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Category Archives: Quantum Computing

World’s most powerful quantum computing chip could be ready by end of 2017, if Google succeeds – International Business Times, India Edition

Posted: June 25, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Google is on track to build a working 49-qubit quantum chip by the end of 2017. The above photograph is of the device containing nine quantum bits (qubits).Google Research

Google is on track to develop a powerful chip, which is claimed to be a quantum computing breakthrough if an ongoing research at the company pays off.

The search engine giant is currently testing a 20-qubit quantum computing processor, which is the company’s most powerful quantum chip yet. However, Google is aiming for a 49-quibt chip by the end of 2017, which will make the company the first to build a quantum computer capable of solving problems that are out of reach for conventional computers.

Qubits, or quantum bits, are the basic units in quantum computing that hold bits of information. Unlike traditional computers that store information in binary bits whose value can be either 1 or 0, qubits can be a combination of 0 and 1 at the same time. It’s this ability of photons to exist in multiple states at any time that allows quantum computing perform operations much quicker than conventional machines.

The revelation about Google’s progress was made by Alan Ho, an engineer in Google’s quantum AI lab, at a quantum computing conference in Munich earlier this week. Ho, however, said that error-corrected quantum computers are unlikely to arrive before 2027, according to reports in New Scientist.

Ho’s team is currently working on a 20-qubit processor having “two-qubit fidelity” of 99.5 per cent — a measurement of errors made by the chip. A high rating equates to fewer errors.

The ambitious 49-qubt chip that Google is aiming for will have a two-qubit fidelity of at least 99.7 percent, a level the company previously described as “quantum supremacy.” Until now, Google’s only publicly-confirmed quantum success story is a 9-qubit machine, which was built in 2015.

In a research paper published in July 2016, Google’s engineers detailed their goal of achieving quantum supremacy, which, according to them, would lead to the first quantum computer capable of performing tasks beyond the abilities of classical computers.

Reseachers are coming together to build quantum computers 10,000 times faster than conventional computers.iStock

While Google is targeting a 49-qubit quantum chip, a consortium of famous universities and private companies is expected to design, build and test powerful 100-qubit quantum machines. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has selected University of Southern California (USC) to lead the consortium to build quantum computers that could be 10,000 times faster than state-of-the-art modern computers.

In May, IBM also announcedthat it had constructed a prototype commercial quantum processor with 17 qubits, which would be the basis for the first IBM Q early-access commercial systems.

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World’s most powerful quantum computing chip could be ready by end of 2017, if Google succeeds – International Business Times, India Edition

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The Quantum Computer Factory That’s Taking on Google and IBM … – WIRED

Posted: June 24, 2017 at 2:59 pm

A few yards from the stockpile of La Croix in the warehouse space behind startup Rigetti Computing s offices in Fremont, California, sits a machine like a steampunk illustration made real. Its steel chambers are studded with bolts, handles, and circular ports. But this monster is powered by electricity, not coal, and evaporates aluminum, not waterit makes superconducting electronics. Rigetti is using the machine and millions of dollars worth of other equipment housed here in hermetically sealed glass lab spaces to try and build a new kind of super-powerful computer that runs on quantum physics.

Its hardly alone in such an undertaking, though it is the underdog: Rigetti is racing against similar projects at Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel. Every Bay Area startup will tell you it is doing something momentously difficult, but Rigetti is biting off more than most it’s working on quantum computing. All venture-backed startups face the challenge of building a business, but this one has to do it by making progress on one of tech’s thorniest problems.

An 8-qubit quantum processor built by Rigetti Computing.

RIGETTI COMPUTING

Rigetti, which has 80 employees, has raised nearly $70 million to develop quantum computers, which by encoding data into the physics apparent only at tiny scales should offer a, well, quantum leap in computing power . This is going to be a very large industryevery major organization in the world will have to have a strategy for how to use this technology, says Chad Rigetti, the companys founder. The strapping 38-year-old physics PhD worked on quantum hardware at Yale and IBM before founding his own company in 2013 and taking it through the Y Combinator incubator better known for software startups like Dropbox.

