CES Struck Me with Awe – the Quantum Computer

At CES 2018 I saw a computer that put me awe. Here is Intel’s 50 Qubit Quantum Computer:

Intel Quantum Computer CES 2018
Intel Quantum Computer CES 2018

In regular computers a chip (bit) is either on or off (1 or 0) giving us a way to produce computations. Quantum chips, called qubits, can be 0, 1 or both at the same time. This is because of a complicated sub-set of physics called quantum mechanics. Don’t worry if you don’t understand. Even Einstein declared quantum mechanics to be “spooky.”

So just realize that harnessing the power of qubits will allow us to solve computational problems that traditional computers cannot handle, like predicting the weather accurately. Quantum computing is the FUTURE.

Qubits are tremendously fragile. Any radio frequency noise or unintended observation of them can cause data loss. So these types of computers must operate at a temperature of approximately 20 millikelvin—or 250 times colder than deep space.

So the quantum computer which looks a little like a chandelier is actually a refrigerated unit that keeps the qubits extremely cold. The cylinder at the bottom contains the qubits surrounded by special metals on a small silicon square.

 

Intel 49 qubit quantum chip

Intel just invested 50 billion dollars into quantum computing research. Google, IBM, and others are vying for supremacy in this area. The race may take a few more years, but the winner will be the average person. Quantum computing will make your life better in the near future.

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