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Computers set for quantum leap

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posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 08:26 AM

A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices.

Future quantum computers will, for example, be able to pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. As the amount of electronic data stored worldwide grows exponentially, the technology will make it easier for people to search with precision for what they want.

Additional Link

Quantum computers??? Being able to crunch that much data so quickly will make a good tool for scientists. Unfortunately I'm sure governments will use this kind of technology to better track our lives. That is if they do not already have this kind of tech.

edit on 17-9-2010 by OneisOne because: Another link....

edit on 17-9-2010 by OneisOne because: not enough coffee

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 08:35 AM
I can't see the article from the link so I'm not sure exactly how much faster this tech is then current super computers.

One consequence I could think of for this level of processing power being available to the public is that it would make current cryptography methods obsolete, The government is going to have to come up with some even stronger algorithms if they want to encrypt files, same applies to normal users. A file encrypted with pgp can take years or decade to decrypt using brute force methods at the moment

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 09:00 AM
reply to post by davespanners

Thanks for the reply!!! Sorry about the link, I have placed an additional link in the OP.

As for the speed, the article does not say exactly.

“However, we can say with real confidence that, using our new technique, a quantum computer could, within five years, be performing calculations that are outside the capabilities of conventional computers,” he told the British Science Festival, as he presented the research.

You are right about encryption methods. I wonder if for that reason alone, this type of computing will never make it to the consumer level.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 09:00 AM
Sorry double post..... Looks like I could use some faster computing!!

edit on 17-9-2010 by OneisOne because: computer is grumpy

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 09:09 AM
reply to post by OneisOne

Quantum computers???

Access to the article appears to be restricted to members only, but I suspect that the title is using the word "quantum" metaphorically.

At present, Circuitry uses electrons to propagate information. A photonic circuit uses photons. Light instead of electricity. This has some advantages. In particular, light travels faster than electricity. Photons are massless, while electronics do have mass and require time to accelerate into motion. Photons do not. (EDIT: note that circuits now are actually not limited to the speed of electricity because we use waves being propogated by electricity to conduct information rather than the electricity itself. Photons are nevertheless still faster.)

And there are other advantages. Surges are less of an issue, so capacitors are less important, less need for insulation, and generally less preventative measures are required to design circuits so they don't destroy themselves. And probably others, but in general the speed is the part that excites people. When a processor wants information from a chip several inches away on a circuit, it takes time for electrons to ferry that request and the information back and forth. Within the chip itself, it takes time for data to pass between points. If you look at the main processor in your computer, it's probably several inches across. That is real distance that needs to be covered. If you can speed up the rate at which data may be propogated, you can speed up the rate of processing.

That's the primary advantage of using photons instead of electrons for computing.

Quantum computers???

A quantum computer is something else entirely. Since your article quote mentions a "photonic chip" it's very likely they're not talking about quantum computers, and the journalist was simply making the very common error of using the word "quantum" to mean "big" when its meaning is actually closer to the smallest amount that is possible.

edit on 17-9-2010 by LordBucket because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 11:29 AM
I bet Google is the first company to make use of quantum computing. They even specifically mention it's usefulness for searching a database for data.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 11:40 AM
reply to post by LordBucket

Thanks for the reply LordBucket (love the name!)

The additional link that I posted should be working. I re-read the article and found this explanation of the "quantum" part:

Why quantum computing?

To make use of properties that emerge on an ultra-small scale. “Entanglement” – the ability of subatomic particles to influence one another at a distance – and “superposition” – the fact that a particle does not have a definite location and can be in several places at once – are the two most important properties.

Yes, it’s weird but why is it useful?

Because quantum particles can do very many things at the same time, unlike an electronic “bit” in conventional computing. The use of quantum particles, or “qubits”, permits parallel computing on a scale that would not be possible with conventional electronics.


Looks like the computing speeds of this type of computer would be mind boggling!

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