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615 Million Euros Awarded to Quantum Delta NL for Quantum Research in the Netherlands – HPCwire

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on 615 Million Euros Awarded to Quantum Delta NL for Quantum Research in the Netherlands – HPCwire

April 9, 2021 Quantum Delta NL, a research programme in which Leiden University participates, has been awarded 615 million euros from the National Growth Fund to help develop the Netherlands into a top player in quantum technology. This has been announced at the presentation of the honoured proposals in The Hague.

Quantum Delta NL is a cooperation of companies and research institutes in which the research has been organised in five hubs at the universities of Delft, Leiden, Amsterdam, Twente and Eindhoven.

The research groupApplied Quantum Algorithms (aQa)at the Leiden institutes for physics and computer science develops quantum algorithms for chemical and material science applications, in cooperation with Google, Shell, Volkswagen and Total.

Great enthusiasm

Research into quantum computing has been going on for twenty years, bringing real world application ever closer, says Carlo Beenakker, professor in Theoretical Physics and Deputy Chair of Quantum Delta NL. I seegreat enthusiasm in my students to apply abstract concepts from quantum physics to the solution of practical problems. This is the revolutionary technology of their generation.

The goal of aQa is to make quantum algorithms practically applicable, pertaining to questions ofsocietal and economical relevance. We cooperate narrowly with our industrial partners to render these large investments as useful as possible, says computer science researcher Vedran Dunjko. Recently, he published in the journal Natureabout artificial intelligence implemented through quantum computers.

Quantum technology

Quantum Delta NLs ambition is to position the Netherlands as a Silicon Valley for quantum technology in Europe during the coming seven years. The programme provides for the further development of the quantum computer and the quantum internet, which will be open for end users in business and societal sectors, including education.

It aims for a flourishing ecosystem where talent is fostered at all levels, and where cooperation happens over institutional borders to develop a new European high-tech industry.

Source: Leiden University

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Quantum Computing Revolution: Is it the next big thing? – Analytics Insight

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum Computing Revolution: Is it the next big thing? – Analytics Insight

Quantum computing has the ability to transform the world in the near future. Experts have extensively predicted that quantum computers could solve certain kinds of issues much faster than conventional computers, particularly those involving a large number of variables and potential scenarios, such as simulations or optimization concerns.

Quantum computingis a field of research that focuses on developing computational technology based on quantum mechanics concepts, which describes the origin and behavior of matter and energy at the quantum (atomic and subatomic) levels. It has the ability to dramatically increase computational power, ushering in a new age incomputertechnology.

Quantum computers have the capability to revolutionize computing by allowing for the solution of previously unsolvable problems. Although no quantum computer has yet been built to perform calculations that a classical computer cannot, substantial progress is being made. A few large corporations and small start-ups now have working non-error-corrected quantum computers with tens of thousands of qubits, and some of these are also available to the general public through the cloud. Quantum simulators are also making progress in areas as diverse as molecular energetics and many-body physics.

According to IEEE Spectrum,Computer scientists and engineers have started down a roadthat could one day lead to a momentous transition: from deterministic computing systems, based on classical physics, to quantum computing systems, which exploit the weird and wacky probabilistic rules of quantum physics. Many commentators have pointed out that if engineers are able to fashion practical quantum computers, there will be a tectonic shift in the sort of computations that become possible.

But thats a big if.

Probabilistic computing will enable future systemsto understand and function with the uncertainties fundamentalin naturaldata, allowing us to develop computers capable of comprehending, forecasting, and making decisions.

Intel Newsroom mentioned that,Research into probabilistic computing is not a new area of study, but the improvements in high-performance computing and deep learning algorithms may lead probabilistic computing into a new era. In the next few years, we expect that research in probabilistic computing will lead to significant improvements in the reliability, security, serviceability and performance of AI systems, including hardware designed specifically for probabilistic computing. These advancements are critical to deploying applications into the real world from smart homes to smart cities.

To accelerate our work in probabilistic computing, Intel is increasing its research investment in probabilistic computing and we are working with partners to pursue this goal.

Also, Purdue University researchers have announced that they are working on a probabilistic computer that could cross the void between classical and quantum computing to solve issues more efficiently in areas including drug discovery, security and safety, financial services, data processing, and supply chain management.

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IBM, Cleveland Clinic Team Up on Quantum Computing and a Healthcare Discovery Accelerator – Morning Brew

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on IBM, Cleveland Clinic Team Up on Quantum Computing and a Healthcare Discovery Accelerator – Morning Brew

In The Office, Ryan Howard bets on Ohios future as the next Silicon Valley: They call it the Silicon Prairie.

It looks like IBMs been binge-watching in quarantine, too: The company just announced a 10-year partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, centered on AI, quantum, and cloud computing.

Heres the plan: Establish the Discovery Accelerator, a research engine using emerging tech to advance healthcare and life sciences. Think: discovering new molecules and expanding knowledge on viral pathogens, treatments, and more.

That engine will be powered, in part, by a quantum computer. IBM plans to release the Q System One in 2023, and the Cleveland Clinic will be the first private-sector organization to buy and operate its own IBM quantum computer. (Right now, they can only be found in the companys own labs and data centers.)

Big picture: Cleveland Clinic gets access to pioneering healthcare research tech, and IBM gets its first major quantum computer sale...and a whole lot of exposure in the healthcare sector. The latter likely tops IBMs pros list after the disappointments of Watson, which made headlines for under-delivering in healthcare AI.

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Quantum technologies for computing, comms and imaging at Hannover Messe –

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum technologies for computing, comms and imaging at Hannover Messe –


At next week's virtual expo, Fraunhofer IOF to showcase quantum imaging system, entangled photon source; and Qu-NET optical modules.

Under this years theme of Industrial Transformation, the Hannover Messe is once again inviting (virtual) visitors to take a look at the latest technologies from the fields of industry, business and logistics. The IOF will present a complementary and comprehensive portfolio of quantum technologies.

Considering the fields of biomedicine and diagnostics, an imaging system developed at the IOF based on quantum light enables the spectral separation of the illumination of a sample and the corresponding detection on the camera.

This means that different wavelengths can be used for the exposure of a sample and the readout on the sensor. In this way, new spectral ranges can be made accessible for analysis. At the same time, the efficiency of the detection systems can be increased and the beam load for tissue images reduced.

The quantum computer is expected to trigger significant changes for business and industry, but also for society. The quantum computer makes use of quantum effects such as entangled photons. Its computing units, so-called "QuBits", can assume several states at the same time. This allows significantly faster and more efficient operations.

The IOF develops optical and precision mechanical components and systems for these next-generation computers. Among other things, laser addressing units for manipulating ions and atoms as carriers of qubits were realized at the institute during 2020.

As part of AQTION, a project under the European Union's Quantum Flagship Program, these addressing optics will be integrated into an ion trap at the University of Innsbruck, in which up to 50 ions are arranged as qubit information carriers in a later expansion stage.

Security and data sovereignty

Quantum computers will also make it necessary to rethink current communication systems. Already today, such computers challenge our information technology security because of their enormous computing power. Data can now be stored and later be encrypted with the help of more powerful computers. Therefore, new encryption technologies are needed to protect business from cyber attacks.

Generating entangled photons

A key technical component for state-of-the-art quantum communication is a stable source for generating entangled photon pairs that can be easily integrated into existing systems. An Entangled Photon Source (EPS) has been developed at the IOF.

It is designed for use in space and allows secure quantum communication via satellite network. The light source presented at the HANNOVER MESSE is representative of a series of highly specialized quantum sources adapted to the requirements of various application scenarios. They are being developed as part of the newly established network at Fraunhofer IOF for applied photonic quantum technologies.

To be universally applicable, scientific teams are working within the framework of QuNET to realize quantum communication over different distances. In Jena, optical free-beam systems are being researched for this purpose.

A special telescope platform is currently being tested, which allows a free-beam link to be established between two communication partners in a short time. The core of the system is an efficient metal mirror telescope in combination with active beam stabilization. This makes it possible to establish links within cities with distances of several hundred meters or several kilometers.

In addition, free-beam systems must be able to traverse the turbulent atmosphere without causing interference to the signal. Such disturbances can be corrected by adaptive optics.

Researchers at the IOF have developed adaptive optical modules - also known as "AO boxes" - for this purpose. An AO box, which can be used in an optical ground station or telescope, corrects turbulence-induced wavefront errors or compensates them preventively. The signal can then be measured or transmitted to a fiber network.

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QCI Expands Sales and Marketing Team to Accelerate Growth and Advance Enterprise Adoption of Quantum Computing – GlobeNewswire

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on QCI Expands Sales and Marketing Team to Accelerate Growth and Advance Enterprise Adoption of Quantum Computing – GlobeNewswire

LEESBURG, Va., April 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Quantum Computing Inc. (OTCQB: QUBT) (QCI), a leader in bridging the power of classical and quantum computing, has expanded its executive team with sales and marketing leaders that position the company for immediate and long-term growth. QCI named iconic tech sales leader, Dave Morris, as its chief revenue officer, and tech marketing veteran Rebel Brown as vice president of marketing. With these hires, the company plans to accelerate the integration of quantum into enterprise problem solving, an effort thats already well underway.

It is extremely validating for QCIs business model to attract such accomplished professionals leading our sales and marketing efforts, said Robert Liscouski, CEO of QCI. Both bring a wealth of experience with the worlds largest computing companies and most exciting startups. The combination makes them so incredibly powerful for our efforts. Equally significant, both Dave and Rebel have broken ground in new areas of software and emerging technologies like QCI is doing in quantum. We are confident that the expanded team will accelerate our growth and advance quantum computing in the enterprise ahead of industry predictions.

Dave Morris has over 20 years of success leading regional, national, and international sales strategy, business development and execution, including significant roles with Cisco Systems and Intel. He previously was chief revenue officer of Airspace Systems, Inc., a leader in the drone detection and analytics space. Dave has a proven ability to set a clear vision and deliver meaningful results. He has prepared and adapted large sales teams to drive change and exploit technology evolution, both critical elements in quantum computing.

