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World's First Programmable Quantum Photonic Chip

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the future-chip dept.

Hardware 156

MrSeb writes "A team of engineering geniuses from the University of Bristol, England has developed the world's first re-programmable, multi-purpose quantum photonic computer chip that relies on quantum entanglement to perform calculations. With multiple waveguide channels (made from standard silicon dioxide), and eight electrodes, the silicon chip is capable of repeatedly entangling photons. Depending on how the electrodes are programmed, different quantum states can be produced. The end result is two qubits that can be used to perform quantum computing. Most importantly, though, unlike existing quantum photonic setups which require apparatus the size of a 'large dining table,' this new chip is tiny: just 70mm (2.7 inches) by 3mm."

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It's really (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338124)

Amazing!

Badass. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338138)

That is pretty badass.

excellent. (1)

Denihil (1208200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338146)

sweet. i want 40-50 thousand made, and strewn on my bed. i would sleep like a baby.

Re:excellent. (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338172)

Protip: silicon is not soft. Further, it probably has, y'know, copper inputs and outputs? 40-50 thousand of those (times however many pins each chip has) poking into your supple, greasy back are also not soft.

Re:excellent. (4, Funny)

Denihil (1208200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338252)

i know! one time i slept on about 60 cat-5 cables on a 200+ person man LAN, it wasn't too bad. maybe if i laid in bed, and then had the chips on top of me? thanks for the input though :) i slept next to my frigid bitch of a ex girlfriend, so if i can handle near absolute zero temperatures, this should be a walk in the park.

Re:excellent. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338316)

i slept next to my frigid bitch of a ex girlfriend

You appear to be bitterly complaining. Two responses, both equally valid, both likely true:

1). You sure do know how to pick 'em! Excellent taste in women, sir. She didn't "change", she revealed the true nature you would have noticed in the beginning if you weren't so blinded by your own desire.

2). Frigid? It's not her fault you can't perform and couldn't satisfy. Right now she's banging someone else who definitely would not call her frigid.

Re:excellent. (-1, Offtopic)

Denihil (1208200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338352)

hah. it was a joke. actually we're on good terms. i just wanted to throw in a reference to absolute zero. and you dont know shit about her, kthxbye~

Re:excellent. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338606)

hah. it was a joke. actually we're on good terms. i just wanted to throw in a reference to absolute zero. and you dont know shit about her, kthxbye~

Yes, because as we all know, people who are on good terms with someone and care about them always talk about how frigid and bitchy that person is. Yes, of course! It is all so obvious now.

"Kthxbye" the butt-hurt call of face-saving condescension. Ah yes, you are definitely a predictable one. Sorry she was upset about your small penis.

Re:excellent. (0)

Denihil (1208200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338648)

wow. so much hate over calling someone a frigid bitch. i could say some very negative things about you, but im trying to stay polite. so yes, i am being condescending and saying kthxbye. so kthx. bye.

Re:excellent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339144)

one ex of mine who i'm on good terms with (as is my wife) i occasionally refer to as having had sex with over 9000 guys... doesn't mean we're not on good terms.

(phew, there's that "post anonymously" button)

Re:excellent. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339268)

That's why they tell you silicon valley types not to date porn stars, especially the ones who starred in the '24 hours of banging ' :D

Full-service shops do tend to rapidly increase the number of customers served, just ask McDonalds.

Re:excellent. (4, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338410)

That would be awesome to see - a hammock made of woven cat-5 cables.

Once saw the interconnect of a supercomputer/rack server "styled" into ocean waves, rather than just some snake-pit of cables.

killer comment. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338564)

paranormally hilarious.

Re:excellent. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339128)

Actually, the more pins are there, the more evenly your weight is distributed on them. 50 thousand pins are very close to a flat surface.