No company is yet very close to offering up a quantum computer ready to do useful work existing computers can’t. But Google has pledged to commercialize the technology within five years. IBM offers a cloud platform intended as a warmup for a future commercial service that lets developers and researchers play with a prototype chip located in Big Blues labs. After a few years of mostly staying quiet, Rigetti is now entering the fray. The company on Tuesday launched its own cloud platform, called Forest, where developers can write code for simulated quantum computers, and some partners get to access the startup’s existing quantum hardware. Rigetti gave WIRED a peek at the new manufacturing facility in Fremontgrandly dubbed Fab-1that just started making chips for testing at the company’s headquarters in Berkeley.

The startup’s founder, who has a rare fluency in both quantum information theory and Silicon Valley business-speak, says that being smaller than its giant competitors gives his company an advantage. Were pursuing this long-term objective with the urgency and product clarity of a startup, says Rigetti. That’s something that large corporations arent culturally matched to do. The urgency is existential: Google’s effort is a hunt for a new line of business; Rigetti’s a quest to have one at all.

A silicon wafer of future quantum processors.

RIGETTI COMPUTING

At very small scales, different rules to those of our everyday reality become apparent. Particles can pull weird tricks, like kinda, sorta, doing two different things at the same time. Many millions are being sunk into quantum computing R&D because information encoded into quantum effects can do weird things, too. For certain problems, that should allow a quantum chip the size of your palm to provide more computing power than a team of giant supercomputers. Rigettilike Google, IBM, and Intelpreaches the idea that this advance will bring about a wild new phase of the cloud computing revolution. Data centers stuffed with quantum processors will be rented out to companies freed to design chemical processes and drugs more quickly, or deploy powerful new forms of machine learning.

But for now, the quantum computing chips in existence are too small to do things conventional computers can’t. IBM recently announced one with 16 qubitsthe components needed to build a quantum computerand Google is gunning for around 50 qubits this year. Rigetti has made chips with 8 qubits; it says the new fab will speed up the experimentation needed to increase that number. No one knows for sure, but its estimated youd need hundreds of qubits or more to do useful work on chemistry problems, which seem to be the lowest-hanging fruit for quantum computers.

Rigettis new cloud platform, Forest, is supposed to put the time it will take to get to that point to good use. The idea is to prime the pump, getting coders to practice writing programs for quantum processors now so they’re ready to release killer apps when the technology becomes practical. Forest is designed to support programs that use a quantum processor to give new powers to conventional software, a bit like a computer might have a graphics card, a hybrid model Rigetti claims will be vital to making the technology practical. The platform allows coders to write quantum algorithms for a simulation of a quantum chip with 36 qubits. Select partners can access Rigetti’s early quantum chips through Forest today, similar to how IBM has put its own quantum chips online.

All that might sound like Apple deciding to open the App Store before the iPhone even existed, but Rigetti argues that with a technology this different, people will need plenty of time to adjust. Building a community of people who understand and know how to use the hardware is just as important as the hardware itself to have a successful product, says Andrew Bestwick, the company’s director of engineering.

Quantum equipment at Rigetti Computings Berkeley, California, office.

RIGETTI COMPUTING

Rigetti will need time, more money, and some hard science to get to that successful product. There has been a genuine acceleration of progress on quantum hardware recently, says Michael Biercuk , a professor who works on quantum computing at the University of Sydney, and previously advised DARPA on the technology. But theres still a lot to be figured out. The entry of commercial players and startups has not changed the fundamental challenges in the field, he says. One of the most difficult is getting qubits to work reliably when packed together into larger groups, says Biercuk. Quantum states are very delicate, and making qubits less flaky at holding onto information they encode is a major preoccupation for researchers in the field.