I am excited to join a team of accomplished professionals who are blazing the path to bring real value to the business community through QCIs ready-to-run quantum software, explained Morris. I am honored to be QCIs face to the business community at this pivotal inflection in the evolution of quantum computing. It is a rare opportunity to change computing at a fundamental level and apply it to real-word business problems. I look forward to working with progressive businesses who appreciate the potential of quantum to drive competitive advantage and boost results.

Rebel Brown has helped myriad U.S. and European advanced tech companies create, enter and lead markets.She brings deep expertise in strategy, product marketing/management and positioning. Rebel has helped raise more than $500M in startup funding, launched innovative technologies in software systems, development and HPC, and supported successful exits to companies like Apple, IBM, EMC, SGI and BEA. Along the way, Rebel helped introduce Unix to the commercial marketplace, launched the first open systems management platforms and put C++ objects on the map.

Ive successfully launched some of the most advanced tech throughout my career and have never seen a shift as potentially impactful as quantum computing, said Rebel Brown. QCI has quickly established itself as the market leader in ready-to-run quantum software. Like any early market, the hardest part can be separating hype from reality. I am excited to join the QCI team because of the companys commitment to demystifying the technology, and bringing the power of quantum to all users, not just quantum scientists, through real-world solutions that improve business results today.

QCIs flagship quantum software, Qatalyst, puts the power of quantum techniques for classical computing into the hands of non-quantum experts for solving critical business problems today. Qatalyst is the first to drive computational results on any quantum or classical computer without any new programming or low-level coding, quantum experts or exorbitantly long and costly development cycles. Qatalyst is now commercially available to support the QikStart Program, QCIs initiative to accelerate the real-world use cases for quantum computing.

QCI is unique in its capability to access a variety of quantum computers, including D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti, through Amazons Braket.

To learn more about QCI and how Qatalyst can deliver results for your business today, go to

About Quantum Computing Inc. Quantum Computing Inc. (OTCQB: QUBT) (QCI) is focused on accelerating the value of quantum computing for real-world business solutions. The companys flagship product, Qatalyst, is the first software to bridge the power of classical and quantum computing, hiding complexity and empowering SMEs to solve complex computational problems today. QCIs expert team in finance, computing, security, mathematics and physics has over a century of experience with complex technologies; from leading edge supercomputing innovations, to massively parallel programming, to the security that protects nations. Connect with QCI on LinkedIn and @QciQuantum on Twitter. For more information about QCI, visit

Important Cautions Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined within Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the near future. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Quantum Computing (Company), and members of its management as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based. Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements.

The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed conditions. Statements in this press release that are not descriptions of historical facts are forward-looking statements relating to future events, and as such all forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements may contain certain forward-looking statements pertaining to future anticipated or projected plans, performance and developments, as well as other statements relating to future operations and results. Any statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be considered to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "intends," "goal," "objective," "seek," "attempt," aim to, or variations of these or similar words, identify forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in Item 1A in the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is expressly incorporated herein by reference, and other factors as may periodically be described in the Companys filings with the SEC.

Qatalyst and QikStart are trademarks of Quantum Computing Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Company Contact: Robert Liscouski, CEO Quantum Computing, Inc. +1 (703) 436-2161

Investor Relations Contact: Ron Both or Grant Stude CMA Investor Relations +1 (949) 432-7566 Email Contact

Media Relations Contact: Seth Menacker Fusion Public Relations +1 (201) 638-7561

Twophotos accompanying this announcementare available at:

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QCI Expands Sales and Marketing Team to Accelerate Growth and Advance Enterprise Adoption of Quantum Computing - GlobeNewswire

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Quantropi gathers momentum with addition of Michael Redding as Chief Technology Officer – PRNewswire

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantropi gathers momentum with addition of Michael Redding as Chief Technology Officer – PRNewswire

Cybersecurity disrupter appoints former Accenture Ventures Managing Director with exceptional take-to-market track record, prepares breakthrough product launches, eyes hyper-growth.

OTTAWA, ON, April 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Quantropi, Inc., a ground-breaking Canadian quantum-secure communication solutions provider, today announced the appointment of Michael Redding as Chief Technology Officer. In his new role, Mr. Redding will oversee Product Strategy, Engineering, Research and Development and Customer Support.

With a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton and a Master's in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern, Mr. Redding is a highly accomplished technologist, keynote speaker and market watcher with a penchant for bold ideas and game-changing results. Before joining Quantropi, he incubated and launched technology innovations for enterprises across multiple geographies and industries during 30 successful years in wide-ranging roles with Accenture. Most recently, as Managing Director and co-founder of Accenture Ventures, Mr. Redding grew a global portfolio of strategic partnerships and 38 equity investments in emerging technology startups, including in cybersecurity, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, augmented/virtual reality, blockchain, and cloud (SaaS/PaaS/IaaS). He is also a former member of the Board of Directors for the Accenture Foundation and Board Observer for startups Maana and Splice Machine.

"We could not be prouder to have Mike join our team as CTO. With burgeoning demand for future-proof privacy and security solutions, Quantropi is uniquely positioned to solve the critical global problem posed by exponential increases in quantum computing capacity," said James Nguyen, Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer. "Thanks to a patented breakthrough technology offering, our company has been able to attract significant investments and top international talent. We're thrilled to have Mike on board as we take our business to the next level."

"Simply put, I am excited to join Quantropi because of the brilliance and elegance of this novel technology, and how it secures data communications against current and future threats while dramatically improving cryptographic performance over today's standards," Mr. Redding stated. "That, as well as the energy, attitude, and ambition displayed by the company's leadership and conveyed in its corporate motto: 'Bring it on.'"

Mr. Redding will provide an early reveal of the company's go-to-market product offerings in a presentation on the Current State of the Art in Securing Networks from Quantum Threats at this season's prestigious Quantum.Tech Conference. The high-profile virtual event, where Mr. Nguyen will also be delivering a presentation, titled Digital QKD to the Rescue: Saving Tomorrow's Global Economy Today, will bring together experts across the quantum ecosystem from April 12 to 14, 2021.

Said Quantropi's Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Dr. Randy Kuang: "Quantropi is very pleased to be a Bronze Sponsor of #QT21, and is looking forward to taking the stage to demonstrate how our company's core QEEP technology powers both our flagship QiSpace cloud platform the world's first Digital QKD service, enabling the generation and distribution of pure quantum entropy over the existing Internet in Perfect Secrecy and CipherSpace, the first-ever truly quantum-secure desktop One Time Pad (OTP) file encryption/decryption application."

About Quantropi

Quantropi, Inc., is a Canadian Cybersecurity company that provides Enterprises with Quantum Secure Data Communications products for use over today's Internet with Perfect Secrecy. The company's patented QEEP technology enables quantum-secure key distribution over unlimited distances, via any communications network. Uniquely positioned in-market as the only vendor capable of delivering an easily deployable, cost-effective and an effortlessly scalable evolutionary solution to upgrade existing networks and systems to total timeless security, Quantropi's vision is to be the standard for quantum-secure data communications no matter what the future technology, or threat, may be. Bring it on.

SOURCE Quantropi Inc.

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Know about How to build a Probabilistic Computer and more! – Analytics Insight

§ April 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Know about How to build a Probabilistic Computer and more! – Analytics Insight

Probabilistic computing is one of the excellent ways to deal with the uncertainties in the data

Over the years, the world of technology has been waiting desperately for quantum computing. The fact that still remains is that quantum computers sound great as far as theory is concerned. But building practical machines is concerned with a truck load of hurdles and challenges. On the brighter side, if the engineers are able to successfully step into the world of practical quantum computers, the kind of computations performed would be taken to a different level altogether. Considering these challenges, one of the most remarkable ways that we could employ here is Probabilistic computing. It is one of the excellent ways to deal with the uncertainties in the data.

Experts believe that the technical challenges faced in case of quantum computers are so immense that it is very unlikely that general-purpose quantum computers would become available anytime in the future. Additionally, it might take anywhere between 5 to 10 years or may be even more to bring the first practical general-purpose quantum computers on line. Evidently, it is a huge investment of time. It is because of all the complications and challenges that people are inspired to delve deeper into understanding the importance and role of probability in computing systems. Late physicist Richard Feynman was confident about people accepting this and proceeding with the same about 30 years back. He believed that a probabilistic computer holds the potential to stand as a competition to quantum computers.

The base, needless to say, is a probabilistic bit. Long back, computers used a magnet with two possible directions of magnetization to store a bit. These magnets can be used to implement p-bits. A team had used the similar technique to build a probabilistic computer in 2019 with eight p-bits.

The best part about using unstable magnets as the fundamental building block is that the p-bit can be implemented using a few transistors rather than thousands of them. This feature makes it possible to build larger probabilistic computers.

Talking about the working principle of probabilistic computers, a system of p-bits evolves from an initial to a final state. Obviously, there are could be a considerable number of intermediate states. Each path has a different probability. The surprise element here is that which path is taken by the computer totally depends on the chance. To get the overall probability, you need to add together all the probabilities of all possible paths. In case of a quantum computer, it uses qubits instead of p-bits. Here, the probability is determined by adding the complex amplitudes for all the possible paths between the initial state and the final state.

Simply put, the difference between a probabilistic computer and a quantum computer is that the former adds up the probabilities whereas the latter adds complex probability amplitudes. There is yet another point to note, probabilities are positive numbers less than one whereas the probability amplitudes are complex numbers. Hence, when you add an additional path in case of quantum computing, it can cancel out an existing path. On the other hand, adding an extra path in probabilistic computers can only increase the final probability.

Another point worth noting is that the qubits carry complex amplitudes. These have to be carefully protected from the environment. A lot of attention has to be paid to the temperature thats maintained. All this hassle is eliminated in case of a probabilistic computer as it can be built with simpler technology operating at room temperature.

On the downside, you cannot deal with negative probabilities here. Thisfurther makes it suitable only for those algorithms that do not require path cancellation.

In a nutshell, probabilistic computing is one of the most effective ways to replace quantum computing.


