What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum Computer is a computation device which uses quantum-mechanical phenomena which is different from the usual digital computers working on transistors. Digital computers make use of binary digits for data encoding but quantum computing uses quantum bits (qubits). The concept was first introduced by Yuri Manin and Richard Feynman back in 1980s. Quantum Computing is still in its starting phase but lots of work is being done in the field. Full-fledged quantum computers will be able to solve problems much faster than classical computers.
A classical computer works on memory consisting of bits, and bit represents either a one or a zero. A quantum computer uses a sequence of qubits. A single qubit can represent a one, a zero, or any quantum superposition of these two qubit states. In general, a quantum computer with n qubits can be in an arbitrary superposition of up to 2n different states simultaneously (this compares to a normal computer that can only be in one of these states at any one time).
What Google is doing?
Last August, Google shook hands with NASA to purchase “The D-Wave Two” of D-Wave Systems which claims to make “the first commercial quantum computer”.
Now Google has announced that it will design and build its own quantum computer chips. Google will be doing this at its Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, was launched in 2013 and is a collaboration between Google, NASA’s Ames Research Center, and the Universities Space Research Association.
Google has teamed up with UC Santa Barbara physicist John Martinis and his team to work in this field. Martinis is a pioneer in this field and was awarded the London Prize earlier this year for his work in quantum information processing and computing.
Hartmut Neven Google’s director of engineering wrote in a Google+ post:
“With an integrated hardware group the Quantum AI team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture.”
About the existing collaboration with the D-Wave Systems, Neven writes:
“We will continue to collaborate with D-Wave scientists and to experiment with the ‘Vesuvius’ machine at NASA Ames which will be upgraded to a 1000 qubit ‘Washington’ processor.”
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