Re:excellent. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339608)

Not when they're randomly distributed in little uneven mounds. 40,000 of these chips would have a surface area of 6' x 16.29' when laid out in a rectangle, so to fit them all on a single-sized bed you'd need to stack them three or four layers deep. It would be more like sleeping on a bed of pine needles that stick up at odd angles. Don't worry, I've seen the "lying on a bed of nails!" videos too, and I know what you're talking about—but these would definitely be very uncomfortable unless you glued them down.

Re:excellent. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339968)

Many babies cry a lot, sleep for a while, wake up, cry a lot. Repeat...

So the OP might sleep like those babies ;).

Re:excellent. (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339904)

... And after all this political madness finally a qubit of good news... :-p

Your bootyass is cursed, you fuck! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338150)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 2007, a little boy named Timothy was standing in the hallway inside of his house. He then turned towards the place where the hallway connects with his mom's bedroom and spotted a box of graham crackers. This made him realize that there was a new rule in his house: anyone who walks past the box of graham crackers must allow the large black man standing near it to fuck their ass! Then, for some reason, he tried to run past the box of graham crackers and was grabbed by the large black man. The large black man looked at his bootyass naked ass and screamed, "There is no hole!" Timothy then escaped and ran into his mom's closet, and the black man followed. The black man then bumped into a cabbage patch kid in the closet and angered it. Timothy managed to escape outside while the black man's ass was turned into a rumblehouse. Then, Timothy noticed that a close friend of his had his car parked in front of his house and was signaling him to get inside. Timothy did so, and the car took off down the road at great speed while Timothy explained his situation to his friend.

While Timothy was celebrating the fact that he escaped, the car began slowing down; his friend then said, "Now, now, now's the time right now!"

Timothy asked him what he was doing. His friend grinned evilly and replied, "What slowness can I offer you? I'm copyright owner Madow!" and turned into an old man wearing a butler's outfit.

The car continued to slow down, and the cabbage patch kid was catching up to them. Timothy then got out of the car (since he could run faster than it was moving) and began running. However, what seemed to be an invisible entity lifted him into the air and thrusted him ass-first around the world at a speed greater than the speed of light! Eventually, Timothy's bootyass naked ass crashed directly into the very cabbage patch kid he was trying to escape from! The cabbage patch kid was then sucked into Timothy's ass as if his ass was a spaghetti noodle (just like grandma)! At that point, his ass became a bouncehouse for the cabbage patch kid, and major tickle was inflicted upon it!

Now that you have read this, the very same cabbage patch kid will get sucked right up your ass as if your ass is a spaghetti noodle, and major tickle will be inflicted upon it!

You can prevent this by doing the following: post this comment in three different threads.

Re:Your bootyass is cursed, you fuck! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338164)

Why, why would you ever believe and re-post such a thing??? Why?

Photonic Chip Penis Dance and Karaoke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338152)

I wonder if I could hold one of these in my penis' mouth? Ever make your penis talk? It could be a superstar! I like making it dance and sing about Photonic Chips!

ok (4, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338158)

but can you link it to the inverted phase-induced sub-space harmonic protocol analyzer to initiate a modulated tachyon pulse?

With the proper dongle, of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338260)

The trick is finding the dongle.

Re:ok (4, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338408)

Did you happen to work for the Voyager writing team?

Re:ok (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338936)

Doubt it. He said it in the first act instead of the last.

Re:ok (3, Funny)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339346)

Yes, but only if you reverse the polarity first.

Re:ok (2)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339368)

Of course - there's an app for that!

