Some researchers are predicting that the market for “universal” quantum computers that do everything a supercomputer can do plus everything a supercomputer can not do — in a chip that fits in the palm of your hand — are on the verge of emerging. This would mean “quantum dominance”. This is where quantum computers exceed classical computing systems. What happens after quantum dominance ? Quantum computer power scales far more than classical computer systems. Doubling the qubits can bring thousands to millions of times more processing speed and capability.
The specialized qubit processors from Dwave are at 2000 qubits and they double the qubits every year. Dwave is also looking to make a substantial redesign to their systems.
Schoelkopf, Quantum C ircuits (Researchers from Yale) and Rigetti’s group (University of California at Berkeley) are trying to develop 50-100 qubit universal quantum computers. Such computers could outperform supercomputers.
The cumulative investment in quantum computers is less than $1 billion per year.
According to the latest data, $514.7 in revenue are returned for every dollar of HPC invested. Supercomputers can drive technological progress and economic gains. This is from things like better planes and other technology from simulations.
It would not just be venture capitalists opening their wallets with a few billion to invest. Nations would not just “back up the truck with money”. China and other countries will back up container ships full of money to pursue larger and faster quantum computers once it is clear that quantum systems were clearly superior to classical computers.
The “Quantum Race” that we are seeing now will look like tribal wars compared to World War 2 in terms of the technological and economic resources put into play.
Quantum computers are already helping to improve machine learning. Universal Quantum computers that would drive high performance computing would drive artificial intelligence as well.
Currently quantum computing chips are using older, lagging lithography capabilities.
After quantum dominance, their would be attempts to leverage the latest lithography capabilities. Superconducting materials research would also get focus.
Scaling from 50-100 qubits to multiple Quantum Manhattan projects for millions to billions of qubits in effort to leapfrog to Quantum HPC. (high performance computing)
Quantum technology approaches with more scaling possibilities would be pursued.
It would be a broad spectrum approach to try to create the most powerful quantum systems.
It would not just be narrow technological dominance but it would tie into geopolitical and economic power.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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