, atomic-level storage, and security.
To understand the quantum nature, consider a transistor in a computer as a switch which blocks or allows the flow of electrons (bits). Today, a typical scale for a transistor is 14 nanometers, which is about 4,000 times smaller than a red blood cell. As transistors shrink to atomic size, bits may just cross a blocked passage via a process called quantum tunneling.
To solve the problem of quantum tunneling, scientists are leveraging quantum properties to build quantum computers. Similar to bits that represent information in a general computer, QuBits represent information in a quantum computer. However, unlike bits, which can either be 0 or 1, QuBits can exist in both 0 and 1 state at the same time. This property is called superposition, which can be explained very well by understanding the magnetic field and spin properties of a photon. Just the way photons get vertically or horizontally polarized on passing through a polarizer, a QuBit takes a possible state upon being passed via a filter or a transistor. This superposition allows a quantum computer to process millions of calculations in the time taken by a standard desktop PC to perform a single calculation. Therefore, a 30 QuBit computer could theoretically equal the power of a modern supercomputer that runs at 10 teraflops, whereas a modern desktop PC runs at only a few gigaflops.
The world of quantum computers opens a whole new world of possible applications such as traffic modulation by identifying the fastest route to reach a destination in real-time, meteorology by analyzing data and accurately forecasting weather conditions, drug development by evaluating interactions between molecules, proteins, and chemicals and identifying the efficacy of treatment. Patent application US20080125977A1 discloses the use of quantum system identification and quantum control techniques for medical diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Another patent CN103312498A discloses an efficient method of generating cryptographic hashes using quantum computers.
However, development of such high-end quantum computers seems to be a challenge. Research in the related industry is focused on reducing “Purcell Loss” to make Quantum Computing more efficient. Patent publication US20140264284A1 discloses a method for frequency separation between QuBits and chip mode to reduce Purcell Loss. Another patent US9812836B1 filed by National Security Agency and titled “Reversible computation with flux solitons” discloses interfacing methods between multiple superconducting QuBits.
Quantum computing requires a quantum of accessories to be accessible by the world. A fully functional quantum computer can be operational at a physical temperature of 0.02 Kelvin, which is very close to absolute Kelvin – the lowest temperature possible. As of now, quantum computers are very unstable, which makes testing it near impossible until it is stabilized. Once this is achieved, unimaginable applications will be developed as the hardware continues to evolve and create new opportunities. The wait seems worthwhile!
(Featured image is intended for representational purpose alone and has been sourced from https://www.flickr.com/photos/ibm_research_zurich/40786969122)