Quantum Computing: The Face of the FuturePublished Date: January 18, 2021
2020 gave us a global roller-coaster twist to the business giants, both on a positive and a learning note!
Most disruptive technologies like augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, information security, and cloud computation protected our cruciality, giving us ample opportunities to play with our innovative and leapfrogging ideas.
Meanwhile, quantum computing emerged as one of the top-5 technological trends in 2020, paving our way to revolutionized digital transformation.
In February 2020, the renowned quantum computing company, D-Wave Systems Inc., produced Leap-2, the first quantum cloud service designed to build and apply real-world hybrid quantum applications with substantial results.
In March, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory developed a quantum sensor that detects communications over radio frequency bandwidth and wavelength.
In October, IonQ vocalized its next-generation quantum computer system with 32 qubits along with a quantum volume greater than four million. Quantum volume is the overall power of a quantum machine. Later, the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC X9) introduced a new standard for public-key cryptography, emphasizing digital signatures.
China developed a quantum computing ‘Jiuzhang’ which will be 10 billion times faster and accurate than Google’s Sycamore. Jiuzhang captured 76 photons and gained quantum supremacy through Gaussian boson sampling. In broader terms, quantum computing can be a significant technological game-changer for commerce and science.
Quantum computing is leveraging investments worth billions of dollars and may soon be available as a cloud service and data analytics tool.
As per IDC reports, 25% of Fortune 500 companies will gain competitive leaps and bounds from quantum computing. Tech giant IBM plans to make a quantum computer, having a 1,121-qubit processor (codenamed Condor), within a 10-foot tall “super-fridge” that will be available online and delivering Quantum Advantage by 2023. It is under the prototype stage and can stack multiple hosting and many networked qubits. Quantum advantage helps in advanced, accurate, and information processing tasks.
As per Bob Sutor, vice president of IBM Quantum Strategy and Ecosystem – “This year, a few IBM Q Network organizations collaborated with us to make significant progress in quantum research for industry, including work with Mitsubishi Chemical on applying quantum computing to help develop lithium-oxygen batteries with greater energy density.
ExxonMobil to harness quantum computing to develop more accurate chemistry simulation techniques in energy technologies, and Daimler to explore how quantum computing can advance the next generation of EV-batteries”. Sutor emphasizes that by 2021, over 20,000 will enroll and complete online courses on quantum computing technology and coding.
Chief Strategy Officer of Strangeworks, the quantum computing startup company, Steve Gibson, has announced that Strangeworks will offer its initial platform by the first quarter of 2021 and the enterprise edition by the end of 2021.
In terms of top technological trends of 2021, quantum computing will dominate:
Crypto: A mixed bag?
2021 will see programmers focusing on quantum-safe cryptography and advanced information security through quantum computing applications. They also reported this in CB Insight’s 2020 Tech Trends analysis, which acknowledged that Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is crucial cybersecurity tool against quantum-based phishing.
Talking about cryptography, they predict malfunctioning in the asymmetric key cipher by the quantum computing labs. It is still very early to put fingers on existing quantum blockchain and cryptography technologies. A computer may take several years to decode weak password encryption, while the advanced quantum qubits can decrypt the same within some time.
Having said earlier, IBM has announced to launch its 1,121-qubit computer (Condor) by 2023, a 127-qubit computer (codenamed Eagle) by 2021, and a 433-qubit computer (codenamed Osprey) by 2022. IBM sees doubling its target quantum volume every year.
Rigetti also aims to become a qubit count lead with a 4x32Q multi-chip Aspen module, while Google’s Sycamore has 53-qubit processing. Google is blueprinting the 102Q (logical qubit prototype), 103Q (one logical qubit) for the next couple of months.
The world’s biggest tech giants will butt their heads in becoming the qubit count lead in 2021.
One of the peculiar forecasts is that artificial intelligence and quantum computing has an inter-dependent positive symbiotic association.
CEO of AI-FUTURE Inc, Frank Feather, emphasized that quantum computing will dominate the market in 2021, unveiling the unstoppable power of Artificial Intelligence.
Quantum plus Advanced Intelligence (or QAI) will infuse with BioGenetic Sciences to give birth to the super-intelligent humanoids (a BioDigi TransHuman Species) in advanced years, soon to come.
Machine learning will enhance quantum systems, resulting in faster data analysis in drug and fraud detection. Generative AI will expand the datasets used in generative and machine-learning models.
Let me quickly try to explain to you by example. If we integrate the quantum processing elements with the traditional computing framework, it will generate high-definition images in a facial recognition system.
So we are likely to achieve better results if we skillfully exploit the expanded dataset having vast image data (qualitative, variety, and quantitative) in a detection model.
The ‘Trapped Ion’ Theory:
While tech giants like IBM and Rigetti are busy employing superconducting qubits, there is another side to it. Honeywell and IonQ are troubleshooting ion-trap-based qubits. With the help of 6Q H0 and 10Q H1 (linear trap) processors, Honeywell is on the verge of becoming world no. 1 in the competitive quantum race.
The key USP of trapped ion is its superior connectivity and higher-gate fidelity. Their only drawback is their slow gate speed (typically x100-1000 slower) than the superconducting qubits. Experts can troubleshoot this demerit with longer qubit lifetimes and higher fidelities, producing low error correction probability.
The Trapped ion quantum computing is helping the vendors to multiply the maturity of their stacks. However, one must not ignore the prospected challenges. IonQ is fusing the Bacon-Shor-13 code with high-fidelity physical qubits that will maximize the quantum advantage gains.
Scaling up is yet another trapped-ion concern. To our benefit, AQT uses qubits based on optical transitions rather than hyperfine transitions exploited by Honeywell and IonQ.
In 2021, AQT will partner with Honeywell and IonQ in implementing the trapped ion theory, aiming to rule the world through its innovative technological transformation.