Despite all the confident talk of products and future customers, Rigettis founder doesnt dodge when asked about the challenges. No-ones built this technology before and so as a field, and community, and company we just don’t know how long things are going to take, he says.

Vijay Pande, a general partner with venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz who led the firms investment in Rigetti, says he isnt worried. He sees the startup bringing in some revenue even before its chips are ready to do real work, because some organizations and companies will pay to access them for R&D purposes. Rigetti is already talking to NASA, which believes quantum computers could help plan missions more efficiently, for example. And besides, this startup isn’t held to the same standards as one building a consumer mobile app. This is old school, classic venture capital, with a high upside, says Pande. Its part of Silicon Valleys own laws of physics. When theres a really big potential payoff dangling somewhere up ahead, different rules apply.

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The Quantum Computer Factory That’s Taking on Google and IBM … – WIRED

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SoftBank’s $100 Billion Vision Fund Eyes Quantum Computing – Bloomberg

Posted: at 2:59 pm

By

June 23, 2017, 11:36 AM EDT

SoftBank Group Corp.s $100 billion Vision Fund is scouting for possible investments in quantum computing, an experimental science being researched by companies such as Google and IBM to succeed current computer processor technology.

Shu Nyatta, who helps invest money for the fund, said the group wanted to find and back the company whose quantum computing hardware or software that runs atop it would become the de facto industry standard.

We are happy to invest enough to create that standard around which the whole industry can coalesce, Nyatta said, speaking during a panel discussion at a conference on quantum computing in Munich Thursday.

The Vision Fund, which has attracted investment from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Apple Inc. and other large institutional backers, is investing in cutting edge technologies from virtual reality to the Internet of Things. It recently invested $500 million for a minority stake in Improbable, a London-based simulation and virtual reality software startup, that has few customers and little revenue.

Once considered purely theoretical, researchers have made strides in building functioning quantum computers based around a number of different designs and approaches.

International Business Machines Corp., Alphabet Inc.s Google and Rigetti Computing, a San Francisco-based quantum computing startup, have created working machines around one method, while IonQ, a spin-out from the University of Maryland and Duke University, is working on technologies based on another. Microsoft is backing a third architecture, but has yet to create a working machine.

D-Wave, a Canadian company, is the only firm to sell quantum computers today. D-Waves system is based around yet another architecture, but its machine can only solve a limited set of problems compared to those Google, IBM and the others have been working on.

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In conventional computing, information is encoded in bits that can have a value of either 0 or 1. In quantum computing, information is encoded in qubits that take advantage of quantum mechanical principals such as superposition, which allows the qubit to be both 0 and 1 simultaneously. In theory, a quantum computer could tackle complex problems in seconds or minutes that would take a conventional supercomputer many hours or days to complete.

Nyatta compared what needed to happen in quantum computing to what has happened in genomics, where Illumina Inc.s gene sequencing technology has become the technology around which an entire ecosystem of companies has been built, or what has happened in artificial intelligence, where Nvidia Corps graphics processors have become the preferred hardware on which to run neural networks.

We are happy to do it alone and at massive size to facilitate the future, Nyatta said, speaking of SoftBanks approach to investing in these frontier technologies.

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USC to Lead IARPA Quantum Computing Project – Newswise (press release)

Posted: at 2:59 pm

Newswise Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has selected the University of Southern California to lead a consortium of universities and private companies to build quantum computers that are at least 10,000 times faster than the best state-of-the-art classical computers.

USC will lead the effort among various universities and private contractors to design, build and test 100 qubit quantum machines. Such high-powered machines could help facilitate the solution of some of the most difficult optimization problems such as machine learning for image recognition, resolving scheduling conflicts in events with many participants, as well as sampling for improved prediction of random events. Pending continued success, the contract is worth up to $45 million in funding.