Re:ok (1)

goodgod43 (1993368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339728)

I'll create a GUI using Visual Basic to do this in real time

Re:ok (1)

a_hanso (1891616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339742)

Don't talk nonsense. You need to reconfigure the deflector for that. In fact, you need to reconfigure the deflector for just about everything.

computing power scales exponentially (5, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338186)

For those who are unaware why qubits are so powerful: the computing power provided by qubits scales exponentially if compared to bits used in ordinary computing. For example if you had 20 qubits, that would be like doing simultaneous calculations on processor with internal register size of 1048576 bits. Roughly. That's orders of magnitude more than modern CPUs, which have about dozen of 64 bit registers.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (4, Informative)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338202)

oh, and I forgot to mention - that's also the reason why quantum physics is so difficult to model using our today's computers. Monte carlo and other rough estimations are widely used. Only simplest problems (think harmonic oscilator) have analytical (and crazy complex) solutions.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (4, Interesting)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338332)

I know qubits can be very useful at encryption/decryption/cracking and such, but I'm curious: what else would they be useful for? I mean, is there something that a typical desktop/workstation does today that could be improved by adding some qubit-based magic behind the scenes, similar to how GPUs (and FPUs before them) resulted in improved GUIs, games, CAD/CAM etc.? Or is this the kind of thing that's most probably going to remain restricted to specific fields, with very specific needs, for the foreseeable future?

Re:computing power scales exponentially (4, Interesting)

whovian (107062) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338396)

I wonder if it could be used for simulating consciousness. I mean, IBM's Watson is a machine with clever brute force implementation of language parsing and data retrieval. Quantum computing seems paradigm-shifting enough to effectively implement many Watson-type machines, perhaps.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (3, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338868)

To simulate conciousness, the thinking entity needs to be able to genuinely ask a question... not just look for different types of metadata

Re:computing power scales exponentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339058)

No, that would be consciousness. To simulate consciousness one only needs to have enough computational power for the other not be able to tell the difference.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (4, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339168)

that's an arse-backward definition of "simulation" that you have.

it needs to be able to make meaningful predictions as well.

for example, a VFX explosion in a space-opera versus a simulation of a nuke explosion on a supercomputer at Los Alamos

Re:computing power scales exponentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38340002)

think of thousands of Watsons networked together, and each one connected to a surgical robot operating on humans

Re:computing power scales exponentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338506)

I suspect this is powerful enough computing power that there will be an argument to keep it restricted to "the cloud". Too much power for the average citizen, more than anyone but a terrorist would need, that kinda thing.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (1)

damian2k (2358426) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339264)

I suspect this is powerful enough computing power that there will be an argument to keep it restricted to "the cloud". Too much power for the average citizen, more than anyone but a terrorist would need, that kinda thing.

Erm, that's what they said about the first ever computer, you know, the quote that went: "there is a global market for a total of 8 computers" or something.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339568)

Erm, yeah, but there was an open market back then. We are dealing with a supply-managed market now. There may be a demand for ten thousand of these things, but in order to keep control, it will be ten thousand centrally located systems. The Cloud knows best.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (2)

rbmyers (587296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339864)

I think it was five computers, and what no one ever mentions is that Thomas Watson, who made the comment, wanted the world to continue using punch cards, which were the backbone of IBM's profitability. That is to say, all you IBM'ers out there who think IBM practically invented computing, IBM's first take on the "opportunity" was to try to kill it.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (4, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338620)

The general rule for qubits seems to be anything that requires a unique solution but has to consider every possible combination of boolean states. Since they are Boolean zero or one values, that leads to cryptography because a relatively few number of bits would be required; 256,512,1024.

GPU's do floating-point calculations in parallel, which is really good for those problems which have to apply the same algorithm to different data points, like CFD, physics, AI, image and signal processing.

To represent floating-point data would require at least 16 qubits for half-floats, 32-bits for IEEE 754 standard floats, and 64-bits for doubles. But to do anything useful like CFD, would require storage of the entire state of the system which would require gigabits of data.

Unless someone could shrink the problem of CFD modelling down to atomic scales using phantom atoms, and overlapping qubits onto the same logic, GPU's won't have any competition.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338836)

Now your going to suggest finding all of the Mercian Primes under 10^1000 or something. Just what we needed, more goddamn Mercian Primes. They're all over the place.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339892)

It's Mersenne primes. And use powers of 2, not 10.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338622)

...what else would they be useful for? I mean, is there something that a typical desktop/workstation does today that could be improved by adding some qubit-based magic behind the scenes...?

