Quantum physics does indeed offer some intriguing ideas about how fiber optic data links, the Internet’s backbone, could be made more capacious and secure. New ways to handle individual or small groups of photons could allow existing fiber optics to carry more data, for example (see “A Quantum Communications Switch”). Prototype systems that use quantum properties of light to create unbreakably secure communications links (see “Quantum Cryptography for the Masses”) might be made more practical, allowing them to become widespread.
As for the prospect of computers based entirely on quantum computing, Kouzmine says it is distant, despite the claims of the Canadian start up company, D-Wave Systems. “It’s a tough question if you talk about general purpose computing,” he says. “Quantum computing is sort of our ultimate goal, but we try to focus on what exists today. We invest in companies that already have a product first customers and a team.”
However, Kouzmine adds that more limited applications of quantum computing are conceivable. “Think about quantum calculators. You don’t need to build a huge, complex device to take advantage of image recognition or code breaking.”
SOURCE – Technology Review