At USC, the effort includes the USC Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology in the Viterbi School of Engineering, and the Center for Quantum Computing at the Information Sciences Institute, a unit of the Viterbi School. Quantum computing expert Daniel Lidar, director of the USC Center for Quantum Information Science & Technology and the Viterbi Professor of Engineering, will serve as the Principal Investigator of the multi-institutional effort and Professor Stephen Crago of the Information Sciences Institute will serve as the Program/Technical Manager.

The consortium will focus on the design and testing of algorithms and new hardware. They will develop the computational framework and design quantum annealers, which are the specialized processors behind quantum optimization. The researchers will design ways to connect the building blocks of quantum annealers–qubits or the basic units in quantum computing that hold bits of information and the couplers, which connect the qubits to one another. The team aims to design multi-qubit couplers to allow for various configurations that will enable faster paced calculations. Government partner MIT Lincoln Labs will fabricate the hardware designed by the USC-led consortium.

The teams goal is to build quantum annealers that allow for what quantum computing researchers call high coherence or long coherence time so that the qubits behave in a quantum fashion for long periods of time. This would mean that qubits can sustain quantum states like superposition, when they are simultaneously in two or more states.

We are enormously gratified to have been selected by IARPA to lead the development of a new generation of quantum annealers for enhanced quantum optimization. This project has the potential to reshape the landscape of quantum computing, and I could not have asked for a better team to pursue this exciting goal, said Lidar.

IARPAs QEO program promises to propel the US into a clear leadership position in the worldwide race to develop a quantum computer at scale. We are fortunate to have a scientific leader of Dr. Lidars caliber and accomplishment. We are grateful to IARPA for their investment in our team and we look forward to redeeming QEOs promise in full measure, said Prem Natarajan, The Michael Keston Executive Director of the Information Sciences Institute.

The following institutions will be part of the five-year research initiative: MIT, Caltech, Harvard, UC Berkeley, University College London, University of Waterloo, Saarland University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. MIT Lincoln Labs will provide government furnished capability, while NASA Ames and Texas A&M will serve as government test and evaluation teams.

USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm that is now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. One of the schools guiding principles is engineering +, a term coined by current DeanYannisC.Yortsos, to use the power of engineering to address the worlds greatest challenges. USC Viterbi is ranked among the top graduate programs in the world and enrolls more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students taught by 185 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 73 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu/

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USC to lead project to build super-speedy quantum computers – USC News

Posted: at 2:59 pm

USC has been selected to lead a consortium of universities and private companies to build quantum computers that are at least 10,000 times faster than the best state-of-the-art classical computers.

USC will lead the effort among various universities and private contractors to design, build and test 100 qubit quantum machines. Such high-powered machines could help facilitate the solution of some of the most difficult optimization problems such as machine learning for image recognition, resolving scheduling conflicts in events with many participants, as well as sampling for improved prediction of random events. Pending continued success, theIntelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)contract is worth up to $45 million in funding.

The effort includes the USC Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and the Center for Quantum Computing at the Information Sciences Institute, a unit of the Viterbi School. Quantum computing expert Daniel Lidar, director of the USC Center for Quantum Information Science & Technology and the Viterbi Professor of Engineering, will serve as the principal investigator of the multi-institutional effort and Professor Stephen Crago of the Information Sciences Institute will serve as the program/technical manager.

This project has the potential to reshape the landscape of quantum computing.

Daniel Lidar

This project has the potential to reshape the landscape of quantum computing, and I could not have asked for a better team to pursue this exciting goal, Lidar said.

Prem Natarajan, the Michael Keston Executive Director of the Information Sciences Institute, said IARPAs Quantum Enhanced Optimization programpromises to propel the U.S. into a clear leadership position in the worldwide race to develop a quantum computer at scale.

Other institutions participating in the five-year research initiative are: theMassachusetts Institute of Technology; Caltech; Harvard University; University of California, Berkeley; University College London; University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Saarland University, Saarland, Germany; Tokyo Institute of Technology; Lockheed Martin; and Northrop Grumman. MIT Lincoln Labs will provide government furnished capability, while NASA Ames and Texas A&M University will serve as government test and evaluation teams.

