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Supercomputing Science

First Quantum Computing Gate on a Chip 166

Posted by Zonk
from the next-advance-is-really-tiny-stargates dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After recent success in using quantum computing for superconducting qubits, researchers from Delft have formed the first Controlled-NOT quantum gate. 'A team has demonstrated a key ingredient of such a computer by using one superconducting loop to control the information stored on a second. Combined with other recent advances, the result may pave the way for devices of double the size in the next year or two--closer to what other quantum computing candidates have achieved, says physicist Hans Mooij of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Unlike today's computers, which process information in the form of 0s and 1s, a quantum computer would achieve new levels of power by turning bits into fuzzy quantum things called qubits (pronounced cue-bits) that are 0 and 1 simultaneously. In theory, quantum computers would allow hackers to crack today's toughest coded messages and researchers to better simulate molecules for designing new drugs and materials.'"
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First Quantum Computing Gate on a Chip

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  • by Spazntwich (208070) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @05:42PM (#19630183)
    I know grammar has been taking a hit in society as of late, but now even our computers are blatantly spewing out double negatives?

    We're not in for an unrough ride, gentlemen.
  • A solid milestone... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teebob21 (947095) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @05:48PM (#19630241) Journal
    I find it interesting that the first electronic computing gates devised were the AND/OR gates, using basic diode logic. Quantum computing research develops the NOT gate first. I think this has something to do with the esoteric nature of quantum computing. AND/OR gates require two inputs to change to a single value, where NOT is merely an inverter. The idea of entanglement makes the inversion process a likely first step in quantum research.

    For those wondering why this is important, the first true electronic gates were invented in the early 1920's. This predates point-contact transistors by about 20 years, invented in 1947. 60 years later, here we are with transistor computing in every aspect of our lives.

    At the rate quantum computing is advancing, I think we can expect to see quantum transistors (in the lab, at least) by 2020. A true useful quantum computer may be available less than 50 years from now. Hopefully by then someone will pick up the slack and have the Linux kernel ported to the Q-CPU architecture!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ant P. (974313)
      What is a quantum computer good for, anyway? So far all I've seen is cracking encryption and other stuff involving gigantic calculations. Is there anything in the mainstream market it'd be useful for, like sound/video processing?
      Come to think of it, arithmetic encoding is a bit like encryption...
      • by Yez70 (924200)
        Consider the possibilities of complex artificial intelligence and this could be applied to virtually any aspect of our lives.
      • by symbolset (646467) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:25PM (#19630485) Journal

        At home you will use these for ever more sophisticated rendering of artificially intelligent virtual reality porn.

        At work it will be more useful in the advanced simulation of a mechanical process for imprinting letter glyphs on sheets of wood fiber.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Schemat1c (464768)

        What is a quantum computer good for, anyway?
        You could use it to store your recipes.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Stefanwulf (1032430)
          Or you could store the superposition of all possible recipes simultaneously. It would simply decohere into the one you wanted once you began cooking.

          The trick is going to be figuring out the right first interaction to generate the recipe you're searching for.
      • What is a quantum computer good for, anyway?

        IIRC, quantum computers have one killer app, which is that they can simulate other quantum systems (i.e. Stuff). If you try simulating a lump of high temperature superconductor on a classical computer you won't get very far, but on a quantum computer you just might.

        #disclaimer: This is slashdot, so I reserve the right to have been talking out of my a(r?)s[se].

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by pdbaby (609052)

          Regex pedantry here, but you're being overly permissive - you allow semantically invalid words: as, ars & arss.

          As a side-note, if you like hearing from your local regex pedant, please remember to donate g(ener|ratuit)ously: we survive only through your funding

          ...it's like I know I should be ticking 'Post Anonymously' but I just can't stop myself

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by afaik_ianal (918433)

            you allow semantically invalid words: as, ars & arss.

            No they don't. The only matches are ass, ase, arss and arse, but your point still stands. When being a pedant, it's also polite to provide a correction. The regex they were after is: a(rse|ss).