That is, will it run Emacs, LaTeX, and other important stuff? :-)

Re:computing power scales exponentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338892)

Pfft. obviously for games :D Quantum Video Cards, being massively parallel could make ray tracing a walk in the park.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339016)

From the article it seems that one thing that we "just have to discover.. " we know it will be good at some applications but only actual use/engineering will fill in all the blanks..

Re:computing power scales exponentially (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339880)

Quantum computers are sort of the ultimate parallel systems. That does mean they only work well on really parallel problems though. "Cracking encryption" means factoring large numbers - it goes much faster if you can try all the possibilities at the same time. Quantum computing may well remain a niche thing though, good for physical simulations and things like factoring (until everyone quits using that kind of encryption). Or maybe we'll think of entirely new uses.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339590)

You're an idiot. You don't know anything about physics.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (3, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338246)

Definitely. However right now we do not have 20 qubits in a device, we have 2 qubits today. If progress in physics and electronics allows us to have 3 qubits in 18 month, 4 qubits in 36 months and so on, we have just reinvented the quantum version of Moore's law.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (5, Informative)

hweimer (709734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338384)

Oh, we already have a quantum version of Moore's law [quantenblog.net] . However, the time constant for doubling is on the order of six years and not 18 months.

how long to catch up to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338898)

...the processing power of silicon? at what point in the future would it be feasible to switch?

Re:how long to catch up to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338946)

Not long... but only for very specific problems. Quantum computing isn't like the sort of general purpose computing you are used to. You won't see some massive magical speed increase for games for example.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338256)

reference?

Re:computing power scales exponentially (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338296)

I think he made it up. I am not making up (but could be completely wrong) that coincidentally the difficulty of preventing decoherence scales exponentially. And that is the primary limiter to # of qubits and performance, more or less correct?

In the very long run, I think quantum computing is going to be very much like DSP, in that the "hard work" is handling the analog signals to get "the problem" in and out. Inside ye olde DSP processor, a couple gnomes magically make it work, and superficially seem to be the hard part, at least partially correctly as some of the math is hideous. But the real problem is the unavoidable analog/RF work.

Kind of like how supercomputing is defined as taking a CPU bound process and making it an IO bound process, more or less.

Wake me when they get to 2048 qubits (1)

Myria (562655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339084)

I think he made it up. I am not making up (but could be completely wrong) that coincidentally the difficulty of preventing decoherence scales exponentially. And that is the primary limiter to # of qubits and performance, more or less correct?

This is why I more or less will ignore quantum computing unless they can get the number of qubits up enough to be useful.

Wake me when scientists make a 2048-qubit computer. The Xbox 1 public key and I have a score to settle.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338626)

...if you had 20 qubits, that would be like doing simultaneous calculations on [a] processor with [an] internal register size of 1048576 bits. Roughly.

...modern CPUs ... have about [a] dozen of 64 bit registers.

So that'd be roughly the equivalent of 16,384 ordinary registers at 64 bits per register, as opposed to 12 of those old 64 bit registers.

That's only about one order of magnitude.

Nevermind. Anyway...

Where are you getting these numbers? I mean yeah, two to the power of twenty (2^20) is 1,048,576.

But are you trying to say that any given qubit can be used to calculate the state of about 52,429 normal real-world bits, simultaneously? And thus take the place of 16.384 real-world 64 bit registers? How does that work?

I'm pretty sure the channel is still just 20 bits wide. Sure, that channel can represent numbers up to 1,048,576. And sure, maybe all values between 0 and 1,048,576 simultaneously... but so what? How do we get a tangible real-world result from 20 qubits that may or may not contain 1,048,586 values?

I don't get it.

Bad news for crypto (4, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338688)

If what you say is true, this is truly bad news for cryptography. Algorithms like AES owe their security largely to the fact that brute-forcing all of the keys is generally impractical; with a 256 qubit machine, AES 256 would be cracked in *a single clock cycle*.