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The EU wants to build its first quantum computer. That plan might not be ambitious enough – ZDNet

§ March 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on The EU wants to build its first quantum computer. That plan might not be ambitious enough – ZDNet

EU Commission vice president Margrethe Vestager and commissioner Thierry Breton presented a new roadmap for the next 10 years - the '2030 digital compass'.

The European Union is determined to remain a competitive player in the quantum revolution that's expected in the next decade, and has unveiled plans to step up the development of quantum technologies within the bloc before 2030.

EU Commission vice president Margrethe Vestager and commissioner Thierry Breton have presented a new roadmap for the next 10 years, the '2030 digital compass', which sets out targets for digital transformation across many different fields, in an effort to reassert the bloc's relevance in a range of technologies.

New objectives were set for quantum technologies, with the Commission targeting a first computer with quantum acceleration by 2025, paving the way for Europe to be "at the cutting edge" of quantum capabilities by 2030.

SEE: IT Data Center Green Energy Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

The ultimate goal, according to the roadmap, is for the EU to be able to develop quantum computers which are highly efficient, fully programmable and accessible from anywhere in Europe, to solve in hours what can currently be solved in hundreds of days, if not years.

Sophisticated quantum computing capabilities will be used to enable faster development of new drugs and cancer treatments, the Commission said; quantum computers will also solve highly complex optimisation problems for businesses, while helping with the design of energy-saving materials, or finding the cheapest combination of renewable sources to supply an energy grid.

Although the target is to develop the EU's first quantum computer in the next five years, the complexity of the device has not been specified. Most analysts expect that a large-scale quantum computer capable of resolving real-world problems faster than a classical device is still at least a decade away. It's likely, therefore, that the Commission is aiming for a somewhat less sophisticated device.

"It seems more likely that the quantum computer may be a noisy intermediate-scale type of quantum computer. In other words, not an all-singing-all-dancing fully fault-tolerant quantum computer, but a smaller, noisier quantum computer optimised to perform a specific computing task," Andrew Fearnside, senior associate specialising in quantum technologies at intellectual property firm Mewburn Ellis, tells ZDNet.

"That seems far more achievable to me, and also more deliverable and, therefore, more likely to show quantum-sceptical technology investors and industry that quantum computing can truly improve their business."

Alongside targets that are specific to quantum computing, the Commission also announced the goal to develop an ultra-secure quantum communication infrastructure that will span the whole of the EU. Quantum networks will significantly increase the security of communications and the storage of sensitive data assets, while also keeping critical communication infrastructure safe.

The EU's interest in quantum technologies is not new: the Commission launched a 10-year quantum flagship in 2018, which, with a 1 billion ($1.20 billion) budget, was described as one of the bloc's most ambitious research initiatives.

Since then, individual member states have started their own quantum programs: Germany, in particular, has launched a 2 billion ($2.4 billion) funding program for the promotion of quantum technologies, far surpassing many other nations; but France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland are all increasingly trying to establish themselves as hubs for quantum startups and research.

This has established Europe as a strong leader, with a high concentration of quantum-relevant talent and innovative quantum startups. However, the bloc's best efforts, in the context of a fast-moving quantum race,have not always been enough.

"When it comes to operationalising quantum technology knowledge, Europe is falling behind the US and China to create IP, secure VC funding, and establish a mature startup and industry ecosystem," Ivan Ostojic, partner at research firm McKinsey, tells ZDNet. "Europe needs to find innovative ways to accelerate the development and scaling of breakthrough applications of quantum technologies to fully capture the economic potential."

SEE: 5G and edge computing: How it will affect the enterprise in the next five years

Since the US signed in the National Quantum Initiative Act in 2018, which came with a $1.2 billion budget, researchers and businesses across the Atlantic have flourished; the country is widely considered the biggest competitor in quantum, and has already established a mature ecosystem for the technology.

China, for its part, has a long-established interest in quantum technologies. Earlier this week, in fact, the Chinese government revealed itseconomic roadmap for the next five years, which features aggressive objectives for quantum, including the development of a long-distance and high-speed quantum communications system, and building up computers that can support several hundred qubits.

Although the EU Commission's new roadmap reflects a desire to establish the bloc as a leading global power in quantum technologies, Ostojic argues that without a well-defined strategy, it will be difficult for Europe to compete against other nations.

"The question is if the strategy is limited to the creation of quantum computing assets, or if it includes a full ecosystem," he says. "There are critical areas to be considered across the entire value chain, from cooling technologies through quantum analytics and software to industry applications. Such a strategy should also include an answer on how to boost competitiveness from education through IP creation, company creation, funding, and industry partnerships."

Alongside the objectives it sets for quantum technologies, the Commission's roadmap lays out some aggressive milestones for the bloc in the next decade always with a vision to establish the EU as a leading player on the international scene.

SEE: BMW explores quantum computing to boost supply chain efficiencies

According to the document, the coronvirus crisis has highlighted Europe's "vulnerabilities" in the digital space, and the bloc's increased reliance on non-EU based technologies. The Commission aims, for example, to double the weight of European microprocessor production in the global market to reach a 20% share by 2030, up from the European semiconductor industry's current 10% share.

Similarly, the Commission highlighted that much of the data produced in Europe is stored and processed outside of the bloc, which means the EU needs to strengthen its own cloud infrastructure and capacities. By 2030, the Commission hopes that 10,000 secure edge nodes will be deployed to allow data processing at the edge of the network.

Cloud technologies have been a sticking point in the EU for many years. To resist the dominance of US-based hyperscalers, such as Microsoft and AWS, the bloc has been working on a European cloud provider dubbed GAIA-X, which launched last year, butis showing little promise of success.

The Commission's new roadmap suggests that the EU is still actively willing to claim the bloc's digital sovereignty in the face of increasing international competition. Commissioner Thierry Breton said: "In the post-pandemic world, this is how we will shape together a resilient and digitally sovereign Europe. This is Europe's Digital Decade."

The next few months will see the targets laid out in the roadmap debated and discussed, before an official 'digital compass' is adopted at the end of 2021. Then, the Commission proposes carrying out an annual review of each member states' performance in meeting the targets to keep track of the bloc's progress.

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Quantum Mechanics, the Chinese Room Experiment and the Limits of Understanding – Scientific American

§ March 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum Mechanics, the Chinese Room Experiment and the Limits of Understanding – Scientific American

Like great art, great thought experiments have implications unintended by their creators. Take philosopher John Searles Chinese room experiment. Searle concocted it to convince us that computers dont really think as we do; they manipulate symbols mindlessly, without understanding what they are doing.

Searle meant to make a point about the limits of machine cognition. Recently, however, the Chinese room experiment has goaded me into dwelling on the limits of human cognition. We humans can be pretty mindless too, even when engaged in a pursuit as lofty as quantum physics.

Some background. Searle first proposed the Chinese room experiment in 1980. At the time, artificial intelligence researchers, who have always been prone to mood swings, were cocky. Some claimed that machines would soon pass the Turing test, a means of determining whether a machine thinks.

Computer pioneer Alan Turing proposed in 1950 that questions be fed to a machine and a human. If we cannot distinguish the machines answers from the humans, then we must grant that the machine does indeed think. Thinking, after all, is just the manipulation of symbols, such as numbers or words, toward a certain end.

Some AI enthusiasts insisted that thinking, whether carried out by neurons or transistors, entails conscious understanding. Marvin Minsky espoused this strong AI viewpoint when I interviewed him in 1993. After defining consciousness as a record-keeping system, Minsky asserted that LISP software, which tracks its own computations, is extremely conscious, much more so than humans. When I expressed skepticism, Minsky called me racist.

Back to Searle, who found strong AI annoying and wanted to rebut it. He asks us to imagine a man who doesnt understand Chinese sitting in a room. The room contains a manual that tells the man how to respond to a string of Chinese characters with another string of characters. Someone outside the room slips a sheet of paper with Chinese characters on it under the door. The man finds the right response in the manual, copies it onto a sheet of paper and slips it back under the door.

Unknown to the man, he is replying to a question, like What is your favorite color?, with an appropriate answer, like Blue. In this way, he mimics someone who understands Chinese even though he doesnt know a word. Thats what computers do, too, according to Searle. They process symbols in ways that simulate human thinking, but they are actually mindless automatons.

Searles thought experiment has provoked countless objections. Heres mine. The Chinese room experiment is a splendid case of begging the question (not in the sense of raising a question, which is what most people mean by the phrase nowadays, but in the original sense of circular reasoning). The meta-question posed by the Chinese Room Experiment is this: How do we know whether any entity, biological or non-biological, has a subjective, conscious experience?

When you ask this question, you are bumping into what I call the solipsism problem. No conscious being has direct access to the conscious experience of any other conscious being. I cannot be absolutely sure that you or any other person is conscious, let alone that a jellyfish or smartphone is conscious. I can only make inferences based on the behavior of the person, jellyfish or smartphone.

Now, I assume that most humans, including those of you reading these words, are conscious, as I am. I also suspect that Searle is probably right, and that an intelligent program like Siri only mimics understanding of English. It doesnt feel like anything to be Siri, which manipulates bits mindlessly. Thats my guess, but I cant know for sure, because of the solipsism problem.

Nor can I know what its like to be the man in the Chinese room. He may or may not understand Chinese; he may or may not be conscious. There is no way of knowing, again, because of the solipsism problem. Searles argument assumes that we can know whats going on, or not going on, in the mans mind, and hence, by implication, whats going on or not in a machine. His flawed initial assumption leads to his flawed, question-begging conclusion.

That doesnt mean the Chinese room experiment has no value. Far from it. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy calls it the most widely discussed philosophical argument in cognitive science to appear since the Turing Test. Searles thought experiment continues to pop up in my thoughts. Recently, for example, it nudged me toward a disturbing conclusion about quantum mechanics, which Ive been struggling to learn over the last year or so.

Physicists emphasize that you cannot understand quantum mechanics without understanding its underlying mathematics. You should have, at a minimum, a grounding in logarithms, trigonometry, calculus (differential and integral) and linear algebra. Knowing Fourier transforms wouldnt hurt.