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Google on track for quantum computer breakthrough by end of 2017 – New Scientist

Posted: June 23, 2017 at 6:48 am

Ramping up the qubits

Julian Kelly/Google

By Matt Reynolds

Google is leading the pack when it comes to quantum computing. The company is testing a 20-qubit processor its most powerful quantum chip yet and is on target to have a working 49-qubit chip by the end of this year.

Qubits, or quantum bits, can be a mixture of 0 and 1 at the same time, making them potentially more powerful than classical bits.

And if everything goes to plan, the 49-qubit chip will make Google the first to build a quantum computer capable of solving certain problems that are beyond the abilities of ordinary computers. Google set itself this ambitious goal, known as quantum supremacy, in a paper published last July.

Alan Ho, an engineer in Googles quantum AI lab, revealed the companys progress at a quantum computing conference in Munich, Germany. His team is currently working with a 20-qubit system that has a two-qubit fidelity of 99.5 per cent a measure of how error-prone the processor is, with a higher rating equating to fewer errors.

For quantum supremacy, Google will need to build a 49-qubit system with a two-qubit fidelity of at least 99.7 per cent. Ho is confident his team will deliver this system by the end of this year. Until now, the companys best public effort was a 9-qubit computer built in 2015.

Things really have moved much quicker than I would have expected, says Simon Devitt at the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Japan. Now that Google and other companies involved in quantum computing have mastered much of the fundamental science behind creating high-quality superconducting qubits, the big challenge facing these firms is scaling these systems and reducing their error rates.

It is important not to get carried away with numbers of qubits, says Michele Reilly, CEO at Turing Inc, a quantum start-up. Its impossible to really harness the power of these machines in a useful way without error correction, she says a technique that mitigates the fickle nature of quantum mechanics.

Ho says it will be 2027 before we have error-corrected quantum computers, so useful devices are still some way off. But if Google can be the first to demonstrate quantum supremacy, showing that qubits really can beat regular computers, it will be a major scientific breakthrough.

Read more: Revealed: Googles plan for quantum computer supremacy

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Google on track to make quantum computer faster than classical computers within 7 months – Next Big Future

Posted: at 6:48 am

John Martinis, one of Googles quantum computing gurus, laid out Googles stretch goal: to build and test a 49-qubit (quantum bit) quantum computer by the end of 2017. This computer will use qubits made of superconducting circuits. Each qubit is prepared in a precise quantum state based on a two-state system. The test will be a milestone in quantum computer technology. In a subsequent presentation, Sergio Boixo, Martinis colleague at Google, said that a quantum computer with approximately 50 qubits will be capable of certain tasks beyond anything the fastest classical computers can do.

Researchers say that quantum computers promise an exponential increase in speed for a subset of computational chores like prime number factorization or exact simulations of organic molecules. This is because of entanglement: If you prepare entangled qubits, you will be able to manipulate multiple states simultaneously.

New Scientist reports that Google is testing a 20 qubit quantum computer. Alan Ho, an engineer in Googles quantum AI lab, revealed the companys progress at a quantum computing conference in Munich, Germany. His team is currently working with a 20-qubit system that has a two-qubit fidelity of 99.5 per cent a measure of how error-prone the processor is, with a higher rating equating to fewer errors.

For quantum supremacy (Quantum computers faster than current classical comuputers), Google will need to build a 49-qubit system with a two-qubit fidelity of at least 99.7 per cent. Ho is confident his team will deliver this system by the end of this year. Until now, the companys best public effort was a 9-qubit computer built in 2015. A 2014 prototype of a Google qubit (0.6 cm by 0.6 cm) known as a transmon, based on superconducting circuits. Googles quantum computing test will use 49 updated versions of these qubits.