If they can do this with two qubits, why not 4? Why not 8, or 128, or 512?

In the same way the WWII cipher designers probably had a hard time imagining that in 40 years there would exist a machine which could crack their ciphers in real time, the designers of block ciphers like DES and AES probably had a difficult time imagining that their ciphers would be insecure in mere decades. DES took 30 years before brute force became practical; will AES survive even 20?

It was just 20 years from the invention of the transistor to the first 32 bit computer. How long will it be before a machine with more computing power than in all of recorded history can be built on something the size of a postage stamp, for a few dollars?

Re:Bad news for crypto (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339170)

In the same way the WWII cipher designers probably had a hard time imagining that in 40 years there would exist a machine which could crack their ciphers in real time, the designers of block ciphers like DES and AES probably had a difficult time imagining that their ciphers would be insecure in mere decades. DES took 30 years before brute force became practical; will AES survive even 20?

BS. They knew it was going to be cracked. It's the introductory period that they expect to use encryption for the full purpose and then aftwards they always use encryption knowing what they are trying to conceal will be used and thus is why you hear about encryption like what was used in World War 2 being "cracked." The reason why it was cracked was because it was intentionally used to mature the enemy's perception of progress to push them in another direction while the original encryption was used only to distract from another primary form of communications. Whenever the United States braggs about breaking enemy's encryption it is only to give feedback to their country on the illusion of their funding being used to enhance the capability of weilding a war when in-fact it's nearly impossible for anyone to know what anything means. Encryption is nothing more than encapsulation of another transport layer. World War 2 encryptions were meant to be "cracked" as part of their effectiveness to conceal the real alternative encryption.

It was just 20 years from the invention of the transistor to the first 32 bit computer. How long will it be before a machine with more computing power than in all of recorded history can be built on something the size of a postage stamp, for a few dollars?

More BS from you. Where you peopel like you come from? I bet you are deathly afraid of your sperm fertilizing an egg and dividing into zillions of sentient clusters of cells to form a multicellular animal. Moor's law is outdated: that approximation was nothing more than giving the industry a solid target to measure progress against like how 9 months is acceptible for human babes while 22 months maybe for elephant babes. Only in your kind of stupidity, you think an embryo growing is called evolution instead of mutation or simply "growth correlated by a combination of PRIOR designs."

Do you want to have a quantum fight on /. about it nao?

Re:Bad news for crypto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339500)

Are you insane?

Re:Bad news for crypto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339244)

Well, the first rule of usng codes is 'The enemy knows the code'. If you encrypt something in the expectation that it will never, ever, be decrytped then you're doing it wrong.

Re:Bad news for crypto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339806)

Algorithms like AES owe their security largely to the fact that brute-forcing all of the keys is generally impractical; with a 256 qubit machine, AES 256 would be cracked in *a single clock cycle*.

Sorry, but no. Quantum computers effectively cut the security level of a secret key system in half, so in a post-quantum world, AES-256 is about as hard to break as AES-128 is today. Public-key cryptosystems that rely on small group sizes like RSA and DSA are effectively dead, but there are other public-key cryptosystems that are still secure against quantum computers (they're just not as fast or require larger public-keys, so they're not as practical today). See pqcrypto.org for more information.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338778)

No, that's false. Quantum computing offers polynomial time algorithms for a very small set of problems for which classically only exponential time algorithms are known, particularly, instances of the hidden subgroup problem [wikipedia.org] (including integer factorization in the form of Shor's algorithm [wikipedia.org] ). More generally, Grover's algorithm [wikipedia.org] gives some speedup to general NP problems, but not exponential. As I understand it, you would need a rather large quantum computer before it would actually faster than existing classical computers.

Not exactly exponentially (4, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338840)

The computing part does indeed act on every combination your register can have at the same time. An exponential speedup here, that part is right. What is missing on your post is that reading the result is kind of hard. We only know how to get usefull data from a few kinds of calculation, and we don't know if it is possible to get anything usefull from the general case.

