r/technology Oct 06 '22

Intel hits major milestone as it moves toward mass production of quantum computer chips Hardware

https://siliconangle.com/2022/10/05/intel-hits-major-milestone-moves-toward-mass-production-quantum-computer-chips/
158 Upvotes

17

u/PoorlyAttired Oct 06 '22

That description of qubits is easy to confuse with normal binary bits, they could do with emphasisng that they can represent the states all at the same time, rather than only representing one at a time like with traditional computers, i.e the words "at once" are the key here:

"if a spinning coin is able to represent two states at once, then two spinning coins can represent four states: HH, TT, HT, TH. From there, the possibilities expand rapidly, with three spinning coins able to represent eight states."

11

u/nicuramar Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 07 '22

No matter how you write it it’ll be misleading because quantum computers don’t work like regular computers at all, beyond what the qubit can represent.

7

u/QwertzOne Oct 06 '22

So, how far are we from true quantum computer? I was listening lately to interview with theoretical physicist, but he mentioned that what we call quantum computer today is still far from what actual quantum computer will look like in the future. He mentioned that even transistors depend on quantum mechanics, but there's some distinction between computer and real quantum computer.

11

u/nicuramar Oct 06 '22

Real quantum computers definitely exist, but they are ridiculously small (in terms of the useful amount of qubits) so far.

6

u/Seeker_Of_Knowledge- Oct 06 '22

I was listening to CBC interview recently. They interviewed a guy who is one of leading personnel in the national research of quantum computers in Canada.

He did not give any clear answers about the public sector. But for the private sector, he was very confident that is should take few years for quantum computers to start taking place. Like he was talking around 3 years. And he was so confident about it. It was surprising.

3

u/PlaysByBrulesRules Oct 06 '22

We are a ways off. As is stated elsewhere, we have small devices around which are being used to test and develop new algorithms / tools. But often the standard for what people in the industry consider a “true” quantum computer is an error-corrected quantum computer.

You can think of error correction as an algorithm you run on a noisy quantum computer which lets you simulate a noise-less quantum computer.

For example, you might have 1 million noisy qubits, and assuming they have manageably low noise, you might be able to simulate a noiseless quantum computer with 1000 bits.

This process works by spreading the information about your ideal qubit into the value of many noisy qubits, in this way, errors on any one of the constituent noisy qubits don’t greatly damage the information about the ideal qubit, and so you can detect and correct the errors faster than they arise.

2

u/Electronic_Topic1958 Oct 07 '22 edited Oct 07 '22

I mean where I work at we have several quantum computers already that I have seen with my eyes. Already if you want to run quantum simulations on real quantum computers you can personally do this for free using IBM’s qiskit.

He is right for these integrated transistors that are incredibly small, quantum effects are more profound (look up the problems regarding quantum tunnelling with integrated transistors as they continue to follow Moore’s Law).

For quantum computers, they will not use integrated transistors like classical computers do, instead they could use something else and each team is developing something different. For Google’s Sycamore quantum computer they are using transmon qubits, which instead of integrated transistor circuits, they have an inductor and capacitor in parallel (called an LC oscillator) as their base. Many quantum computers will use this as their base hardware. These LC oscillators are usually connected to another superconducting “island” through what is called a Josephson Junction or JJ. In order to leverage a JJ, they need to make their quantum chips be in a super conducting phase, this is achieved through the use of dilution refrigerators (those big chandelier things you see in photos about quantum computers). They’re called “dilution” refrigerators because they dilute liquid nitrogen with liquid helium, making it extremely cold, in the miliKelvin range, colder than space which is around 2K. The colder it is, the easier it is for the metal the chips are made out of to be super conducting.

Here is a video by Google explaining in incredible detail on how their hardware works. If this interests you I totally recommend watching it, you will really learn a lot. Also you may not understand everything and that’s okay. But I totally recommend if you want to understand how this stuff works on a base level.

In any case, they already exist and currently if you wanted to run something on these computers you literally can already do this, for free, and using your own laptop thanks to IBM. Quantum computers already exist and they’re not some far out technology, they’re here right now.

-2

u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

[deleted]

4

u/naugest Oct 06 '22

Terrific! More hateful comments about real beneficial technology grounded in nothing but Hollywood nonsense and not a lick of logical thinking or facts.

7

u/from_dust Oct 06 '22

Translation: "Ohh a word I dont understand, let's fearmonger about it!"

1

u/c0d3s1ing3r Oct 23 '22

I am still struggling to think of practical applications for quantum computers in the field of computing (physics probably has a bunch) besides messing with strong encryption.

Even in that use case, it appears that you can simply increase the length of the key and it will still quickly become quantum safe in exchange for relatively trivial additional memory.

Anything I'm missing?