This morning, JP Morgan Chase and Samsung announced that they are partnering with IBM to build business apps on quantum computers. Some if not most of you may wonder, what is a quantum computer?
Defining Quantum Computers
In the 1930’s Alan Turning, developed The Turning machine, it is a theoretical device that consists of tape of unlimited length that is divided into little squares. Each square can hold a symbol, 1 or 0, or be left blank. A read-write device, reads these symbols or blanks and gives the machine instructions to perform a certain program.
Today’s computers work by manipulating bits that exists in one of two states: a 0 or a 1. However, quantum computers are not limited to two states. They encode information as quantum bits, also known as ‘qubits’. Qubits can exist in superposition and represent atoms, ions, photons or electrons and they work together to act as computer memory and a processor. What this means is that a quantum computer can contain multiple states simultaneously, thus giving it the power to supersede classical computers while computing on efficient energy levels.
Energy conservation has been a topic as of late, due to recent research that shows that if we continue on this current market trend, since computers were introduced, by 2040 we will not have the capabilities to power all of the machines around the globe. Hence, the excitement of IBM who sees a big opportunity in quantum computing.
In 1961, IBM’s Research Lab’s Rolf Landauer, found that each single bit operation must use an absolute minimum amount of energy. He went on to formulate a calculation of the lowest limit of energy required for a computer operation. In March of this year, researchers determined it could be possible to make a chip that will operate on the lowest energy levels yet.
Here is what IBM has to say about the development of this energy efficient chip, “IBM’s goal is for its partners to develop applications that demonstrate a business advantage because they run on quantum instead of traditional computers using silicon-based chips. IBM hopes to see such success by 2020, says Gil, though he says IBM is “very honest” about the fact that the technology is still in its early days. ”