2019 was a huge year for quantum computing. A few months ago, IBM has released the Q System One, the first quantum computer. In October, Google has announced a huge breakthrough with its quantum supremacy and there’s a huge list of quantum computing research and applications in various fields that should be notable. It is inevitable that the race to build the world’s most powerful computer will continue in 2020 and beyond. Some even say that quantum computing can have a larger impact than the technology of smartphones.
Governments across the world also get ready to join the development of quantum computing to get a military and technological edge. Russia, the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea, France, Netherland, and Israel are among several countries that are leading the race to develop the technology of quantum computing.
For the average non-tech person, the theory of quantum computing might sound confusing and unclear. In simple words, it’s a much stronger computing system that has the potential to revolutionize computation by operating certain types of problems solvable. Anyway, if you are not familiar with the concept, just watch this quantum computer explained video.
Quantum computing is booming
Quantum Supremacy – the term that describes a quantum computer’s ability to solve a problem that classical computers cannot – is considered as the next big thing. In one of Google quantum computing tests, the team said its quantum computer processor was able to solve a mathematical problem in just 200 seconds instead of 10,000 years with a traditional computer process.
But what is the future of quantum computing? What are the benefits and impacts of quantum supremacy?
That fact that a quantum computer machine has performed a computational task that would be impossible for a traditional computer to solve is a huge breakthrough for the future.
According to John Phillip Preskill, professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech): “It won’t change anything overnight, but it is significant that quantum computers are now at the stage that at least in some arena, they can outperform the best computers on Earth,”
Looking ahead, quantum computers are on the way to having a real impact once the technology becomes more accessible. The benefits are enormous – Quantum computers can be useful in science, molecular modeling, financial modeling, cryptography, climate modeling, computational chemistry, weather forecast, etc. Quantum computers cannot really replace classical computers but will be able to perform large numbers calculations and therefore solve problems that will take traditional computers or human being hundred of years to perform.
Yet, building quantum computers is incredibly difficult and there’s a long way ahead until it becomes something that’s more practical than theoretical. One thing is for sure – If Google, IBM, Microsoft, and other tech giants are working on quantum computing technology, the industry is expected to grow in the upcoming decade including new jobs and education programs. For example, quantum computing online courses are offered by edX and Udemy and there’s a growing demand for quantum computing research analysts.
The future of quantum computing
There has been significant progress in the development and research of quantum computing, in particular in 2019, however, these algorithms are not easy to develop and can take years to build. As long as quantum computers bits (qubits) remain limited, classical computers can solve any problem faster than quantum computers. Whenever engineers can build computers with a larger number of bits, all the above benefits can be achieved.
There are many open questions and obstacles to quantum computing. Some even criticize the technology, claiming that the results that have been achieved so far are not accurate and that quantum computing is more of a threat than a necessity. Yet, it is not different than any other technology that has had a huge impact on the world, for better or worse. Nevertheless, quantum computing is going to be a part of the computing clusters for every programmer, tech company and government.