The concept of quantum computing is fascinating. It uses quantum mechanics to solve complex problems that might break classical computers. From being utterly unheard of to what might revolutionize the world, technology is fast emerging
Undoubtedly, quantum computing has steered up lots of whispers. How far have we gone? How far can we go? What’s in the way? In this article, we offer answers. Keep reading for a closer look at Quantum computing breakthroughs, challenges, and prospects.
Quantum computing is at the frontier of advanced computing. Its ability to perform complex calculations at unimaginable speeds means new heights in various professions. As we inch closer to a world that has fully integrated quantum computing, here are the breakthroughs our world has seen so far:
October 2019 marked a historic milestone for quantum computing, as it was when Google AI Quantum announced quantum supremacy with their 54-qubit Sycamore processor. The term quantum supremacy was coined in 2012 by John Preskill. Quantum supremacy stands for the ability of quantum computers to solve tasks practically impossible for classical computers.
The Sycamore processor solved a complex problem in 200 seconds, a feat that the most powerful supercomputers would take 10,000+ years to solve. The breakthrough validates the capability of quantum computing and offers an impressive step towards a more advanced quantum computing future.
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Another massive breakthrough was made in August 2020 by Yale University researchers. One of the most pronounced setbacks of Quantum computing was the fragility of quantum bits (qubits). Unlike the typical classical bits, the qubits are more error-prone. They are susceptible to environmental noises, making seeking error corrections pivotal in the quest for quantum computing. And in August 2020, the Yale research team developed a 3D color code. The invention significantly mitigated the errors in computations with quantum computers.
The potential that lies in Quantum computing increases with the number of qubits. However, with more qubits, they are more prone to errors. A significant move towards taming these errors was made in May 2021. The University of Maryland and Duke University display modular quantum computing architecture on this date.
This design simplified the scale of quantum computers. Modular Quantum computing architecture works by segregating quantum computing into smaller, manageable modules connected by classical networks. This breakthrough is a game-changer in the quantum world. It addresses the problems of scalability and introduces flexibility to quantum computing.
While quantum computing promises several benefits to the world, roadblocks are in the way. With that in mind, what challenges impede the quest for quantum computing? Let’s take a closer look.
- Quantum computing is highly prone to errors: Quantum computers are prone to significant errors in the algorithms that run them. Hence, it often comes up with erroneous results. However, there are plans to change the narrative, with Google aiming to create fault-tolerant quantum hardware by 2030.
- Quantum computing doesn’t like room temperature: Unlike classical computers that can work at room temperature anywhere and anytime, quantum computers are pickier. Unless it is a little above absolute zero temperature, quantum computers won’t work. Plus, heat and noise often generate erroneous results in qubits. Hence, expanding quantum computers means increasing ecological footprints.
- The talent hurdle in quantum computing: Quantum computing is a relatively new technological concept, so its workforce is limited. Only a few people know how to work its elaborate designs. There is a need for more people with doctorates in quantum physics, engineering, and statistics.
- Manufacturing Problems: Quantum computers can be challenging to manufacture. There is a need for many materials that can’t be found in one place. This limitation means only a few quantum computers are ever created, and with few available, it is hard to effect global changes. Aside from the hardware limitations, we also have software limitations. And as you might imagine, the software differs from what we are familiar with. Quantum computing software poses a significant challenge to the industry. It is complex to create and design, and there is still a lot of research done in that area.
Finally, we address quantum computing and its prospects. Solving questions at insane speeds and the potential to solve them all accurately can open doors to diverse possibilities. With more hands on the table to ensure its easy acceptance in the tech space, here is a table of quantum computing potential uses:
|AI and machine learning
|The ability to perform calculations simultaneously instead of sequentially provides significant potential in AI and machine learning. Many Australian companies today use AI to automate tasks, and when used with quantum computing, it provides a much faster and more efficient optimisation.
|Quantum computing can significantly impact cyber security. The technology behind cyber security can help keep information well encrypted and protected during transit and at-rest situations.
|Quantum computing has the potential to be more accurate and is undoubtedly faster than classical computers. Regarding manufacturing, quantum computing can provide more precise and realistic prototypes. This quantum computing prototyping will lead to lower costs and reduced need for prototyping.
|Uplift the power industry
|Quantum computers can help us understand how certain materials can be incorporated to make the best batteries and semiconductors. Here, the energy industry has better insights on how to create batteries built for longevity and efficiency.
Read also: How do Computer Vision and Image Processing Work?
At the moment, quantum computing is like a pizza batter with no toppings or sauce. This technology holds a lot of latent potential. This article aims to usher a brief outlook of where quantum computing is now, where it is going, and the challenges on the way. That said, we also offer a tip, as we always do. As the world waits for quantum computing to blossom, you can always pass the time with some of the best casino games.