            ...it's like I know I should be ticking 'Post Anonymously' but I just can't stop myself

            At least tick "No Karma Bonus", please :).
      • IAMAQP (I am not a quantum physicist) but the theory I read explains a system gaining processing power from shared computing of a single processor replicated across multiple realities. Each qubit is a calculated answer by a machine in one reality and the culmination of those answers assumedly gives you the correct response. David Deutsch [wikipedia.org] wrote a book on this called "The Fabric of Reality" that works through the concept of a basic Turing machine - where computers all come from - and how this can be re-worked
      • by tsa (15680) on Monday June 25, 2007 @01:50AM (#19632773) Homepage
        There will be a small market. I think the world needs only 5 or so quantum computers.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Cope57 (752357)

        What is a quantum computer good for, anyway? So far all I've seen is cracking encryption and other stuff involving gigantic calculations. Is there anything in the mainstream market it'd be useful for, like sound/video processing?
        Come to think of it, arithmetic encoding is a bit like encryption...
        It was probably created to handle the high demands of the Microsoft Vista operating system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Simon80 (874052)
      I wouldn't know for sure, but I don't think it's valid to compare any form of computing based on binary logic with quantum computing. I searched for "quantum transistor" and found this [sandia.gov], which makes use of the term to refer to transistors that rely on principles of quantum mechanics to function properly. This would be relevant to conventional computing, but not quantum computing. If I understand correctly, quantum computing is not a replacement for binary logic computing, but an alternative or supplement.
      • by WarJolt (990309)
        Transistors replace tubes. Qbits replace transistors. Transistors do the same logical job as tubes. Qbits do the same logical job as Transistors. The transistor drastically changed the way electronics were designed. I suspect Qbits will do the same thing. We still use tubes today however, so obviously there are some things that tubes do differently then transistors. When I bought my tube amp I pretty much stopped using one of my transistor amps. Qbits, transistors and tubes behave differently, but they can
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by afaik_ianal (918433)
          You're getting confused between the distinction between bits/transistors, and qubits/quantum gates. The difference between tubes and transistors is nothing like the difference between transistors and quantum gates. Bits and qubits are just as dissimilar.

          Like transistors, tubes are just amplifiers. Contrary to popular belief, both are analogue components, but they have quite different responses to changes in current (the graphs are a different shape). Many people consider tube amplifiers to produce bette
    • by pablob (567257) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:28PM (#19630505)

      I find it interesting that the first electronic computing gates devised were the AND/OR gates, using basic diode logic. Quantum computing research develops the NOT gate first. I think this has something to do with the esoteric nature of quantum computing. AND/OR gates require two inputs to change to a single value, where NOT is merely an inverter. The idea of entanglement makes the inversion process a likely first step in quantum research.

      Keep in mind that this is a Controlled-NOT gate (a two-input gate) and not a simple NOT gate (a one-input gate). It has been proven that if you can implement two-qubit C-NOT and arbitrary one-qubit operations, you can implement a universal quantum computer (that is, one that can run an arbitrary "quantum program").

      There is a deeper reason for quantum computers not to use AND/OR gates, which is their irresibility (AND and OR are two-input to one input gate, which makes them irreversible). Quantum Mechanics is intrinsically reversible, so a quantum computer should be reversible too and that's why it is not common to hear about Quantum AND or Quantum OR.

      Pablo B.

      • this is a Controlled-NOT gate

        Is there a reason why it's called a NOT gate rather than XOR ? Is there some quantum wierdness that makes the thing asymmetric and causes A-inverts-B to mean something different to B-inverts-A ?

        • Yes and no...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pablob (567257)

          Is there a reason why it's called a NOT gate rather than XOR? Is there some quantum wierdness that makes the thing asymmetric and causes A-inverts-B to mean something different to B-inverts-A?