Thats a lot of math, especially for a geezer and former literature major like me. I was thus relieved to discover Q Is for Quantum by physicist Terry Rudolph. He explains superposition, entanglement and other key quantum concepts with a relatively simple mathematical system, which involves arithmetic, a little algebra and lots of diagrams with black and white balls falling into and out of boxes.

Rudolph emphasizes, however, that some math is essential. Trying to grasp quantum mechanics without any math, he says, is like having van Goghs Starry Night described in words to you by someone who has only seen a black and white photograph. One that a dog chewed.

But heres the irony. Mastering the mathematics of quantum mechanics doesnt make it easier to understand and might even make it harder. Rudolph, who teaches quantum mechanics and co-founded a quantum-computer company, says he feels cognitive dissonance when he tries to connect quantum formulas to sensible physical phenomena.

Indeed, some physicists and philosophers worry that physics education focuses too narrowly on formulas and not enough on what they mean. Philosopher Tim Maudlin complains in Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory that most physics textbooks and courses do not present quantum mechanics as a theory, that is, a description of the world; instead, they present it as a recipe, or set of mathematical procedures, for accomplishing certain tasks.

Learning the recipe can help you predict the results of experiments and design microchips, Maudlin acknowledges. But if a physics student happens to be unsatisfied with just learning these mathematical techniques for making predictions and asks instead what the theory claims about the physical world, she or he is likely to be met with a canonical response: Shut up and calculate!

In his book, Maudlin presents several attempts to make sense of quantum mechanics, including the pilot-wave and many-worlds models. His goal is to show that we can translate the Schrdinger equation and other formulas into intelligible accounts of whats happening in, say, the double-slit experiment. But to my mind, Maudlins ruthless examination of the quantum models subverts his intention. Each model seems preposterous in its own way.

Pondering the plight of physicists, Im reminded of an argument advanced by philosopher Daniel Dennett in From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Dennett elaborates on his long-standing claim that consciousness is overrated, at least when it comes to doing what we need to do to get through a typical day. We carry out most tasks with little or no conscious attention.

Dennett calls this competence without comprehension. Adding insult to injury, Dennett suggests that we are virtual zombies. When philosophers refer to zombies, they mean not the clumsy, grunting cannibals of The Walking Dead but creatures that walk and talk like sentient humans but lack inner awareness.

When I reviewed Dennetts book, I slammed him for downplaying consciousness and overstating the significance of unconscious cognition. Competence without comprehension may apply to menial tasks like brushing your teeth or driving a car but certainly not to science and other lofty intellectual pursuits. Maybe Dennett is a zombie, but Im not! That, more or less, was my reaction.

But lately Ive been haunted by the ubiquity of competence without comprehension. Quantum physicists, for example, manipulate differential equations and matrices with impressive competenceenough to build quantum computers!but no real understanding of what the math means. If physicists end up like information-processing automatons, what hope is there for the rest of us? After all, our minds are habituation machines, designed to turn even complex taskslike being a parent, husband or teacherinto routines that we perform by rote, with minimal cognitive effort.

The Chinese room experiment serves as a metaphor not only for physics but also for the human condition. Each of us sits alone within the cell of our subjective awareness. Now and then we receive cryptic messages from the outside world. Only dimly comprehending what we are doing, we compose responses, which we slip under the door. In this way, we manage to survive, even though we never really know what the hell is happening.

Further Reading:

Is the Schrdinger Equation True?

Will Artificial Intelligence Ever Live Up to Its Hype?

Can Science Illuminate Our Inner Dark Matter

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Quantum Mechanics, the Chinese Room Experiment and the Limits of Understanding - Scientific American

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In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion – CNBC

§ March 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 ‘frontier’ technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion – CNBC

GUANGZHOU, China China is looking to boost research into what it calls "frontier technology" including quantum computing and semiconductors, as it competes with the U.S. for supremacy in the latest innovations.

In its five-year development plan, the 14th of its kind, Beijing said it would make "science and technology self-reliance and self-improvement a strategic pillar for national development," according to a CNBC translation.

Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday that China would increase research and development spending by more than 7% per year between 2021 and 2025, in pursuit of "major breakthroughs" in technology.

China's technology champions such as Huawei and SMIC have been targeted by U.S. sanctions as tensions between Beijing and Washington have ramped up in the past few years.

As such, China has concentrated on boosting its domestic expertise in areas it sees as strategically important, such as semiconductors. And now it has laid out seven "frontier technologies" that it will prioritize not just for the next five years, but beyond too.

China plans to focus on specialized chip development for AI applications and developing so-called open source algorithms. Open source technology is usually developed by one entity and licensed by other companies.

There will also be an emphasis on machine learning in areas such as decision making. Machine learning is the development of AI programs trained on vast amounts of data. The program "learns" as it is fed more data.

AI has been a key field for Chinese companies and the central government over the last few years. Major companies such as Alibaba and Baidu have been investing in the technology.

China and the U.S. are competing for AI dominance. A group of experts chaired by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said China could soon replace the U.S. as the world's "AI superpower."

Semiconductors are a critical area for China and one it has invested a lot in over the past few years but the country has struggled to catch up to the U.S., Taiwan and South Korea.

The problem is the complexity of the semiconductor supply chain. Taiwan's TSMC and South Korea's Samsung are the two most advanced chip manufacturers but they rely on tools from the U.S. and Europe.

Washington has put SMIC, China's biggest chip manufacturer, on an export blacklist called the Entity List. SMIC cannot get its hands on American technology. And the U.S. has reportedly pushed to stop Dutch company ASML from shipping a key tool that could help SMIC catch up to rivals.

Since China doesn't have the companies that can design and make the tools that its chip manufacturers require, it relies on companies from other countries. This is something China wants to change.

In its five-year plan, China says it will focus on research and development in integrated circuit design tools, key equipment and key materials.

Chips are incredibly important because they go into many of the devices we use such as smartphones but are also important for other industries.

China plans to research areas such as how to stop diseases of the brain.

But it also says that it plans to look into "brain-inspired computing" as well as "brain-computer fusion technology," according to a CNBC translation. The five-year plan did not elaborate on what that could look like.

China laid out seven "frontier" technologies in its 14th Five Year Plan. These are areas that China will focus research on and include semiconductors and brain-computer fusion.

Yuichiro Chino | Moment | Getty Images

However, such work is already underway in the U.S. at Elon Musk's company Neuralink. Musk is working on implantable brain-chip interfaces to connect humans and computers.

With the outbreak of the coronavirus last year, biotechnology has grown in importance.

China says it will focus on "innovative vaccines" and "research on biological security."

China's research will concentrate on understanding the progression of cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic diseases.

The government also says that it will research some "cutting-edge" treatment technologies such as regenerative medicine. This involves medicine that can regrow or repair damaged cells, tissues and organs.

China says it will also be looking at key technologies in the prevention and treatment of major transmissible diseases.

Space exploration has been a top priority for China recently. Beijing said it will focus on research into the "origin and evolution of the universe," exploration of Mars as well as deep sea and polar research.

In December, a Chinese spacecraft returned to Earth carrying rocks from the moon. It was the first time China has launched a spacecraft from an extraterrestrial body and the first time it has collected moon samples.

And in July, China launched a mission to Mars called Tianwen -1.

CNBC's Iris Wang contributed to this report.


In battle with U.S., China to focus on 7 'frontier' technologies from chips to brain-computer fusion - CNBC

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Europe aims to produce 20% of world’s semiconductor and build its first quantum computer – gizmochina

§ March 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Europe aims to produce 20% of world’s semiconductor and build its first quantum computer – gizmochina

The European Union seeks to grow its presence in the semiconductor industry. It aims to produce 20 percent of the global output of cutting edge advanced semiconductors by the end of this decade, with the plans also including its first quantum computer in five years.

According to a Reuters report, the move from the EU arrives as a part of its efforts to reduce its dependence on non European technologies. The EU plan titled 2030 Digital Compass arrives after the pandemic exposed the reliance of the union on key technologies owned by Chinese and American based companies. In the plan, the EU emphasized the importance of semiconductors, which are used in a wide range of industries and fields.

Semiconductors are used in connected cars, smartphones, IoT devices, and high performance computers, and artificial intelligence fields as well. The news also arrived as the world is suffering from one of the worst shortages of semiconductors, which has even led to automobile makers having to halt production due to lack of chips. As per the document from the EU, It is our proposed level of ambition that by 2030 the production of cutting-edge and sustainable semiconductors in Europe including processors is at least 20% of world production in value.

In the plan, the EU also recommended investing in quantum technologies, saying that these could be a game changer in developing new medicines and even speed up genome sequencing. The document also added that It is our proposed level of ambition that by 2025, Europe will have the first computer with quantum acceleration paving the way for Europe to be at the cutting edge of quantum capabilities by 2030.


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Fujitsu Launches Data-Driven Platform in Joint Project with 9 Universities and 2 Research Institutes – HPCwire

§ March 10th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Fujitsu Launches Data-Driven Platform in Joint Project with 9 Universities and 2 Research Institutes – HPCwire

TOKYO, March 10, 2021 Fujitsu today announced the completion of its Data-Driven Social Creation Platform to contribute to the realization of the Japanese governments Society 5.0 concept, which presents a vision of a new, data-intensive society. The new platform commenced operations on March 9, 2021, and will be jointly operated by 9 universities and 2 research institutes in Japan.

The new platform was installed in March 2021 in the Kashiwa II Campus Research Building of the University of Tokyo. In collaboration with the Academic Information Network SINET operated by the National Institute of Informatics (NII), the new platform will provide a wide range of computing resources and data collection, storage, and analysis functions to universities and research institutions throughout Japan.

The Data-Driven Social Creation Platform consists of 368 next generation Fujitsu Server PRIMERGY CX2550 units equipped with the latest CPU and 40 units of the next generation model of Fujitsu Server PRIMERGY GX2570 equipped with high-end GPUs, as well as a storage system with a total of 27 petabytes storage capacity, optimized for high-speed processing and big data utilization.

Fujitsu will continue to support leading-edge research leveraging big data at academic institutions globally.


