- Quantum computing is seeing more robust software support with tools like Microsoft’s Q# and IBM Quantum Experience.
- Quantum supercomputers are becoming more common, with Chinese tech giant Baidu revealing its QIAN SHI quantum platform.
- Quantum lattice cryptography offers more CPU efficiency and stronger security, making it a promising development for information security.
- Hybrid quantum applications, like Microsoft’s Azure Quantum platform, combine traditional computing with quantum computing for complex mathematical computations.
- Quantum computing is being explored for advanced materials, such as clean and strong carbon nanotubes, which could lead to lower-cost quantum circuits.
Quantum computing greatly differs from traditional models in its reliance on qubits over boolean logic. This additional means of processing numbers lends to the model being suitable for many purposes, like cryptography.
Quantum computing made quite a splash a few years ago but has disappeared from the public eye. That doesn’t mean work isn’t still being done in the background, however. With this in mind, it is certainly worth exploring the latest developments and trends in quantum computing.
While it may never be part of every household, it could very well impact products and services you use regularly. Here are a few of the more exciting developments and uses for quantum computing, which is by no means an exhaustive list.
More Robust Software Support
One of the big roadblocks holding back quantum computing currently is a lack of usable software tools. When you consider that traditional computing has had literal decades of support across a wide array of architectures, it does make sense that the power on offer from these machines is unrealized.
This might not be quite as pronounced going forward, thanks to the introduction of tools like Q# from Microsoft and the IBM Quantum Experience. This does come with some caveats, however, as traditional computing is so rooted in binary logic that developers will have to specialize in dealing with qubits.
Hopefully, the introduction of more robust high-level tools will do away with some of the more granular experience needed. Developers could then fully leverage a quantum platform for the workloads they can do.
Quantum computers operating as a massive platform is nothing new. While one single quantum computer might be powerful, many working together provides number-crunching capabilities that are unfathomable.
Supercomputers using quantum computing as a platform are nothing new, but this space is seeing more competition. This is good for the market, as rival platforms encourage growth and innovation. This spurs greater leaps in technology moving forward.
While IBM and other firms have operated their own quantum computing platforms, they aren’t the only ones emerging to utilize the technology. Chinese tech giant Baidu recently revealed its QIAN SHI quantum platform. It isn’t just Baidu either; quantum supercomputers are becoming more of a norm than an exception.
Difficult to Crack Cryptography
Cryptography has been a very math-heavy field since its inception. Quantum computing raises the stakes and creates algorithms that take eons to crack. Cryptographic researchers have been hard at work, as well, using quantum lattice structures to create symmetrical algorithms for securing data.
Post-quantum cryptography holds a lot of promise when considering the core concepts of information security. If you have an algorithm with an impossible-to-guess key and encryption that requires a supercomputer to process the first time, a bad actor isn’t getting in.
Quantum cryptography is a must going forward, as traditional cryptographic algorithms can be cracked in a fraction of the time with a motivated team using quantum resources. Quantum lattice cryptography has the additional benefit of being more CPU efficient for your average user.
As such, once approved, expect to see more and more quantum cryptography algorithms becoming commonplace.
Hybrid Quantum Applications
Quantum computing has relied on traditional computers since its introduction to help provide an interface users are familiar with. Developers have realized the power this poses, however, especially when it comes to complex mathematical computations.
Take, for example, Microsoft’s Azure Quantum platform, which couples traditional computing with its quantum counterpart. Hybrid computing is very likely the way forward, as developers and users alike can read the output of a calculation on a traditional machine.
It also gives developers the means to define the circuits, logic, and gates that comprise a quantum application. While your average user might never see a quantum application on a home PC, they will more than likely benefit from it in ways you might not expect.
The usage of quantum computers in the field of communications is one avenue being actively explored. As you might expect, much of the modern internet is built on the backbone of traditional computing.
You could read over the technical minutiae at length regarding the transmission of signals between computers, but it still uses the same binary logic your average traditional platform might use.
Quantum computing comes into play with communications by providing a mixture of those binary choices, while also tightly encrypting the signal. Data in motion is already difficult to exploit, but this makes it effectively impossible for hobbyist bad actors.
American startup Aliro is one such firm exploring the usage of quantum computing as a means of communication. While the service itself isn’t live yet, it is certainly promising.
Aliro uses entanglement networks to transmit signals and is readily scalable. Currently, it is still in the implementation and design stage, but it certainly is an exciting development.
Those tuned into science news will likely remember the introduction of carbon nanotubes. The development poses a lot of promise but has yet to materialize in a tangible way for the average user.
French firm C12 is looking to change that and is using quantum computing to revolutionize it. C12 uses quantum computations to create clean, strong nanotubes.
These are then used in the formation of quantum circuits, but could very readily see usage in other applications. Nanotubes aren’t likely to replace the usage of silicon die sets, which make up the overwhelming majority of traditional computers.
That said, it could lead to lower-cost quantum circuits which could help bring this sort of platform to the masses in a more affordable form. Currently, quantum computing is the domain of enterprises, but this could pivot to educational roles, as well.
Quantum Machine Learning
If you thought quantum computing could be used to accelerate machine learning, you’d be correct. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are notoriously resource intensive, thanks in part to massive datasets and the calculations running in the background to get things where they need to be.
The UK-based company Quantum Artificial Intelligence is one of a few ventures looking to leverage it in the AI space. Quantum Artificial Intelligence provides quantum platforms for AI developers to do their work in far less time than even CUDA-based machines can handle.
As such, AI developers can run even larger data sets, making for more robust models. This is just one of the many applications you can expect to see being leveraged going forward.
Quantum Platforms in the Cloud
The cloud has revolutionized the way many tech firms do business. Having readily available resources that scale has made it easier than ever to carve your own niche in the tech landscape.
As you might expect, quantum computing can be readily leveraged to speed up the process. Indian startup QpiCloud is one such enterprise, providing scalable workflows to businesses readily.
Qpicloud then takes the workloads and converts them into hybrid quantum workloads, with air-tight encryption. You still get the massive benefits of cloud computing, notably the massive power and scalability.
Using quantum platforms pares back some of the risks associated with cloud computing, however. It is common knowledge that a tech firm is only as secure as the weakest link in the organization.
There have been breaches with cloud providers, who are outside the cybersecurity staff’s domain. Having readily encrypted workloads that are harder to crack could change the way most cloud contracting is done.
Having the power of a quantum platform behind an enterprise also cannot be understated. For mathematical operations, accelerates the workflow and provides faster means of data visualization and analysis.
Quantum computing might not change the way the average person interacts with their devices. That said, it very much could lead to smarter and more efficient technology behind the scenes.
The tech driving it is alive and well. What it means going forward is also quite exciting, as it seems like things are on the verge of another massive leap forward.
For an overview of quantum computing and quantum cryptography, we recommend this video:
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