The good news is that if we ever discover a way to read the result of a general computation (if it is possible), we'd have discovered a nondeterministic computer. And forget about P ?= NP.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339140)

Yeah well but this one only has 2.

Re:computing power scales exponentially (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339916)

This isn't accurate. Qubits don't in general give you exponential speed up. In particular, there's no known reduction of exponential time solvability to BQP (problems solvable on a quantum computer in polynomial time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BQP [wikipedia.org] ). The known speed ups generally are for things that are less than exponential. So for example, integer factoring is in BQP by Shor's algorithm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shor's_algorithm [wikipedia.org] but the best known factoring algorithm is already subexponential. Most people who study the field believe that BQP does not contain EXP and moreover, most believe the even stronger statement that NP is not contained in BQP.

Is there anything quantum computing can't do?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338218)

It's like those string things and dark matter stuff that scientists (of the five-assed monkey sort) thought up... only better! I bet there is absolutely nothing that a quantum computer made with string-theory particles and dark matter can't do.

Re:Is there anything quantum computing can't do?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338254)

I heard they created a six assed monkey

details? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338250)

made from standard silicon dioxide

Isn't that just standard sand?

Re:details? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338286)

yes exactly the same as as every other processor

Re:details? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338456)

Mine is made of kittens with shock collars who open and close pipes that make the tears of children flow.

Re:details? (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339398)

Try the Unicorn Tears upgrade - it's at least a 30% increase in throughput.

Re:details? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339124)

guess you're not in the chip business.

Bristol group (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338272)

I assume this is the same group (how many quantum computer groups are there likely to be in Bristol?) that did the whole "lets run Shors algorithm on a silicon etched chip" a couple years ago. So the new news right now is ... Or is this a re-reporting of that historical event, or another paper about that historical work? I'm just trying to figure out the whole timeline thing here.

Hey /. editors, the recent interviews have been very interesting and all that, I'm just thinking interviewing the quantum group in Bristol would be even more interesting...

Re:Bristol group: uncertainty (5, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338578)

how many quantum computer groups are there likely to be in Bristol?

You can either know where they are, or how many there are - but not both.

Interesting bench scale physics survives (1)

rbmyers (587296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338276)

Just think what would be possible if the megalomaniacs weren't hogging all the money.

Re:Interesting bench scale physics survives (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338576)

Just think what would be possible if the megalomaniacs weren't hogging all the money.

We'd finally find out what happens when the meek inherit the Earth?

Entangling photons is a bad idea. (5, Funny)

ross.w (87751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338300)

It takes hours to sort them out afterwards.

Re:Entangling photons is a bad idea. (4, Funny)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338678)

The trick is to keep Schroedinger's cat away from your photon strings.

Re:Entangling photons is a bad idea. (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338858)

It is hard because you can't tell them apart.

Imagine... (2)

jeremiahstanley (473105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338336)

a beowulf cluster of these...

Had to go there, this is /. afterall...

Re:Imagine... (1)

rbmyers (587296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338392)

Leave off the cluster as your project and demonstrate the interconnect that would make a cluster of quantum computers a sensible enterprise, and you will be remembered forever.

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338452)

a beowulf cluster of these...

Had to go there, this is /. afterall...

Only if they run Linux ....

University of Bristol, England (-1, Troll)

Anonumous Coward (126753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338350)

Every time you think that US ignorance of the world couldn't get any worse [youtube.com] , you face proof it's yet worse.

The Downside (4, Funny)

MyHair (589485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338356)

Unfortunately, after you program it you no longer know where it is.

Result=99% of CPUengineers will be without job ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338390)

Help me out.

This would have happened sooner or later, and I am assuming it happened. Quantum computer are here to stay.
Question is, what this means to general community of engineers and software developers ?