In recent years, data has become an important asset in society, and a growing need exists for high-performance data platforms that can aggregate data generated in various places and acquire new knowledge through sophisticated analysis. To realize the data-intensive society that the Society 5.0 aims to achieve, the 9 universities and 2 research institutes participating in the joint project needed a platform that could collect, accumulate, and analyze data from all universities and research institutes in Japan, as well as the ability to scale the system quickly according to future applications and needs.

By leveraging its strength in system integration, Fujitsu proposed a high-performance system that integrates a large-capacity storage system, virtual infrastructure, and network equipment based on Fujitsus latest x86 servers, and received an order for the new platform. The platform provides a wide range of computing resources to universities and research institutions across the country through the SINET operated by NII. In addition, it is linked to the Calculation, data and learning integration supercomputer system Wisteria/BDEC-01, which is scheduled to be introduced to the Information Technology Center of the University of Tokyo in May 2021, to realize highly accurate simulations using data collected with the new platform.

Features of the Data-Driven Social Creation Platform

1. Collaborate with SINET to create an environment in which data can be collected, stored, and analyzed in real time

It is possible to collect, store and analyze data in real time by connecting databases owned by all universities and research institutes in Japan to the new platforms computing resources and storage through the SINET network. This makes it easy for data providers and users in various fields to work together and strongly supports development work.

By using the virtualization platform, the environment in which the user can flexibly utilize computing resources and storage capacity according to the application and needs was constructed.

2. High-precision simulation in conjunction with a high-performance computing environment

The new platform achieves highly accurate simulations by linking with the Wisteria/BDEC-01 at the Information Technology Center of the University of Tokyo and the supercomputer system AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure(ABCI) at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan.

System Overview of the Data-Driven Social Creation Platform

1. Integration of IaaS platform to provide high speed computing power and computing resources to users with more than 400 latest x86 servers

It consists of 368 units of the next-generation model of PRIMERGY CX2550 with two CPUs (3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Code Name: Ice lake) per node and 40 units of the next-generation model of PRIMERGY GX2570 with eight high-end GPUs NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU per node, achieving 8.5 petaflops total theoretical operation performance.

By combining x86 servers with the latest CPUs and x86 servers with the latest GPUs, the new platform combines the functions of x86 servers with the high-speed computing capabilities required to utilize AI and other technologies to provide computing resources that can be used by a wide range of customers.

By integrating the virtualization infrastructure VMware vSphere 7 into all x86 servers, Fujitsu has created an IaaS platform that can flexibly provide computing resources to thousands of projects at the same time according to the users application and needs.

2. Interconnects with leading storage system and networking equipment

Through its system integration, Fujitsu has built a system that can be interconnected with leading-edge storage systems and network equipment provided by its partners. This enables efficient and secure data collection, storage, and analysis.

Source: Fujitsu

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Fujitsu Launches Data-Driven Platform in Joint Project with 9 Universities and 2 Research Institutes - HPCwire

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How researchers are mapping the future of quantum computing, using the tech of today – GeekWire

§ February 22nd, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on How researchers are mapping the future of quantum computing, using the tech of today – GeekWire

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory computer scientist Sriram Krishnamoorthy. (PNNL Photo)

Imagine a future where new therapeutic drugs are designed far faster and at a fraction of the cost they are today, enabled by the rapidly developing field of quantum computing.

The transformation on healthcare and personalized medicine would be tremendous, yet these are hardly the only fields this novel form of computing could revolutionize. From cryptography to supply-chain optimization to advances in solid-state physics, the coming era of quantum computers could bring about enormous changes, assuming its potential can be fully realized.

Yet many hurdles still need to be overcome before all of this can happen. This one of the reasons the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Microsoft have teamed up to advance this nascent field.

The developer of the Q# programming language, Microsoft Quantum recently announced the creation of an intermediate bridge that will allow Q# and other languages to be used to send instructions to different quantum hardware platforms. This includes the simulations being performed on PNNLs own powerful supercomputers, which are used to test the quantum algorithms that could one day run on those platforms. While scalable quantum computing is still years away, these simulations make it possible to design and test many of the approaches that will eventually be used.

We have extensive experience in terms of parallel programming for supercomputers, said PNNL computer scientist Sriram Krishnamoorthy. The question was, how do you use these classical supercomputers to understand how a quantum algorithm and quantum architectures would behave while we build these systems?

Thats an important question given that classical and quantum computing are so extremely different from each other. Quantum computing isnt Classical Computing 2.0. A quantum computer is no more an improved version of a classical computer than a lightbulb is a better version of a candle. While you might use one to simulate the other, that simulation will never be perfect because theyre such fundamentally different technologies.

Classical computing is based on bits, pieces of information that are either off or on to represent a zero or one. But a quantum bit, or qubit, can represent a zero or a one or any proportion of those two values at the same time. This makes it possible to perform computations in a very different way.

However, a qubit can only do this so long as it remains in a special state known as superposition. This, along with other features of quantum behavior such as entanglement, could potentially allow quantum computing to answer all kinds of complex problems, many of which are exponential in nature. These are exactly the kind of problems that classical computers cant readily solve if they can solve them at all.

For instance, much of the worlds electronic privacy is based on encryption methods that rely on prime numbers. While its easy to multiply two prime numbers, its extremely difficult to reverse the process by factoring the product of two primes. In some cases, a classical computer could run for 10,000 years and still not find the solution. A quantum computer, on the other hand, might be capable of performing the work in seconds.

That doesnt mean quantum computing will replace all tasks performed by classical computers. This includes programming the quantum computers themselves, which the very nature of quantum behaviors can make highly challenging. For instance, just the act of observing a qubit can make it decohere, causing it to lose its superposition and entangled states.

Such challenges drive some of the work being done by Microsoft Azures Quantum group. Expecting that both classical and quantum computing resources will be needed for large-scale quantum applications, Microsoft Quantum has developed a bridge they call QIR, which stands for quantum intermediate representation. The motivation behind QIR is to create a common interface at a point in the programming stack that avoids interfering with the qubits. Doing this makes the interface both language- and platform-agnostic, which allows different software and hardware to be used together.

To advance the field of quantum computing, we need to think beyond just how to build a particular end-to-end system, said Bettina Heim, senior software engineering manager with Microsoft Quantum, during a recent presentation. We need to think about how to grow a global ecosystem that facilitates developing and experimenting with different approaches.

Because these are still very early days think of where classical computing was 75 years ago many fundamental components still need to be developed and refined in this ecosystem, including quantum gates, algorithms and error correction. This is where PNNLs quantum simulator, DM-SIM comes in. By designing and testing different approaches and configurations of these elements, they can discover better ways of achieving their goals.

As Krishnamoorthy explains: What we currently lack and what we are trying to build with this simulation infrastructure is a turnkey solution that could allow, say a compiler writer or a noise model developer or a systems architect, to try different approaches in putting qubits together and ask the question: If they do this, what happens?

Of course, there will be many challenges and disappointments along the way, such as an upcoming retraction of a 2018 paper in the journal, Nature. The original study, partly funded by Microsoft, declared evidence of a theoretical particle called a Majorana fermion, which could have been a major quantum breakthrough. However, errors since found in the data contradict that claim.

But progress continues, and once reasonably robust and scalable quantum computers are available, all kinds of potential uses could become possible. Supply chain and logistics optimization might be ideal applications, generating new levels of efficiency and energy savings for business. Since quantum computing should also be able to perform very fast searches on unsorted data, applications that focus on financial data, climate data analysis and genomics are likely uses, as well.

Thats only the beginning. Quantum computers could be used to accurately simulate physical processes from chemistry and solid-state physics, ushering in a new era for these fields. Advances in material science could become possible because well be better able to simulate and identify molecular properties much faster and more accurately than we ever could before. Simulating proteins using quantum computers could lead to new knowledge about biology that would revolutionize healthcare.

In the future, quantum cryptography may also become common, due to its potential for truly secure encrypted storage and communications. Thats because its impossible to precisely copy quantum data without violating the laws of physics. Such encryption will be even more important once quantum computers are commonplace because their unique capabilities will also allow them to swiftly crack traditional methods of encryption as mentioned earlier, rendering many currently robust methods insecure and obsolete.

As with many new technologies, it can be challenging to envisage all of the potential uses and problems quantum computing might bring about, which is one reason why business and industry need to become involved in its development early on. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach could yield all kinds of new ideas and applications and hopefully help to build what is ultimately a trusted and ethical technology.

How do you all work together to make it happen? asks Krishnamoorthy. I think for at least the next couple of decades, for chemistry problems, for nuclear theory, etc., well need this hypothetical machine that everyone designs and programs for at the same time, and simulations are going to be crucial to that.

The future of quantum computing will bring enormous changes and challenges to our world. From how we secure our most critical data to unlocking the secrets of our genetic code, its technology that holds the keys to applications, fields and industries weve yet to even imagine.

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Physicists Need to Be More Careful with How They Name Things – Scientific American

§ February 22nd, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Physicists Need to Be More Careful with How They Name Things – Scientific American

In 2012, the quantum physicist John Preskill wrote, We hope to hasten the day when well controlled quantum systems can perform tasks surpassing what can be done in the classical world. Less than a decade later, two quantum computing systems have met that mark: Googles Sycamore, and the University of Science and Technology of Chinas Jizhng. Both solved narrowly designed problems that are, so far as we know, impossible for classical computers to solve quickly. How quickly? How impossible? To solve a problem that took Jizhng 200 seconds, even the fastest supercomputers are estimated to take at least two billion years.

Describing what then may have seemed a far-off goal, Preskill gave it a name: quantum supremacy. In a blog post at the time, he explained Im not completely happy with this term, and would be glad if readers could suggest something better.

Were not happy with it either, and we believe that the physics community should be more careful with its language, for both social and scientific reasons. Even in the abstruse realms of matter and energy, language matters because physics is done by people.

The word supremacyhaving more power, authority or status than anyone elseis closely linked to white supremacy. This isnt supposition; its fact. The Corpus of Contemporary American English finds white supremacy is 15 times more frequent than the next most commonly used two-word phrase, judicial supremacy. Though English is the global lingua franca of science, it is notable that the USTC team avoided quantum supremacy because in Chinese, the character meaning supremacy also has uncomfortable, negative connotations. The problem is not confined merely to English.

