Quantum computers are beginning to emerge in different industry and research labs such as :IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Google, etc. Governments are pouring funding into quantum computing research across different countries. The number of quantum bits (or qubits) in these machines appear to increase each time a new prototype is announced. Is it only a matter of time until and unless we have these powerful machines at the end of our fingertips.
Well, In the time-scale of events, we are probably still in the vacuum-tube era equivalent for Quantum computers. Systems researchers known this the “noisy intermediate-scale quantum” (NISQ, pronounced the same as “RISC” and “CISC”) era, wherever quantum processors are starting to show promise for computational superiority for certain issues, however operate in a very noisy regime that’s very susceptible to errors. In order to reach the wide-scale adoption that classical computers enjoy, a lot more innovations & techniques need to be developed & implemented across the stack, similar to the classical computing evolution.
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At a similar time, quantum computers will possibly not replace classic machines, however instead work alongside classical computers to accelerate specific applications. This is analogous to how GPUs today are commonly used to accelerate graphics & pixel manipulations.
To that end, quantum computing hardware is commonly referred to as QPUs, or quantum processing units, and are/will be controlled by a host processor like a CPU. In fact, a quantum algorithm typically involves classic pre- or post-processing, and will need to be architected in such a way to operate as a co-processor with the classical systems.
Just as scientists & practitioners came together to lead us into our current Information Age, they must do so again for quantum computers. This time, however, rather than harnessing & taming the classical properties of electrons, the challenge is to control the quantum properties of our universe & leverage that for computing.
This quantum journey will be taking us back even earlier in the Twenty-century, back to the intellectual disagreements between Albert Einstein & Niels Bohr about the nature of the physical world we all live .
DR:Quantum Computing Details in 2 Minutes…
Modern computers use only Two states- on and off (1 & 0). We have exploited those capabilities to make logical operations at large-scale, where modern processors can execute billions of such operations in second.
Quantum computing shifts the paradigm & works on the principles of quantum mechanics, where states are no longer binary & can be 1 AND 0 at the same time. The study of quantum computing is in the very early stages, & calculations we can make today are unstable & prone to errors. It is believed that in the coming years & decades, quantum computing capabilities will far outpace what we can do with “classical” computers, particularly to solve certain computational problems which are very challenging with today’s processors.
But, of course, that’s barely grasping the basics.