          I guess it's mostly historical, and that XOR is usually associated with a two-input/one-output gate. Controlled-NOT looks pretty intuitive (the target is negated only if the control is 1), but probably XOR is better because A-inverts-B is exactly the same as B-inverts-A (which seems counterintuitive when you think o

          • by tbo (35008)
            I guess it's mostly historical, and that XOR is usually associated with a two-input/one-output gate. Controlled-NOT looks pretty intuitive (the target is negated only if the control

            Quantum mechanics being unitary and thus reversible, it's important that your gates be reversible, too*. CNOT is two-input, two-output, and is reversible. XOR is two input, one output, and is clearly not reversible (given the output you can't reconstruct the inputs). This is why people use CNOT for quantum computing--XOR wouldn't
    • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:30PM (#19630521)

      For those wondering why this is important, the first true electronic gates were invented in the early 1920's. This predates point-contact transistors by about 20 years, invented in 1947. 60 years later, here we are with transistor computing in every aspect of our lives.


      However, it is important to realise that the theory of computation had been in development since the early 1800s (and the logic underlying that had been around for centuries); by the time the first electronic devices were created, we already had a good understanding of what they could be used for, because we had been doing exactly the same things by hand for over 50 years at that point (the word "computer" originally meant a person who performed such computations, and an "electronic computer" was just a device to replicate the task that person was doing).

      We can't do quantum computations by hand, so we have no real experience with the theory, and the underlying statistical methods are relatively recent developments: quantum computers do not use the classical logic that we're all familiar with. This is a massive setback compared to the development of the electronic computer - and advances in theory usually can't be accelerated all that much. It is likely to be between 50 and 100 years before we know enough to build non-trivial applications out of quantum computers. Not because we can't build the hardware, but because we don't know how to write any software to run on them. The entire field of software development will have to be reinvented, and we don't actually know that it will be useful for anything. Unlike the first electronic computers, which had very real and obvious applications performing the tasks that were currently being done by hand, we have only vague theories and ideas about what quantum computers might be useful for. (Even the much-quoted method for breaking certain encryption algorithms is based on various assumptions that aren't proven; we don't know for sure whether quantum computers will actually be able to run it, yet)

      We'll get there eventually, but it will probably take a long time and we can't really predict at this stage whether it'll be particularly useful. From what we know so far, these things are going to be incredibly arcane and obtuse to work with, and that is going to make it difficult. We might see it in our lifetimes, but I wouldn't place any bets on it, it might take much longer. The things we're playing with today may turn out to be the Babbage engines of quantum computing.
      • by Dantu (840928)

        We can't do quantum computations by hand, so we have no real experience with the theory, and the underlying statistical methods are relatively recent developments: quantum computers do not use the classical logic that we're all familiar with


        I'm not an expert on Quantum computers, but I think the math/computer science is WAY ahead of the physics on this one. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a Quantum computer is to a normal computer as a NFA is to an DFA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nondetermini
        • by tbo (35008) on Monday June 25, 2007 @03:50AM (#19633275) Journal
          I'm not an expert on Quantum computers, but I think the math/computer science is WAY ahead of the physics on this one. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a Quantum computer is to a normal computer as a NFA is to an DFA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nondeterministic_fin ite_state_machine). In this case it's really not a new idea at a fundamental logical level.

          I am an expert, and I don't think CS is ahead here; rather, I'd say CS and physics are moving forward in a partnership. As best as we understand the relevant complexity classes, quantum computer are not equivalent to an NFA. To put it another way, as far as we know, quantum computers cannot efficiently solve NP-complete problems. I say "as far as we know" because we don't even know for sure whether classical computers can efficiently solve such problems. Quantum information is a fundamentally new concept to CS, however.

          Similarly, conventional computers can solve the same set of problems that quantum computers can solve, they just require an expansion of the problem which in the real world requires much more time and/or space to complete.