Ho says it will be 2027 before we have error-corrected quantum computers, so useful devices are still some way off. But if Google can be the first to demonstrate quantum supremacy, showing that qubits really can beat regular computers, it will be a major scientific breakthrough.

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Dow Chemical, 1QBit Ink Quantum Computing Development Deal – Zacks.com

Posted: at 6:48 am

The Dow Chemical Company (DOW – Free Report) and 1QB Information Technologies (1QBit”) entered into a collaborative pact to develop quantum computing tools for the chemicals and materials science technology spaces. Financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Dow Chemicals unique innovation capabilities combined with 1QBits leading expertise in the development of applications for quantum computing will speed up the deployment of quantum computing across a number of applications related to the chemical sector.

The partnership will also enhance Dow Chemicals discovery process by building strong fundamental understanding of new chemicals and materials.

1QBit intends to apply breakthroughs in computation to machine intelligence and optimization science through a broadly accessible, hardware-agnostic software platform. The company has been developing new methods for machine learning, sampling, and optimization for the last four years based on reformulating problems to meet the unique requirements of interfacing with quantum computers and leveraging their capabilities.

With this agreement in place, both the companies plan to develop strong capabilities in the quantum computing space and advance their world-class innovation capabilities.

Dow Chemical has outperformed the Zacks categorized Chemicals-Diversified industry over a year. The companys shares have moved up around 18.7% over this period, compared with roughly 16.8% gain recorded by the industry.

Dow Chemical is witnessing signs of positive economic momentum globally, amid sustained geopolitical risks and volatility. The company is also seeing early signs of gradual improvements in consumer-led markets in Latin America. The company believes that the strength of its portfolio along with its focus on consumer-led markets will continue to bode well.

The company is expected to gain from productivity management actions as well as focus on consumer-led markets. Dow Chemical should also benefit from cost synergies associated with Dow Corning Silicones business and its strategic investments in the U.S. Gulf Coast and the Middle East. The planned merger with DuPont (DD – Free Report) is also expected to create significant synergies.

However, Dow Chemicals agriculture business remains affected by weak crop commodity prices and depressed demand in North America. The company also faces feedstock cost pressure and headwinds associated with higher start-up and maintenance costs.

Dow Chemical Company (The) Price and Consensus

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Dow Chemical currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some top-ranked stocks in the chemical space include BASF SE (BASFY – Free Report) and The Chemours Company (CC – Free Report) . Both the companies sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of todays Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

BASF has expected long-term growth of 8.9%.

Chemours has expected long-term growth of 15.5%.

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Can This Quantum-Computing Genius Beat Out IBM and Google? – OZY

Posted: June 22, 2017 at 5:45 am

Few people can say theyve brought about a quantum leap in their field. But if all goes well for Chad Rigetti, this summer he will join them, by making the machine on your desk as obsolete as an abacus.

Were on a mission to build the worlds most powerful computer, says Rigetti, to solve humanitys most pressing problems. Cancer, climate change, world hunger all targets of the technology Rigetti has in mind. Its a striking vision for a 38-year-old farm boy from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, who once thought he would grow barley after high school.

To achieve his goal creating the first commercial quantum computer would amount to a revolution in computing. Conventional computers reduce logic problems to math problems, and math problems to a binary counting system: On or off equals one or zero. The time required to solve difficult problems has been getting shorter and shorter as computer engineers figure out how to make their on/off switches smaller, each year doubling the computing power contained within the same-size box. They now envision the day when theyre working on switches the size of atoms.

But thats also the point at which theyll hit a barrier, because subatomic particles behave according to the bizarre rules of quantum mechanics. A single particle can be in two places at once. It can instantly affect another particle light-years away. And it can travel through insulation, so its hard to find when you need it.

After more or less blundering into a physics class, Rigetti found himself lured by the mystery of quantum mechanics.

