Tagquantum computing

The Next Stage for Google’s Quantum Computing Efforts

New from me at Wired:

Google launched its Quantum A.I. Lab last year to test a machine called the D-Wave Two, an intriguing but controversial system that its makers bill as a quantum computer, and it believes quantum computing could play a key role in so many of its future ambitions, from self-driving cars and other robots to better predictive analytics systems for products like Google Now to things we haven’t even dreamed up yet. Thanks to what’s called the superposition principle of quantum mechanics, it could process data for such projects at speeds that are exponentially faster than what you get from today’s machines.

But the scientific community has greeted the D-Wave machine with skepticism, questioning whether the machine is actually a quantum computer at all, and whether it can actually provide something you can’t get from conventional machines. In joining Google, Martinis lends new weight to the company’s quantum ambitions.

Full Story: Wired: The Man Who Will Build Google’s Elusive Quantum Computer

Quantum Encryption Becomes A Little Less Impractical

From Bob McMillan at Wired Enterprise:

Sharing encryption keys the quantum way is exciting because it promises to be an incredibly secure way of doing encryption. In quantum cryptography, the encryption key is read by measuring the polarization of the photons being sent between computers. And according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, anyone listening in on the communications would have to start messing with that polarization. And that would be detectable.

Up until now, the photons used to exchange quantum keys have been built using external lasers. But this new laser-free technique would be cheaper to mass-produce, says Sven Höfling, a group leader with the applied physics department at Würzburg University. “We can make Quantum key distribution with electrically driven sources,” he says. This is really compatible with standard semiconductor technology, meaning it could be, in principle, very cheap.”

Wired Enterprise: Quantum Crypto Takes Practical Step With Photon Breakthrough

Bob also notes that this may never actually be a practical technology.

Disclosure: I work for Wired Enterprise

B.C. computer maker touting quantum leap

A Canadian company that claims to have built the world’s first marketable “quantum computer” – a hyper-fast data processor touted by the firm’s founder as potentially “the most significant invention of our generation” – has the high-tech community buzzing ahead of a scheduled unveiling next week in California.

D-Wave Systems, the Burnaby, B.C.-based hardware developer headed by 34-year-old theoretical physicist Geordie Rose, has issued an open invitation to all technophiles to become “an eyewitness to history” at the live-link, Feb. 13 launch of the company’s “16-qubit” Orion supercomputer.

Full Story: Canada.com (thanks Jasper!).

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