          If you look simply at the domain of solvable computational problems, and don't care about efficiency, then yes, there's no difference. There are, however, communication problems and quantum "games" that cannot be solved with classical information but can be with quantum information.
      • by master_p (608214)
        Lots of Quantum-C jokes about pointers pointing to NULL and valid objects at the same time are possible here...oh, the horror of debugging a Quantum-C program!!!
      • by vertinox (846076)
        This is a massive setback compared to the development of the electronic computer - and advances in theory usually can't be accelerated all that much. It is likely to be between 50 and 100 years before we know enough to build non-trivial applications out of quantum computers. Not because we can't build the hardware, but because we don't know how to write any software to run on them.

        Technically it was only 40 years before the theory of relativity and the creation of its application in nuclear reactions.

        Of cou
    • by jp102235 (923963) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:59PM (#19630673)
      Well, inverting logic is well, logical (no pun intended) to most modern digital logic designers of the CMOS type. CMOS logic (and its variants) are inherently inverting. That is, the basic gate in CMOS is an inverter. The next higher complexity of gates in CMOS is a NAND and NOR (AND NOT / OR NOT). To make an AND gate requires a NAND and an Inverter... same thing for OR : a NOR and an Inverter. Although the quantum abstraction of computation may not be the same as CMOS (inverting layers of logic) it is not surprising at all that the designers tried to make an inverter first. Had they started during the days of relays, we might have had a different gate altogether. JP
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by fatphil (181876)
      Controlled-Not is not Not. Controlled-Not is "if the control line is 1, then not the input, else preserve the input", i.e. XOR. (But being quantum, it must also output the control line too, so that the operation can be reversed.)
      • by inviolet (797804)

        Controlled-Not is not Not. Controlled-Not is "if the control line is 1, then not the input, else preserve the input", i.e. XOR. (But being quantum, it must also output the control line too, so that the operation can be reversed.)

        It's not an XOR. CNOT differs from XOR in the following case: input 0, control 1.

    • This isn't an ordinary NOT gate, it's a controlled NOT, or C-NOT. This gate does have two inputs. The state of the first input is either inverted or not inverted, depending on the state of the second input. So it is actually very similar to a conventional XOR gate.

      By all means, pull numbers out your ass on what your predictions on when you think a quantum computer will be built, but you should at least put in a disclaimer that you have no idea what you are talking about. WTF is a `quantum transitor'

    • Does that mean I can finally play Doom 3 in high quality mode?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tbo (35008)
      Disclaimer: I am a quantum information scientist.

      If you re-read the article, you'll see that the gate is a controlled-NOT (aka CNOT) gate, rather than a simple NOT gate. CNOT is a two-bit (or, in this case, two-qubit) gate. Simply being able to make and maintain single qubits is challenging (at least, for superconducting systems), manipulating single qubits is more challenging, and performing two-qubit operations is extremely hard. It's worth noting that this result is not the first example of a two-qubit
    • The NOT gate is a simple bit inverter, but the CNOT gate (CONTROLLED-NOT) has two inputs, using the 2nd bit to invert or not the first bit. The article mentions the CNOT gate, not the NOT gate. In classic digital electronics, the CNOT gate equals the XOR gate:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cnot [wikipedia.org]
  • Not Jokes:

    It's a Quantum Gate.... NOT!
  • Sound a lot like Tribbles to me.
  • by zmollusc (763634) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @05:59PM (#19630305)
    but how can they test it when the output is always either 0, meh, pfft or 1?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Joebert (946227)
      That's why they built a NOT gate, even if they failed, they'd still succeed.
    • by fatphil (181876)
      Because you can chose the basis in which you are going to perform the measurement to determine the answer, you can either measure along the 0-pfft axis, or the meh-1 axis. That simplifies things greatly.
    • by Torvaun (1040898)
      If a qubit is both 0 and 1 at the same time, what the hell does an inverter do? Make it 1 and 0 at the same time instead?
      • If a qubit is both 0 and 1 at the same time, what the hell does an inverter do? Make it 1 and 0 at the same time instead?