Such unpredictable behavior makes particles such as photons and electrons difficult to control but it also gives them a kind of superpower. Instead of bits, a quantum computer uses qubits, which can be both on and off at the same time. A conventional processor does one calculation at a time. A quantum processor with one qubit can do two calculations at once. A two-qubit processor can do four, and so on. A 70-qubit processor would be more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer ever built, and a 100-qubit processor would be more powerful than a conventional computer the size of the universe.

Why does this matter? On a grand scale, quantum computers could make quantum mechanics more intuitive, perhaps triggering a shift in human understanding similar to the discovery that the Earth orbits the sun. More practically, they could solve complex problems involving the interactions of multiple variables, enabling them, say, to dramatically accelerate the pattern recognition essential to artificial intelligence. They could also model how molecules interact to create new drugs or they might develop a fertilizer that sucks greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

That last example comes readily to Rigetti, who operated a tractor as a teenager. But if youd asked his high school teachers whether they thought him likely to innovate in the field of agriculture, let alone climate change, the response might have been a collective no. He probably stood out as being a bit argumentative, says his mother. I credit that to the fact that he was curious, and he was challenging the teachers.

That very combination of combativeness and curiosity propelled Rigetti to where he is today. Rather than academics, Rigetti threw himself into sports, attracting the attention of the wrestling coach at the University of Regina. Once there, however, a torn ligament halted his athletic career and curiosity took over.

After more or less blundering into a physics class, Rigetti found himself lured by the mystery of quantum mechanics and he brought a wrestlers tenacity to the thorniest equations. Eventually his efforts led him to Yale, where he teamed with Michel Devoret, an applied physicist with ideas for grappling with subatomic particles. Devoret proposed refrigerating silicon chips to colder than outer space, a temperature at which they become superconducting. Materials that are superconducting still behave in quantum ways, but their larger size makes it possible to manipulate them far more easily than individual photons and electrons.

Rigetti saw ways to build this idea into an actual quantum computer. From Yale, he took it to IBM, before founding his startup in 2013. Sitting for an interview in a conference room at Rigetti Computing in Berkeley, California, Rigetti sports the requisite Silicon Valleycasual attire: down vest over a pin-striped shirt, and blue sneakers. The newly minted entrepreneur is also newly married, to Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer whose blog post about sexual harassment at the company was a key factor in forcing its CEO, Travis Kalanick, to take a leave of absence. But while Rigetti may appear nonchalant, hes anything but laid-back. He is obsessively punctual, runs a meticulously clean laboratory and tightly limits whats disclosed about the companys technology.

Secretive is the word that Daniel Lidar, a quantum computing expert at the University of Southern California, chooses to describe Rigetti. He has revealed few specifics about the innovations that distinguish his companys product from those of his competitors, Lidar points out. And the competition is formidable. IBM, Google, Microsoft and Chinese tech giant Alibaba are all racing to invent the first general purpose commercial quantum computer.

What makes Rigetti think he can slay these Goliaths? Its like GM versus Tesla, Rigetti says. You can do amazing things by building an organization from scratch. That narrative has so far convinced venture capitalists to lay out $69.2 million, enabling the company to open offices in Berkeley and Fremont, California, and hire physicists from top universities and leading tech companies.

I know people who work there, says Seth Lloyd, professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, who devised part of the theoretical framework for quantum computing. I dont know if theyre going to win this race, but they are certainly real competitors in it.

When Rigetti Computing launches its computer the company promises an announcement this summer experts such as Lloyd and Lidar have math problems ready to challenge it. If the quantum computer solves them faster than a conventional computer, a new era may be at hand for all of humanity. If not, the world still needs barley.

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Imperfect crystals may be perfect storage method for quantum computing – Digital Trends

Posted: June 21, 2017 at 4:49 am

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Imperfect crystals may be perfect storage method for quantum computing – Digital Trends

Posted in Quantum Computing | Comments Off on Imperfect crystals may be perfect storage method for quantum computing – Digital Trends

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