White supremacist movements have grown around the globe in recent years, especially in the United States, partly as a racist backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement. As Preskill has recently acknowledged, the word unavoidably evokes a repugnant political stance.

Quantum supremacy has also become a buzzword in popular media (for example, here and here). Its suggestion of domination may have contributed to unjustified hype, such as the idea that quantum computers will soon make classical computers obsolete. Tamer alternatives such as quantum advantage, quantum computational supremacy and even quantum ascendancy have been proposed, but none have managed to supplant Preskills original term. More jargony proposals like Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum computing (NISQ) and tongue-in-cheek suggestions like quantum non-uselessness have similarly failed to displace supremacy.

Here, we propose an alternative we believe succinctly captures the scientific implications with less hype andcruciallyno association with racism: quantum primacy.

Whats in a name? Its not just that quantum supremacy by any other name would smell sweeter. By making the case for quantum primacy we hope to illustrate some of the social and scientific issues at hand. In President Joe Bidens letter to his science adviser, the biologist Eric Lander, he asks How can we ensure that Americans of all backgrounds are drawn into both the creation and the rewards of science and technology? One small change can be in the language we use. GitHub, for example, abandoned the odious master/slave terminology after pressure from activists.

Were physics, computer science and engineering more diverse, perhaps we would not still be having this discussion, which one of us wrote about four years ago. But in the U.S., when only 2 percent of bachelors degrees in physics are awarded to Black students, when Latinos comprise less than 7 percent of engineers, and women account for a mere 12 percent of full professors in physics, this is a conversation that needs to happen. As things stand, quantum supremacy can come across as adding insult to injury.

The nature of quantum computing, and its broad interest to the public outside of industry laboratories and academia means that the debate around quantum supremacy was inevitably going to be included in the broader culture war.

In 2019, a short correspondence to Nature argued that the quantum computing community should adopt different terminology to avoid overtones of violence, neocolonialism and racism. Within days, the dispute was picked up by the conservative editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, which attacked quantum wokeness and suggested that changing the term would be a slippery slope all the way down to cancelling Diana Ross The Supremes.

The linguist Steven Pinker weighed in to argue that the prissy banning of words by academics should be resisted. It dumbs down understanding of language: word meanings are conventions, not spells with magical powers, and all words have multiple senses, which are distinguished in context. Also, it makes academia a laughingstock, tars the innocent, and does nothing to combat actual racism & sexism.

It is true that supremacy is not a magic word, that its meaning comes from convention, not conjurers. But the context of quantum supremacy, which Pinker neglects, is that of a historically white, male-dominated discipline. Acknowledging this by seeking better language is a basic effort to be polite, not prissy.

Perhaps the most compelling argument raised in favor of quantum supremacy is that it could function to reclaim the word. Were quantum supremacy 15 times more common than white supremacy, the shoe would be on the other foot. Arguments for reclamation, however, must account for who is doing the reclaiming. If the charge to take back quantum supremacy were led by Black scientists and other underrepresented minorities in physics, that would be one thing. No survey exists, but anecdotal evidence suggests this is decidedly not the case.

To replace supremacy, we need to have a thoughtful conversation. Not any alternative will do, and there is genuinely tricky science at stake. Consider the implications of quantum advantage. An advantage might be a stepladder that makes it easier to reach a high shelf, or a small head start in a race. Some quantum algorithms are like this. Grovers search algorithm is only quadratically faster than its classical counterpart, so a quantum computer running Grovers algorithm might solve a problem that took classical computers 100 minutes in the square root of that time10 minutes. Not bad! Thats definitely an advantage, especially as runtimes get longer, but it doesnt compare to some quantum speedups.

Perhaps the most famous quantum speedup comes from Shor's algorithm, which can find the factors of numbers (e.g. 5 and 3 are factors of 15) almost exponentially faster than the best classical algorithms. While classical computers are fine with small numbers, every digit takes a toll. For example, a classical computer might factor a 100-digit number in seconds, but a 1000-digit number would take billions of years. A quantum computer running Shor's algorithm could do it in an hour.

When quantum computers can effectively do things that are impossible for classical computers, they have something much more than an advantage. We believe primacy captures much of this meaning. Primacy means preeminent position or the condition of being first. Additionally, it shares a Latin root (primus, or first) with mathematical terms such as prime and primality.

While quantum computers may be first to solve a specific problem, that does not imply they will dominate; we hope quantum primacy helps avoid the insinuation that classical computers will be obsolete. This is especially important because quantum primacy is a moving target. Classical computers and classical algorithms can and do improve, so quantum computers will have to get bigger and better to stay ahead.

These kinds of linguistic hotfixes do not reach even a bare minimum for diversifying science; the most important work involves hiring and retention and actual material changes to the scientific community to make it less white and male. But if opposition to improving the language of science is any indication about broader obstacles to diversifying it, this is a conversation we must have.

Physicists may prefer vacuums for calculation, but science does not occur in one. It is situated in the broader social and political landscape, one which both shapes and is shaped by the decisions of researchers.

This is an opinion and analysis article.

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Experience: With a PhD, the plan is to expand human knowledge – The Guardian

§ February 22nd, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Experience: With a PhD, the plan is to expand human knowledge – The Guardian

When Zak Romaszko finished his physics degree at the University of Liverpool, a PhD in computing was his obvious next step. I have always been fascinated with computers, says the 27-year-old. I broke my dads PC when I was younger and he was away in the forces, so I had to fix it myself. His interest grew from there, but Romaszkos choice of focus for his research isnt just any type of computing but the cutting-edge quantum variety.

Thought by many to be the next step in the field, and key to solving complex problems in a manageable amount of time, quantum computers use quantum bits rather than the regular bits used by standard computers.

It will be able to solve problems that might take computers millions and billions of years in timescales that are more realistic to humans, says Romaszko. It seemed to be that this would be the way forward in how big calculations would be done in the future.

He found an opportunity to undertake a PhD at the University of Sussex with Prof Winfried Hensinger a subject expert linked to making an ion trap quantum computer, the next step in the computers of the future. Romaszko, who is from Barnoldswick in Lancashire, spent four years on the project as part of the universitys Ion Quantum Technology group, graduating in June 2020. He has now joined a spin-off company founded by Hensinger called Universal Quantum, which is looking to commercialise the technology to make a large-scale quantum computer.

My PhD focused on how we would scale this technology from the level we are at now and get to the point where we need to be to make a truly useful quantum computer, he says.

It sounds like science fiction but Romaszko explains that quantum computers could hold the key to solving some major issues in our world today. People are looking into things like simulation of chemicals and materials and understanding how medicines interact within the body and AI applications, he says.

While it may be difficult to grasp the scale of the computing power at work in the quantum, Romaszko is thrilled to be pushing the boundaries. With a PhD youre basically learning about a field and a very narrow area of science that you just plan to push out a little bit further and expand human knowledge. Its really exciting.

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bp Joins the IBM Quantum Network to Advance Use of Quantum Computing in Energy – HPCwire

§ February 18th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on bp Joins the IBM Quantum Network to Advance Use of Quantum Computing in Energy – HPCwire

LONDON,Feb. 15, 2021 IBM today announcedbp has joined the IBM Quantum Network to advance the use of quantum computing in the energy industry.

By joining the IBM Quantum Network as an Industry Partner, bp will have access to IBMs quantum expertise and software and cloud-based access to the most advanced quantum computers available via the cloud. This includes access to a premium 65-qubit quantum computer, the largest universal quantum system available to industry today, and an important milestone on the IBM Quantum roadmapto a 1,000-plus qubit system, targeted for the end of 2023.

bp will work with IBMto explore using quantum computing to solve business and engineering challenges and explore the potential applications for driving efficiencies and reducing carbon emissions.

bps ambition is to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and help the world get to net zero. Next-generation computing capabilities such as quantum computing will assist in solving the science and engineering challenges we will face, enabling us to reimagine energy and design new lower carbon products, saidMorag Watson, senior vice president, digital science and engineering for bp.

Quantum computing has the potential to be applied in areas such as: modelling the chemistry and build-up of various types of clay in hydrocarbon wells a crucial factor in efficient hydrocarbon production; analyzing and managing the fluid dynamics of wind farms; optimizing autonomous robotic facility inspection; and helping create opportunities not yet imagined to deliver the clean energy the world wants and needs.

In 2020, bp announced its net zero ambition and its new strategy.By the end of this decade, it aims to have developed around 50 gigawatts of net renewable-generating capacity(a 20-fold increase), increased annual low carbon investment 10-fold to around$5 billionand cut its oil and gas production by 40%.

Joining the IBM Quantum Network will enhance bps ability to leverage quantum advances and applications as they emerge and then influence on how those breakthroughs can be applied to its industry and the energy transition.

bp joins a rapidly growing number of clients working with IBM to explore quantum computing to help accelerate the discovery of solutions to some of todays biggest challenges, addedDario Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research. The energy industry is ripe with opportunities to see value from the use of quantum computing through the discovery of new materials designed to improve the generation, transfer, and storage of energy.

bp joins more than 130 members of the IBM Quantum Network, a global community of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, academic institutions and research labs working to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications. Together, members of the Network and IBM Quantum teams are researching and exploring how quantum computing will help a variety of industries and disciplines, including finance, energy, chemistry, materials science, optimization and machine learning, among many others.

For more information about the IBM Quantum Network, as well as a full list of all partners, members, and hubs, visit

IBM Quantum Network is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

About bp

bps purpose is to reimagine energy for people and our planet. It has set out an ambition to be a net zero company by 2050, or sooner, and help the world get to net zero, and recently announced its strategy for delivering on that ambition.For more information

About IBM Quantum

IBM Quantum is an industry-first initiative to build universal quantum systems for business and science applications. For more information about IBMs quantum computing efforts, please

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IBM and ExxonMobil are building quantum algorithms to solve this giant computing problem – ZDNet

§ February 16th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on IBM and ExxonMobil are building quantum algorithms to solve this giant computing problem – ZDNet

Research teams from energy giant ExxonMobil and IBM have been working together to find quantum solutions to one of the most complex problems of our time: managing the tens of thousands of merchant ships crossing the oceans to deliver the goods that we use every day.