I am perfectly aware that we don't have Hardware that is capable of supporting the work of this chip (RAM and HD don't make sense). Maybe in another 15 years.
Does it mean complete shift of computing paradigm ?
Instead of 100 servers, we have just small black-box in a backroom ?
What will happened to all the engineers who created silicon chips ?
What all this means for programmers ?

Re:Result=99% of CPUengineers will be without job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338476)

Things will change, certainly. But it'll still take a long time before a small box replaces 100 servers.
Engineers creating silicon chips should start looking into the workings of quantum chips and prepare to shift their career towards making those.
For programmers, not much will change, except that some things that used to take a long time are now fast.

Re:Result=99% of CPUengineers will be without job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338610)

For programmers, not much will change, except that some things that used to take a long time are now fast.

Like Java!

Re:Result=99% of CPUengineers will be without job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339854)

To be honest this is the current case. With most engineering jobs you have a shelf like of about 15 years before what you learned in university starts to look pretty damn dated. So you either move into management, or stay as current as possible.
 

Re:Result=99% of CPUengineers will be without job (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338740)

"(RAM and HD don't make sense)" Why?

Re:CPUengineers will be without job ? (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339022)

Quantum computers are not "here" in any meaningful sense. Nobody ever has demonstrated a meaningful larger-numbers quantum computation (say, with numbers > 1000). At the moment, the there is no proof these will even work. It is still entirely feasible that the theory is wrong and large quantum computers are not possible or not useful. Even some tiny deviations from the current theory could cause that. Remember the results have to be physically measured and the input has to be physically put in. Both operations with huge, huge errors when compares to the precision classical computers achieve.

Then, even if meaningful sizes can be built (which is entirely unclear at this time) they are not effective or efficient for most problems.

Example: For breaking ciphers like AES, you get a square root on the key size, i.e. breaking AES-256 becomes as difficult as breaking AES-128 (both by brute force). Breaking AES-128 by brute force without quantum computers is quite infeasible in this universe. Breaking AES-256 by brute-force with quantum computers is quite infeasible in this universe as well.

Forget about any large data-set problems as well. Unlike classical computers, you cannot break problems down for quantum computers. You always have to solve the whole thing in one go, or you lose the advantages.

Bottom line: This is not a revolution, even if it turns out not to be bogus in the first place.

Re:CPUengineers will be without job ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339172)

I am OP,
you so you mean there is no way to write "//" programs for Quantum processors ?

Re:CPUengineers will be without job ? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339294)

let sqrt(x) = x/2

oh wait, i think you got something wrong there.

Re:CPUengineers will be without job ? (2)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339506)

log2(sqrt(x)) = log2(x)/2

(by key size, he meant the magnitude of the key, not the number of bits in the key)

Re:CPUengineers will be without job ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38339836)

"At the moment, the there is no proof these will even work. It is still entirely feasible that the theory is wrong and large quantum computers are not possible or not useful."

If quantum theory is wrong, then nobody will care about quantum computers anyway in comparison. That's a much bigger deal. Finding the Higgs boson is nothing compared to disproving quantum mechanics. Even small errors in quantum mechanics would spark a complete revolution in physics, and would almost certainly be the biggest physics result of this century.

Re:Result=99% of CPUengineers will be without job (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339592)

Nothing happens to engineers. They just design quantum chips instead, at worst (but most likely: a mix of quantum and conventional computers is still required). Most likely it will still be decades yet before most even need to care.

Nothing happens to programmers. A handful of library designers will work out the interesting bits. The rest will continue building applications on top of the libraries as usual.

Mmmm (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38338426)

Sounds delicious.

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38338570)

Does it run Linux yet?

How many of those do I need to play solitaire? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38339252)

heck, I'll settle for snake, I'm an easy game consumer to please

If someone... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38340040)

Years ago, if someone had told me I might actually die by having my heart vaporized, in situ, by a T-101, I would have laughed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_computer [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-replicating_machine [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_robot [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directed-energy_weapon [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(satellite) [wikipedia.org]

Not so funny anymore.

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