        Yes. If it consists of "the same amount" 0 and 1, then it will simply not change. That's called an eigenstate of the operator. However, you might be in a superposition of 0 and 1 where you have a bit more 0 than 1, and then you'll get something which is a bit more 1 than 0.
        Actually, it's still a bit more complicated than that. There are many ways to have a state which is 0 and 1 at the sa

        • That sounds a lot like a fuzzy value, only stored in a single qubit instead of as a floating-point representation of possibility.

          Fuzzy logic is, after all, all about multi-state truth values and proportions of truth. So given your description, it sounds like with this gate what can be done is to (eventually, of course) create a non-deterministic fuzzy application platform with very high speed and very small storage requirements.

          Is that in the right stall, conceptually, or am I missing the barn?
  • Quantum states (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arashi no garou (699761) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:03PM (#19630323)
    I'm no quantum theory expert by a very long shot, but it was my understanding that there are 32 quantum states of electrons, not just on/off (1/0) like in the binary computer world. So, if we now have a quantum NOT gate, doesn't that mean there are 32 possible states of the NOT gate? Also, according to the article the CNOT gates they created can be both 0 and 1 simultaneously. In my mind this would cause errors and actually stop the flow of information instead of speeding it up.

    Someone with some understanding of this stuff please elaborate, before my head asplodes.
    • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:25PM (#19630481) Homepage

      but it was my understanding that there are 32 quantum states of electrons, not just on/off (1/0) like in the binary computer world. So, if we now have a quantum NOT gate, doesn't that mean there are 32 possible states of the NOT gate?
      Well, yes and no...

      *ba-dum-tsch* Thank you very much, I'll be here all week.
    • Re:Quantum states (Score:4, Informative)

      by pablob (567257) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:36PM (#19630559)
      32? They should be 42!

      More seriously, a qubit (short for "quantum bit") has two well defined states, 0 and 1 (|0> and |1> for those QM buffs) just as a regular (classical) bit. The difference is that the classical bit has to be in either 0 or 1, while the qubit can be in what is called a "superposition" of those. So you could have a qubit in the 0 state, or in the 1 state, or in the "x% 1 and y% 0" state (where x+y=100). Part of the magic of quantum computers comes from this fact: using the proper operations, you can feed your quantum computer a register which is set up to "all possible inputs" so that it applies the algorithm to all possible values. Some people call this "Massive parallelism". You have to be careful, because Quantum Mechanics does not allow to extract the result of all those calculations (that would be great), so you have to go through some tricks to get useful information out of that "parallel processing".

      I hope this helped some!

      Pablo B.
    • by asuffield (111848)

      it was my understanding that there are 32 quantum states of electrons

      That is almost, but not quite, entirely unrelated to quantum computing (it's got something to do with quantum physics, that's about where the relationship ends - I think it's about the chemistry of atoms). I don't believe it's true except under specific circumstances, anyway.

      So, if we now have a quantum NOT gate, doesn't that mean there are 32 possible states of the NOT gate?

      Quantum computers operate on qubits, which take on any state alon

    • Re:Quantum states (Score:5, Informative)

      by mindriot (96208) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @07:08PM (#19630737)
      Note: I am not a physicist, this is just what I remember from a quantum computing lecture I attended years ago. Of course, rather than believing 100% in what I wrote, you're probably better off double-checking on Wikipedia and Google...

      The quantum states you're referring to do have something to do with this. However, their number isn't what's important.
      The interesting thing about the quantum computing world is that such states can be in superposition, that is, it is unclear whether or not the state is one or the other. You can only know that if you measure the state, the outcome will be state A in, say, 30% of the time, and state B in 70%. Now, you could probably extend this to 32 different states, but since we're used to bits, we'll build something where we just use two (for instance linearly polarized photons -- 0 degrees = 0, 90 degrees = 1).

      Now, there exist methods (or they're being researched) that allow you to put your bit into a superposition of its states. This could, for instance, be so that measuring the state will produce a 0 exactly half the time. Maybe you could put your Schroedinger cat in the box -- dead=0, alive=1...