The scientists lifted the lid on the progress that they have made so far and presented the different strategies that they have been using to model maritime routing on existing quantum devices, with the ultimate goal of optimizing the management of fleets.

ExxonMobil was the first energy company to join IBM's Quantum Network in 2019, and has expressed a keen interest in using the technology to explore various applications, ranging from the simulation of new materials to solving optimization problems.

SEE: Research: Why Industrial IoT deployments are on the rise (TechRepublic Premium)

Now, it appears that part of the energy company's work was dedicated to tapping quantum capabilities to calculate journeys that minimize the distance and time traveled by merchant ships across the globe.

On a worldwide scale, the equation is immense intractable, in fact, for classical computers. About 90% of world trade relies on maritime shipping, with more than 50,000 ships, themselves carrying up to 200,000 containers each, moving around every day to transport goods with a total value of $14 trillion.

The more the number of ships and journeys increase, the bigger the problem becomes. As IBM and ExxonMobil's teams put itin a blog post detailing their research: "Logistically speaking, this isn't the 'traveling salesperson problem.'"

While this type of exponentially growing problem can only be solved with simplifications and approximations on classical computers, the challenge is well-suited to quantum technologies. Quantum computers can effectively leverage a special dual state that is taken on by quantum bits, or qubits, to run many calculations at once; meaning that even the largest problems could be resolved in much less time than is possible on a classical computer.

"We wanted to see whether quantum computers could transform how we solve such complex optimization problems and provide more accurate solutions in less computational times," said the researchers.

Although the theory behind the potential of quantum computing is well-established, it remains to be found how quantum devices can be used in practice to solve a real-world problem such as the global routing of merchant ships. In mathematical terms, this means finding the right quantum algorithms that could be used to most effectively model the industry's routing problems, on current or near-term devices.

To do so, IBM and ExxonMobil's teams started with widely-used mathematical representations of the problem, which account for factors such as the routes traveled, the potential movements between port locations and the order in which each location is visited on a particular route. There are many existing ways to formulate the equation, one of which is called the quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) technique, and which is often used in classical computer science.

The next question was to find out whether well-known models like QUBO can be solved with quantum algorithms and if so, which solvers work better. Using IBM's Qiskit optimization module, which was released last year toassist developers in building quantum optimization algorithms, the team tested various quantum algorithms labeled with unbeatably exotic names: the Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE), the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA), and Alternating Direction Method of Multiplier (ADMM) solvers.

After running the algorithms on a simulated quantum device, the researchers found that models like QUBO could effectively be solved by quantum algorithms, and that depending on the size of the problem, some solvers showed better results than others.

In another promising finding, the team said that the experiment showed some degree of inexactness in solving QUBOs is tolerable. "This is a promising feature to handle the inherent noise affecting the quantum algorithms on real devices," said the researchers.

SEE: BMW explores quantum computing to boost supply chain efficiencies

Of course, while the results suggest that quantum algorithms could provide real-world value, the research was carried out on devices that are still technically limited, and the experiments can only remain small-scale. The idea, however, is to develop working algorithms now, to be ready to harness the power of a fully fledged quantum computer when the technology develops.

"As a result of our joint research, ExxonMobil now has a greater understanding of the modelling possibilities, quantum solvers available, and potential alternatives for routing problems in any industry," said the researchers.

What applies to merchant ships, in effect, can also work in other settings. Routing problems are not inherent to the shipping industry, and the scientists confirmed that their findings could easily be transferred to any vehicle optimization problem that has time constraints, such as goods delivery, ride-sharing services or urban waste management.

In fact, ExxonMobil is not the first company to look at ways to use quantum computing techniques to solve optimization problems. Electronics manufacturer OTI Lumionics, for example, has been using QUBO representations to find the most optimal simulation of next-generation OLED materials. Instead of using gate-based quantum computers to run the problem, however, the company has been developing quantum-inspired algorithms to solve calculations on classical Microsoft Azure hardware,with encouraging results.

The mathematical formulas and solution algorithmsare described in detail in the research paper, and the ExxonMobil/IBM team stressed that their use is not restricted. The researchers encouraged their colleagues to reproduce their findings to advance the global field of quantum solvers.

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Microsofts Big Win in Quantum Computing Was an Error After All – WIRED

§ February 16th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Microsofts Big Win in Quantum Computing Was an Error After All – WIRED

Whatever happened, the Majorana drama is a setback for Microsofts ambitions to compete in quantum computing. Leading computing companies say the technology will define the future by enabling new breakthroughs in science and engineering.

Quantum computers are built from devices called qubits that encode 1s and 0s of data but can also use a quantum state called a superposition to perform math tricks not possible for the bits in a conventional computer. The main challenge to commercializing that idea is that quantum states are delicate and easily quashed by thermal or electromagnetic noise, making qubits error-prone.

Google, IBM, and Intel have all shown off prototype quantum processors with around 50 qubits, and companies including Goldman Sachs and Merck are testing the technology. But thousands or millions of qubits are likely required for useful work. Much of a quantum computers power would probably have to be dedicated to correcting its own glitches.

Microsoft has taken a different approach, claiming qubits based on Majorana particles will be more scalable, allowing it to leap ahead. But after more than a decade of work, it does not have a single qubit.

From the fuller data, theres no doubt that theres no Majorana.

Sergey Frolov, University of Pittsburgh

Majorana fermions are named after Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, who hypothesized in 1937 that particles should exist with the odd property of being their own antiparticles. Not long after, he boarded a ship and was never seen again. Physicists wouldnt report a good glimpse of one of his eponymous particles until the next millennium, in Kouwenhovens lab.

Microsoft got interested in Majoranas after company researchers in 2004 approached tech strategy chief Craig Mundie and said they had a way to solve one problem holding back quantum computersqubits flakiness.

The researchers seized on theoretical physics papers suggesting a way to build qubits that would make them more dependable. These so-called topological qubits would be built around unusual particles, of which Majorana particles are one example, that can pop into existence in clumps of electrons inside certain materials at very low temperatures.

Microsoft created a new team of physicists and mathematicians to flesh out the theory and practice of topological quantum computing, centered on an outpost in Santa Barbara, California, christened Station Q. They collaborated with and funded leading experimental physicists hunting for the particles needed to build this new form of qubit.

Kouwenhoven, in Delft, was one of the physicists who got Microsofts backing. His 2012 paper reporting signatures of Majorana particles inside nanowires started chatter about a future Nobel prize for proving the elusive particles existence. In 2016, Microsoft stepped up its investmentand the hype.

Everything you ever wanted to know about qubits, superpositioning, and spooky action at a distance.

Kouwenhoven and another leading physicist, Charles Marcus, at the University of Copenhagen were hired as corporate Majorana hunters. The plan was to first detect the particles and then invent more complex devices that could control them and function as qubits. Todd Holmdahl, who previously led hardware for Microsofts lucrative Xbox games console, took over as leader of the topological quantum computing project. Early in 2018, he told Barrons he would have a topological qubit by the end of the year. The now-disputed paper appeared a month later.

While Microsoft sought Majoranas, competitors working on established qubit technologies reported steady progress. In 2019, Google announced it had reached a milestone called quantum supremacy, showing that a chip with 53 qubits could perform a statistical calculation in minutes that would take a supercomputer millennia. Soon after, Microsoft appeared to hedge its quantum bet, announcing it would offer access to quantum hardware from other companies via its cloud service Azure. The Wall Street Journal reported that Holmdahl left the project that year after missing an internal deadline.

Microsoft has been quieter about its expected pace of progress on quantum hardware since Holmdahl's departure. Competitors in quantum computing continue to tout hardware advances and urge software developers to access prototypes over the internet, but none appear close to creating a quantum computer ready for prime time.

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Kangaroo Court: Quantum Computing Thinking on the Future – JD Supra

§ February 16th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Kangaroo Court: Quantum Computing Thinking on the Future – JD Supra

The promise of quantum computers is that certain computational tasks might be executed exponentially faster on a quantum processor than on a classical processor.

Quantum computing is a beautiful fusion of quantum physics with computer science. It incorporates some of the most stunning ideas of physics from the twentieth century into an entirely new way of thinking about computation. Quantum computers have the potential to resolve problems of a high complexity and magnitude across many different industries and application, including finance, transportation, chemicals, and cybersecurity. Solving the impossible in a few hours of computing time.

Quantum computing is often in the news: China teleported a qubit from earth to a satellite; Shors algorithm has put our current encryption methods at risk; quantum key distribution will make encryption safe again; Grovers algorithm will speed up data searches. But what does all this really mean? How does it all work?

Todays computers operate in a very straightforward fashion: they manipulate a limited set of data with an algorithm and give you an answer. Quantum computers are more complicated. After multiple units of data are input into qubits, the qubits are manipulated to interact with other qubits, allowing for several calculations to be done simultaneously. Thats where quantum computers are a lot faster than todays machines.

Quantum computers have four fundamental capabilities that differentiate them from todays classical computers:

All computations involve inputting data, manipulating it according to certain rules, and then outputting the final answer. For classical computations, the bit is the basic unit of data. For quantum computation, this unit is the quantum bit usually shortened to qubit.

The basic unit of quantum computing is a qubit. A classical bit is either 0 or 1. If its 0 and we measure it, we get 0. If its 1 and we measure 1, we get 1. In both cases the bit remains unchanged. The standard example is an electrical switch that can be either on or off. The situation is totally different for qubits. Qubits are volatile. A qubit can be in one of an infinite number of states a superposition of both 0 and 1 but when we measure it, as in the classical case, we just get one of two values, either 0 or 1. Qubits can also become entangled. In fact, the act of measurement changes the qubit. When we make a measurement of one of them, it affects the state of the other. Whats more, they interact with other qubits. In fact, these interactions are what make it possible to conduct multiple calculations at once.

