IBM has been a leading pioneer in the computer industry. And it’s still going strong today. As was brilliantly proved during the latest IBM Think Summit where some groundbreaking and exciting news were announced.
According to IBM, the next hit in personal computers may be something right out of experimental science – if not sci-fi. That’s right, folks – we’re talking about quantum computers.
Research on quantum machines has been going on for several years. However, so far, their use had seldom gone beyond academic research. But IBM assures that these devices will soon be part of our everyday life. And that may happen much sooner than we think.
What is a quantum computer?
You may wonder what is a quantum computer and why the world was blown away by IBM’s news?
The computers that we use for work or at home are digital machines based on binary bit systems. Each bit can have only one value – 1 or 0 (on/off)
The ensuing binary code is used by computers to process and interact with their surroundings. The results are right under our own eyes.
A quantum computer’s magnetic storage, however, relies on qubits. These particles exploit the potential of quantum physics to perform tasks and parse reality.
Qubits, unlike bits, may hold both values at the same time (0 and 1 – on AND off). Also they can influence each other through superposition and entanglement, leading to the development of more complex systems that grow more and more complex by the minute and may even take advantage of quantum teleportation.
The future is today, in IBM’s vision
Quantum computing is of course deeper and more complex than the computing power of any ordinary pc or laptop. However, this does not make quantum computers any faster – rather the contrary. Quantum computers must juggle a far larger amount of data and even their interface requires particular procedures that aren’t as immediate as a keyboard or mousepad.
According to IBM, however, quantum supercomputers may soon land on wholesale market.
It’s unlikely that quantum computer will ever replace the computers we’ve come to know and love. Certainly not overnight.
But just as 3D printers are becoming increasingly more common, these devices may find their way into worldwide distribution – and our houses – in the future.
IBM’s vice-CEO Norishige Motimoto dropped this bomb during the IBM Think Summit, confirming what we had already glimpsed at the Las Vegas CES earlier this year.
Q System One, il computer quantistico di IBM
IBM has manufactured the first quantum computer for commercial use; meet Q System One. Allegedly, we might be able to witness it “live” in action in about five years from now.
The new quantum supercomputer may be reserved at first to specialized fields; it could, for example, manage banks databases worldwide. Conversely, it may give a shove ahead to scientific and medical research. Eventually, it’d find its way into more common everyday realities that are part of our life.
It may sound like something out of sci-fi, but it’s actually the latest trend of an ever growing field of research where limits exist to be pushed.
Actually the IBM Q System One has a 20 qubit interface and is held within a protective, pressurized glass cylinder. This is the only way to preserve the properties of qubits, which may be otherwise altered – and compromised – by EM and sound waves, vibrations and any external agent.
This post is also available in: Italiano