posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:24 PM
Practical quantum computing won't really come along until Photonics improve considerably.
The 'problem' with quantum computing and classical semiconductor-derived logic-gate computing is the way the entire system works. Electrons are not
being used to process information so much as their potential for movement (voltage) being used.
Quantum computing uses the states of individual particles within a system - since electrons can take hours or even days to physically move across the
bus lanes of a computer, quantum computing would be horribly handicapped by a lack of proper data buses (both internal and external).
Photonics, however, is an area of communication and processing that utilizes the photon - which does physically travel at the speed of light, and is
inherently compatible with quantum computing. In fact - we already have quantum encryption systems in use today for fiber-optic lines. As photonics
mature, the ability to actually export data out of a "quantum processor" or "quantum memory" at a useful speed will arise - at which point we will
see "quantum computing" hit the market.
Right now - we've pretty much just been trying to make quantum processing possible. It would be like taking a modern 900+pin socket processor
clocked at 3 GHz back to 1982. They could poke and prod around with it and make it work - but since the supporting technologies are so
under-developed, they'd hardly be able to use it to any more effect than their existing processors.
We've made the processor and demonstrated it can work..... now we have to figure out how to get it to work.