Nobody really knows quite how or why entanglement works. It even baffled Einstein, who famously described it as spooky action at a distance. But its key to the power of quantum computers. In a conventional computer, doubling the number of bits doubles its processing power. But thanks to entanglement, adding extra qubits to a quantum machine produces an exponential increase in its number-crunching ability.

These three things superposition, measurement, and entanglement are the key quantum mechanical ideas. Controlling these interactions, however, is very complicated. The volatility of qubits can cause inputs to be lost or altered, which can throw off the accuracy of results. And creating a computer of meaningful scale would require hundreds of thousands of millions of qubits to be connected coherently. The few quantum computers that exist today can handle nowhere near that number. But the good news is were getting very, very close.

Quantum computing and classical computer are not two distinct disciplines. Quantum computing is the more fundamental form of computing anything that can be computed classically can be computed on a quantum computer. The qubit is the basic unit of computation, not the bit. Computation, in its essence, really means quantum computing. A qubit can be represented by the spin of an electron or the polarization of a photon.

In 2019 Google achieved a level of quantum supremacy when they reported the use of a processor with programmable superconducting qubits to create quantum states on 54 qubits, corresponding to a computational state-space of dimension 253(about 1016). This incredible achievement was slightly short of their mission goal for creating quantum states of 72 qubits. What is so special about this number? Classical computers can simulate quantum computers if the quantum computer doesnt have too many qubits, but as the number of qubits increases we reach the point where that is no longer possible.

There are 8 possible three-bit combinations: 000,001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111. The number 8 comes from 23. There are two choices for the first bit, two for the second and two for the third, and we might multiple these three 2s together. If instead of bits we switch to qubits, each of these 8 three-bit strings is associated with a basis vector, so the vector space is 8-dimensional. If we have 72 qubits, the number of basis elements is 2. This is about 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. It is a large number and is considered to be the point at which classical computers cannot simulate quantum computers. Once quantum computers have more than 72 or so qubits we truly enter the age of quantum supremacy when quantum computers can do computations that are beyond the ability of any classical computer.

To provide a little more perspective, lets consider a machine with 300 qubits. This doesnt seem an unreasonable number of the not too distant future. But 2300 is an enormous number. Its more than the number of elementary particles in the known universe. A computation using 300 qubits would be working with 2300 basis elements.

Some calculations required for the effective simulation of real-life scenarios are simply beyond the capability of classical computers whats known as intractable problems. Quantum computers, with their huge computational power, are ideally suited to solving these problems. Indeed, some problems, like factoring, are hard on a classical computer, but are easy on a quantum computer. This creates a world of opportunities, across almost every aspect of modern life.

Healthcare: classical computers are limited in terms of size and complexity of molecules they can simulate and compare (an essential process of early drug development). Quantum computers will allow much larger molecules to be simulated. At the same time, researchers will be able to model and simulate interactions between drugs and all 20,000+ proteins encoded in the human genome, leading to greater advancements in pharmacology.

Finance: one potential application is algorithmic trading using complex algorithms to automatically trigger share dealings based on a wide variety of market variables. The advantages, especially for high-volume transactions, are significant. Another application is fraud detection. Like diagnostics in healthcare, fraud detection is reliant upon pattern recognition. Quantum computers could deliver a significant improvement in machine learning capabilities; dramatically reducing the time taken to train a neural network and improving the detection rate.

Logistics: Improved data analysis and modelling will enable a wide range of industries to optimize workflows associated with transport, logistics and supply-chain management. The calculation and recalculation of optimal routes could impact on applications as diverse as traffic management, fleet operations, air traffic control, freight and distribution.

It is, of course, impossible to predict the long-term impact of quantum computing with any accuracy. Quantum computing is now in its infancy, and the comparison to the first computers seems apt. The machines that have been constructed so far tend to be large and not very powerful, and they often involve superconductors that need cooled to extremely low temperatures. To minimize the interaction of quantum computers with the environment, they are always protected from light and heat. They are shieled against electromagnetic radiation, and they are cooled. One thing that can happen in cold places is that certain materials become superconductors they lose all electrical resistance and superconductors have quantum properties that can be exploited.

Many countries are experimenting with small quantum networks using optic fiber. There is the potential of connecting these via satellite and being able to form a worldwide quantum network. This work is of great interest to financial institutions. One early impressive result involves a Chinese satellite that is devoted to quantum experiments. Its named Micius after a Chinese philosopher who did work in optics. A team in China connected to a team in Austria the first time that intercontinental quantum key distribution (QKD) had been achieved. Once the connection was secured, the teams sent pictures to one another. The Chinese team sent the Austrians a picture of Micius, and the Austrians sent a picture of Schrodinger to the Chinese.

To actually make practical quantum computers you need to solve a number of problems, the most serious being decoherence the problem of your qubit interacting with something from the environment that is not part of the computation. You need to set a qubit to an initial state and keep it in that state until you need to use it. Their quantum state is extremely fragile. The slightest vibration or change in temperature disturbances known as noise in quantum-speak can cause them to tumble out of superposition before their job has been properly done. Thats why researchers are doing the best to protect qubits from the outside world in supercooled fridges and vacuum chambers.

Alan Turing is one of the fathers of the theory of computation. In his landmark paper of 1936 he carefully thought about computation. He considered what humans did as they performed computations and broke it down to its most elemental level. He showed that a simple theoretical machine, which we now call a Turing machine, could carry out any algorithm. But remember, Turing was analyzing computation based on what humans do. With quantum computation the focus changes from how humans compute to how the universe computes. Therefore, we should think of quantum computation as not a new type of computation but as the discovery of the true nature of computation.

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Quantum Computers May Steal Bitcoin by Deriving Private Keys once Advanced Enough in 5-30 Years, Experts Claim – Crowdfund Insider

§ February 16th, 2021 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum Computers May Steal Bitcoin by Deriving Private Keys once Advanced Enough in 5-30 Years, Experts Claim – Crowdfund Insider

John Smith, who has been regularly keeping up with computer science, quantum computing, and cryptocurrency-related developments, claims that the future of crypto is quantum-resistant, meaning we must build systems that can protect themselves against the potential attack from quantum computers (QCs) when they become powerful enough to present a challenge to digital asset networks.

While discussing what the future threat to Bitcoin (BTC) from Quantum Computing might be, and how big of a deal it really is, Smith claims that the threat is that quantum computers will eventually be able to break Bitcoins current digital signatures, which could render the network insecure and cause it to lose value.

He goes on to question why there isnt already a solution as trivial as simply upgrading the signatures? He explains that this might not be possible due to the decentralized nature of Bitcoin and other large crypto-asset networks such as Ethereum (ETH).

While discussing how long until someone actually develops a quantum computer that can steal BTC by quickly deriving private keys from their associated public keys, Smith reveals that serious estimates range somewhere from 5 to over 30 years, with the median expert opinion being around 15 years.

Smooth added:

Banks/govts/etc. will soon upgrade to quantum-resistant cryptography to secure themselves going forward. Bitcoin, however, with large financial incentives for attacking it and no central authority that can upgrade *for* users, faces a unique set of challenges.

Going on to mention the main challenges, Smith notes that we can separate vulnerable BTC into three classes, including lost coins (which are estimated to be several million), non-lost coins residing in reused/taproot/otherwise-vulnerable addresses, and coins in the mempool (i.e., being transacted).

Beginning with lost coins, why are they even an issue? Because its possible to steal a huge number all at once and then selling them in mass quantities which could tank the entire crypto market. He added that if that seems imminent, the market could preemptively tank. He also mentioned that an attacker may profit greatly by provoking either of the above and shorting BTC.

While proposing potential solutions, Smith suggests preemptively burning lost coins via soft fork (or backwards compatible upgrade). He clarifies that just how well this works will depend on:

He further noted:

Another potential way around the problem of millions of lost BTC is if a benevolent party were to steal & then altruistically burn them. Not clear how realistic this is, given the financial incentives involved & who the parties likely to have this capability would be.

He added:

Moving on why are non-lost coins with vulnerable public keys an issue? This is self-evident. The primary threat to the wealth of BTC holders is their BTC being stolen. And as with lost coins, a related threat is that the market starts to fear such an attack is possible.

He also mentioned that another solution could be that Bitcoin adds a quantum-resistant signature and holders proactively migrate. He points out that how well this all works will depend on:

While discussing the vulnerability of coins in the mempool, Smith mentioned that it could complicate migration to quantum-resistant addresses *after* large QCs are built or it could greatly magnify the threat posed by an unanticipated black swan advance in QC.

While proposing other solutions, Smith noted:

A commit-reveal tx scheme can be used to migrate coins without mempool security. This gets around the vulnerability of a users old public key by adding an extra encryption/decryption step based on their new quantum-resistant key but w/ crucial limitations.

He added:

Considerations w/ commit-reveal migration [are that] its not foolproof unless a user starts with their coins stored in a non-vulnerable address, because attackers can steal any vulnerable coins simply by beating the original owner to the punch.

Considerations with commit-reveal migration are also that commit transactions introduce technical hurdles (vs. regular txs) & increase the load on the network. Neither of these are insurmountable by any means, but they suggest that this method should not be relied upon too heavily, Smith claims.

He also noted that how well the commit-reveal transaction type works will depend on:

He added:

One potential way around the network overhead & just plain hassle of commit-reveal migration would be if a highly efficient quantum-resistant zero-knowledge proof were discovered. Current QR ZK algorithms are far too large to use in Bitcoin, but that could change. Worth noting.

While sharing other potential solutions, Smith noted that theres the tank the attack & rebuild.

He pointed out that Bitcoins network effects are massive, so it is challenging to accurately estimate or predict what the crypto ecosystem will look like in the future, but the potential economic disruption of BTC failing may incentivize extraordinary measures to save the network.

He added:

Bitcoins ability to tank a quantum-computing-related market crash will depend on [whether theres] another chain capable of replacing BTC as the main crypto store of value [and whether] BTC [can] avoid a mining death spiral? Also, how far will stakeholders go to ensure the network survives & rebounds?

Smith also mentioned that for people or institutions holding Bitcoin, some good measures may be purchasing insurance, and/or hedging BTC exposure with an asset that would be expected to increase in value in the case of an attack.

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