      This by itself is not particularly exciting. But you could do that for multiple bits (say a 32-qubit word) so that measuring it, you get uniform probability to measure any number between 0 and 4294967295. Where it really gets interesting is when you apply quantum operators to your state: They can transform the state without destroying the superposition, i.e. without measuring it. For instance, if your superposition currently gives you 30% chance for measuring a 0 and 70% for a 1, then a CNOT gate would reverse that probability.

      Note, however, that a CNOT is a "controlled not": it has two inputs, the control and the target. The control passes through unchanged, but the target is flipped if and only if the control is 1 (i.e. the target output value is identical to the XOR of the input values). In a quantum world, this lets the two bits be entangled: For instance, if the target bit is 1, then the output of the target is 1 iff the control is 0 (target = NOT control). Now suppose that we create a superposition on the control input -- then the control output will be that same superposition, but the target output will be (NOT control) for all control values. In other words, we've just computed a function for all possible input values at once. And you can build these things larger, to do more useful things, such as with a 32-qubit input.

      The problem is, you thus get all possible results at the same time, but it's a superposition, and after measuring, you'll only have one result. Why is this useful? Because for one, you can construct some algorithms that transform the problem in such a way as to give a guaranteed result; in other cases, you'll do multiple samples and after a while you'll get your result -- and for some problems, you'll get it orders of magnitude quicker, on average, than on classical computers.

      For instance, the Deutsch-Josza algorithm is such an example. Assume I have a function that does one of two things -- it is either constant over the whole input domain, or it is balanced, that is, it returns 0 for exactly half the possible inputs and 1 for the other half. The function, to you, is a black box. How do you determine quickly whether the function is constant or balanced? On a classical computer, you have to test one more than half the inputs, in the worst case, to find out whether the function is balanced or constant. Using the Deutsch-Josza algorithm, you can solve the problem in *constant* time on a quantum computer.

      In other words, quantum computing may be interesting for some number-crunching applications. Of course the true capabilities of such a system are not yet completely understood. But I would think that for desktop computing it's probably not too relevant...
  • Cracking (Score:4, Informative)

    by z-man (103297) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:07PM (#19630351)
    In theory, quantum computers would allow hackers to crack today's toughest coded messages.

    That's an overstatement. A quantum computer will not suddendly magically crack the strongest codes. Yes, certain algorithms designed for quantum computers, like Grover's algorithm, will reduce the time needed to find the key of a symmetrical cipher with about half the number of bits in the key. However, given for example a 256-bit key you would still have ~2^128 keys to check and afaik 2^128 still takes quite sometime to crack....
    • by z-man (103297)
      Note, my above post is about symmetric cryptography, not asymmetric cryptography. When it comes to asymmetric (public key) cryptography, which relies on computationally difficult problems such as prime factoring, quantum computing has a lot more potential. Factoring a prime number in O(log n^3) (Shor's algorithm) is an enormous improvement and would be devastating for traditional public key cryptography. Of course, we'd still have quantum cryptography.
    • by frieko (855745)
      IANACSOQP but aren't all NP-complete problems essentially equivalent at some fundamental level? So if QC can do one NP-complete problem in P time, it can do all NP problems in P time?
      • by fatphil (181876)
        For values of "essentially equivalent" equal to "can be reformulated into, and the result therefrom converted back, in polynomial time", yes.

        Note that factoring is not known to be, and suspected (by gut feel only) to not be, NP complete.
  • by Mikachu (972457) <{ude.ynuc.retnuh} {ta} {ekrubjj}> on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:15PM (#19630403) Homepage
    They're opening the quantum gates now? They're insane! Who knows what might pour out of them... I hope they're at least doing it on the moon.

