Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quantum Computers with More Processing Power

video courtesy of USAToday

Computer World has reported a news about Google teamed up with scientists of the University of California-Santa Barbara to build cutting-edge processors that raise the quantum computing business to previously unreached heights. The revolutionary artificial intelligence (AI) product is a new computer system that could perform multiple calculations simultaneously. This means a vastly increased processing power.

Quantum Computers
Credits: Google/UC Santa Barbara

According to an announcement from Computer World, the Google-UCSB partnership is Google’s second major foray into the quantum computing field.  When the D-Wave Systems released in 2013 the $15-million D-Wave 2, its first “self-proclaimed” quantum computer, Google bought one, and launched a new lab to test the device's powers.  Google’s lab subsequently announced a discovery that provided strong evidence for quantum effects in the computer.

The Google-UCSB group will collaborate with D-Wave scientists, experimenting on an upgraded machine with a 1,000-qubit processor.  Earlier this year, the UCSB team published a paper in Nature featuring a five-qubit array. It showed advances in correcting certain errors that can occur during the fragile conditions that create quantum effects, according to the Journal. It was hoped that the new project will yield technology that “will not lose its memory” as fast as earlier hardware.

Here’s the report from Computer World on the marvelous uses of the new Quantum Computing Processors:  

“Quantum computers aim to use properties of subatomic particles to perform calculations millions of times faster than conventional computers. The way these new computers will work is radically different.  While computers today use electrical transistors to represent binary code (a digital language where strings of ones and zeros combine to create commands that the machine will follow), quantum computers will use qubits-‒or quantum bits-‒which rely on laws of quantum mechanics to achieve multiple states at once. The ability to hold multiple states at the same time is an aspect of quantum mechanics called superposition. This notion holds that any physical object, such as an atom or electron—what quantum computers use to store information—can exist in all of its theoretical states simultaneously. This could take parallel computing to new heights.”

Scientists with the group believe the combination of the Google researchers with those of UCSB Martinis will make pioneering advances in quantum control and quantum information processing.  The journal Nature is quoted as saying: “With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learning from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture.”

If the Google-UCSB team succeeds in makings this breakthrough, it will transform into reality what has been considered a field that remains in the realm of science fiction.  UCSB wrote: A fully functional quantum computer is one of the holy grails of physics.” 

This only shows that experts in artificial intelligence continue to break the boundaries on the functions of computers, which mean more ease and sophistication for us computer users around the world. The production of quantum computers enhances our numbers-crunching ability, a big leap forward from the current systems which only allow us to compute one set of figures at a time.

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