Just a few years ago, the consensus on a timeline to large-scale, reliable quantum computers was 20 years to never. This was in spite of the success that DWave systems had with adiabatic quantum computing systems.
“Nobody is saying never anymore,” says Scott Totzke, the chief executive of Isara Corp., a Canadian firm developing encryption resistant to quantum computers, which threaten to crack current methods. “We are in the very, very early days, but we are well past the science-fiction point.”
Google, IBM and some other companies have been spending tens of millions of dollars per year on quantum computing projects for several years.
Quantum Computing projects are kicking into overdrive with tens of billions of dollars being spent by the Chinese government, Alibaba, Baidu, Softbank Vision Fund, Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and others.
50-60 universal qubit quantum computers should be more powerful than any regular computer for a class of problems like optimization and code breaking.
The quantum computing systems that are currently in the performance lead are various types of superconducting based technology.
To keep costs lower these systems used older and cheaper lithography is about 200 nanometers. These are far from the leading edge of silicon lithography at 7 to 10 nanometers.
Tens of billions of funding should see rapid adaptation and acceleration of superconductor electronics to smaller lithography.
There are various roadmaps for more scalable quantum computer technologies.
There are quantum algorithms that accelerate problems in machine learning, optimization, quantum chemistry simulation and database searches.
There are online lists of quantum algorithms.
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.
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7 thoughts on “Quantum computers should see rapid progress to millions of qubits”
This looks promising…but until one of these things does something significant that: a) Hasn’t been done before; and b) can be talked about without violating national security, then I’m going to say that it is a bit early. One example would be designing a gasoline-powered automobile that could comfortably seat 5 average-sized Americans that can get 150 MPG. Another would be to discover/create a reliable room-temperature superconductor that can be manufactured cheaply enough to be used within 2 years of discovery to save enormous amounts of electricity that are currently (no pun intended) lost in power lines. Both of those things would be extraordinarily profitable, and extraordinarily beneficial for humanity – so they’d have been done by now using conventional computers if it was possible. Other possibilities: develop an anti-ballistic missile system that is 99.9% reliable; cure multiple common forms of cancer; come up with some drug or treatment that extends human life by 50 years (or visibly and measurably reverses aging in a living person).
I really liked the way you highlighted some really important and significant points. In this post you say good things come in small packages. Thanks for sharing.
Living in advanced world we solve different problem and for making it right we need new technologies. We all should update our computer because every day we have a lot of new releases of program and it becomes more faster. For the sake of speed I changed my computer too for this one https://datatechcomputer.com/ibm-iseries-servers/ibm-8286-41a-iseries-power8-server-epx0-6-core/ Because my previous was too slow and I can’t work on it. I guess quantum computer could make our life better.
What are the killer apps again? Is it encryption & decryption?
What are the killer apps again? Is it encryption & decryption?”
What are the killer apps of a classical computer? Calculation? Don’t underestimate what tasks could be carried out on a quantum machine.
What I want to read is a story where a quantum computer solve some problem that a classic computer couldn’t. Until then I say “Don’t believe the hype.”
Maybe classic computer can solve the same problem, but it would take a million years, which really means never, because it would burn all the coal on Earth or break after 100 years.
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