    The future of the human race is up to one lone marine now. Thanks a lot, scientists.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Wrong, get Gordan Freeman to throw the switch, no amount of Marines are gonna be enough.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dude you're getting a Delft!
  • Can anyone remember the name of that assembler that only had the 'not' operator? Maybe it's time for a port :)
    • by fatphil (181876)
      There was the OISC, is that what you're thinking of?
      I think its only operation was something like subtract A from B, and if negative jump to C.
      However, google will probably do better than my addled memory.
  • > the result may pave the way for devices of double the size in the next year or two

    Well, at the current rate of progress, we might see a Quantum Pentium III in about 26-52 years, depending on whether its "next year" or "two". I might be dead of old age by then.
  • "Mooij you're gettin' a Delft!"
  • Inversed qubit? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lobais (743851)
    If a qubit is both 0 and 1 at the same time, what is the point of inversing it? Would it then be 1 and 0 at the same time?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Recently, D-Wave's founder Gordie Rose was asked in his blog [wordpress.com]

    (comment 2):"How come Delft U has been able to perform a CNOT with two qubits using superconducting technology? I thought Rose/D-wave claimed it was extremely difficult to do discrete quantum gates with superconducting technology. What are the present & future limitations of the Delft "quantum computer?"

    Rose IGNORED the question. The quantum computer built by D-Wave [wikipedia.org] is an adiabatic computer (which is an analog computer), whereas the Delft peop

  • by Mazin07 (999269)
    Dangit, and I'm having enough trouble in computer science as it is, without all this fuzzy simultaneous 0/1 nonsense.
  • by VisceralLogic (911294) <paul@@@viscerallogic...com> on Sunday June 24, 2007 @07:39PM (#19630883) Homepage
    the result may pave the way for devices of double the size in the next year or two

    Hmm, seems like they've successfully performed a NOT on Moore's law.

  • Transistors are capable of more than on and off -- they can handle many intermediate stages of charge (fundamentally low, medium, high), which computing applications do not currently exploit. Why not add a third state by using technology that already exists? What are the benefits of quantum computing over the existing versatility of transistors?
  • by turning bits into fuzzy quantum things called qubits (pronounced cue-bits) that are 0 and 1 simultaneously

    Sounds like any ol' woman to me, nothing to worry about, we have been handling it for centuries.
  • ... In theory, quantum computers would allow hackers to crack today's toughest coded messages ...
    That may sound pleasing, but how about if it were changed to this:

    ... In theory, quantum computers would allow governments to crack today's toughest coded messages...
    It's not like we're going to be the first ones to get our hands on these devices, you know (if they ever allow us to have them).
    • by 808140 (808140)
      That's a good point, of course, but the quantum computer will only be useful for solving certain classes of hard problems, not all of them. The mathematics behind their capabilities are relatively well understood, and in all likelihood cryptographers will design new algorithms that are difficult for quantum computers to solve.

      I have no evidence of this, of course, but it's too important a problem for the experts to ignore. Lest you forget, the government too has data it seeks to keep secret, and while bas
  • Wow. ? (Score:4, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @08:55PM (#19631285)
    This is awesome no it's not!
  • Having taken a class on quantum computing last semester I would really like to add in some facts here. First to say qbits are both 1 and 0 at the same time is not entirely clear. Qbits are represented by arrays of length 2. These can be either [1,0] or [0,1]. Where the confusion occurs is when these are a superposition of the two, which means basically means that there is a probability that the result would be one of the two. What results from this is knowing the result most of the times, but sometimes bein
  • I want to log into that machine and run some quantum Perl scripts on it [cpan.org]. Nothing like an existing library of code to kickstart a new architecture.
  • If a qubit Q is both zero and one at the same time, then surely its complement !Q is also both zero and one at the same time? If you had qubits Q and R which were both 0 and 1 at the same time, then wouldn't (Q & R) be all of {0, 0, 0, 1} at the same time (so more likely 0), (Q | R) be all of {0, 1, 1, 1} at the same time (and so more likely 1), and (Q ^ R) be {0, 1, 1 and 0} at the same time (so equally likely 1 and 0)?

    Just because a wave function has to collapse into one eigenstate when it is
  • After recent success in using quantum computing for superconducting qubits, researchers from Delft have formed the first Controlled NOT quantum gate

    How is this a step forward, I thought we already had gates that were NOT quantum gates...

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