A quantum computer that will require over eight years of dedicated work in order to see the light; meet Google‘s newest technolocal challenge, announced some days ago. The Mountain View-based company has jumping on the quantum bandwagon, challenging early day pioneers like IBM. But there’s more besides. Google’s new quantum computer may, in fact, be just the first step toward a true technologic revolution.
The project is being carried out in a brand-new dedicated lab; the Quantum AI Campus, set in Santa Barbara (CA). Within the campus, Big G developers are already deep at work on the quantum computer, although it might take as long as eight years before their efforts are rewarded.
Google‘s estimated release date for its quantum computer has been set, tentatively, to 2029. But although the road ahead is still arduous, the technologic world is already abuzz about this new announcement. Qubits are no longer a fictional cybperunk construct, and quantum computers represent the future of technology; a “new era” that might be just around the corner.
Bringing Google’s quantum computer to light; a look at the Quantum AI Campus’s schedule
Quantum computing offer two highly challenging riddles for engineers. First and foremost, there’s the pressing need to make quantum computer as practical as possible; most existing quantum infrastructures nowadays are massive and cumbersome, often taking up entire rooms.
Another challenge is the current, frail nature of quantum computers. Qubit elaboration requires extreme precision; even the slightest external force might interfere with quantum computing and generate unforeseen errors. As it stands, quantum computers today are still a far cry from being accessible to a wider audience, and an even longer way from being mass-marketed.
One of the main goals of the Quantum AI Campus is endeavorig to fix and reduce errors through the use of every resource available. This painstaking debug process should result in increased performances and a far superior computing power, which in Google’s intentions ought to leave even pioneering competitors – like IBM and Honeywell – at a rather distant second place. If everything goes as the Google developers hope, then the new quantum computer currently being developed in the Quantum AI Campus should elaborate complex data in half the time required by other modern-day quantum machines.
But there’s more. With the development of increasingly reliable qubits, it should also be possible to reduce the size of all hardware devices necessary for processing quantum calculations. As we’ll see, the progress of technology in this direction is nothing short of amazing.
Ideally, qubits should become part of our everyday life, and quantum computers be as affordable and widespread as any ordinary personal computer or laptop. With a more massive penetration of quantum technology within the world of industry and research, several fields would benefit from a noticeable boost of their current performances; for example, the superior computing power of quantum computer would pave the way to huge medical and pharmacological advancements, as it would take a remarkably shorter amount of time for the testing of new medications.
When size does matters
The amount of resources needed to operate quantum elaboration has long been one of the challenges faced by developers. As of now, the infrastructures used to process a few qubits are massive, both in terms of size and power requirements; as such, the usage of this technology is still severely cinfined within the scope of dedicated labs and strictly limited to dedicated labs. Soon enough, however, things may change.
Since Google aims to improve the computing power of its quantum computer, all errors must be removed from logical qubits, which entails handlig several millions of physical qubits in the Quantum AI Campus. If until a few years ago the task would have been unfeasible, nowadays technology is ready to grapple the bulls by its horns, and Google won’t stand back and watch.
An encouraging foray in the right direction arrived earlier this year from the University of Cambridge, where the right direction arrived earlier this year from the University of Cambridge, where a startup named Riverlane announced the develpment of a new quantum chip the size of a penny. Riverlane researchers have also been working the operative system Deltaflow which, allegedly, may run on multiple quantum devices at once.
Scaling down quantum engineering to a more manageable size is a huge achievement, second only to the development of personal computers. In many way, it reflects the ascending spiral of ICT as technology evolved more and more; we’ve seen it happen with computers, phones and storage units just to name a few. Now the time has come for qubits to follow thus.
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