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Qcloud Puts Quantum Chip In the Cloud For Coders To Experiment

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the spooky-action-at-a-distance dept.

Cloud 73

hypnosec writes "Quantum computers are currently available in very few labs, usually bankrolled by major organizations like Google and NASA. However, a new project called 'Qcloud' aims to break those barriers by making quantum computing available to everyone. The University of Bristol announced the launch of Qcloud today at the British Science Festival 2013, with the goal of making quantum computing resources available to researchers across the globe. Claimed to be the first open-access system of its kind, the quantum chip is located at the Center for Quantum Photonics at the University of Bristol. Researchers can remotely access the processor over the internet for their computational needs. Those looking to test their ideas on the processor would be required to first practice and hone their skills using an online simulator. The university has made tutorials available to researchers so they can learn how to tune the processor and change its output as required. Once they are confident in their skills, researchers can ask for permission to access the real quantum photonic chip."

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The problem... (5, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44774247)

...is that with quantum processors, you either know how to code for one, or you have access to one, but never both. :D

That and you never know for sure if your post was first!

Re:The problem... (5, Funny)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#44774287)

Ziggy says your odds of being first post are good!

Re:The problem... (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | about a year ago | (#44775217)

Ziggy says your odds of being first post are good!

10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD!"
20 PRINT "ALL YOUR BASES BELONGING TO US NOW!!!!"
30 PRINT ""
35 WORLD=WORLD+1
40 PEEK WORLD
50 POKE WORLD-1
60 GOTO 10

Re:The problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44780627)

This is QBasic (Quantum BASIC):

10 PRINT "HELLO WORLD!"
  GOTO 10

Re:The problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44777507)

Ziggy says your odds of being first post are good!

Oh boy!

Re:The problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44779901)

But why hasn't he leaped yet?

Re:The problem... (4, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | about a year ago | (#44774327)

You have both until someone makes a measurement.

Re:The problem... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774905)

May be this will stop the boss from micromanaging.
"Stop observing the quantum event and changing my results!"

Re:The problem... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44774455)

...is that with quantum processors, you either know how to code for one, or you have access to one, but never both. :D

Perhaps it's better that way. Guess what is the superposition of "quantum" and "hacker"?

Re:The problem... (2)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44774917)

Guess what is the superposition of "quantum" and "hacker"?

This? [xkcd.com]

Re:The problem... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44775835)

Guess what is the superposition of "quantum" and "hacker"?

A quacker?

Re: The problem... (1)

x181 (2677887) | about a year ago | (#44775083)

quacker.

Re:The problem... (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about a year ago | (#44775683)

hauntem? Sounds like a new Discovery Channel reality show.

Re:The problem... (2)

boristdog (133725) | about a year ago | (#44774489)

I will apparently have access to one soon, I just got the results from a program I was thinking of writing.

Re:The problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774497)

It's made of XOR gates.

Hmmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774269)

So I guess we're now going to be called "quoders"?

Re:Hmmm ... (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44774321)

Oblig: yes and no.

Unfortunately (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year ago | (#44774279)

This new invention has already been pre-exploited under contract for the NSA, so any encryption derived from these techniques will still be breakable by them.

Better luck next millennium!

Re:Unfortunately (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#44774305)

Quantum encryption is different than quantum computing. In quantum encryption, it is impossible to 'listen' into a message without being detected.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774431)

Except in reality, you have to deal with actual implementation of endpoints which can be a problem. [physicsworld.com]

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774445)

In theory, there's no difference between practice and theory. In practice, however...

Re:Unfortunately (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | about a year ago | (#44775353)

In theory, there's no difference between practice and theory. In practice, however...

I'm in middle management and I don't understand what you're saying??? But whatever, Hey I'm going to need you to stay late and work on those TPS reports we just from next month. The BOSS wants to know exactly what to expect so he can cut some jobs before hand and still get that new jet...

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about a year ago | (#44774453)

Ahem... Only in theory [technologyreview.com] for now.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44774501)

In quantum encryption, it is impossible to 'listen' into a message without being detected.

The unintentional implication of that phrasing is that it is still possible to listen (albeit detected). What you do of course is transmit the key on the quantum channel, and if you detect anyone listening in at that point, you discard the key (actually, if I remember correctly, you just discard any intercepted bits and use the rest for the key). Once the key's got across can happily shout your encoded message from the rooftops (or other more practical classical channel).

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774525)

Enroute. That doesn't help you if there's a backdoor in the sending/receiving device.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44776193)

which is completely useless if the NSA has a backdoor into your OS and is key logging everything you do.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44780291)

If we assume the NSA has a backdoor to any computer system it wants, then there is no chance for any kind of privacy no matter what we do.

I suspect this is not the case.

Attention Obama Loving Douchebags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774301)

Long-term Unemployed
2008: 1.3M
2013: 4.3M

Oh yes we hate the BOOSH because FUCK YOU

Re:Attention Obama Loving Douchebags (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774337)

Ya know, with all of this Syria and NSA and Benghazi and IRS stuff going on, I might just lose my laser focus on creating jobs for a day or two.

Oh, believe me. It's not my fault.

--Barky O'Fuckwad

Re: Attention Obama Loving Douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774647)

Create money, like Lincoln, who realized the greatest creative power of government lay in money creation.

Re: Attention Obama Loving Douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774617)

Funemployment. Why work for a greedy, sociopathic, control-freak boss just to say "I have a job"? Work on what interests you instead; society will advance faster.

Re: Attention Obama Loving Douchebags (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year ago | (#44774693)

because that does not get you N hots and a Cot?? besides what if you can't get to a location where your "fun job" is available??

(hint Unemployement payouts 1 are a JOKE 2 run out fairly quickly)

Re: Attention Obama Loving Douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774945)

Living off of other people will help those other people advance faster? Advance to what?

Re:Attention Obama Loving Douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44775507)

I've never made more money in my life, douchebag

The simulator (4, Informative)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about a year ago | (#44774341)

I spent 5 minutes wading through news articles to finally find the free to access simulator: http://cnotmz.appspot.com/ [appspot.com]

Re:The simulator (5, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44774513)

I have no idea what I'm doing, but my cat just disappeared.

Re:The simulator (1)

Forbo (3035827) | about a year ago | (#44775101)

Wait, are you sure?

Re:The simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44775311)

He's in a state of both existence and non-existence at the same time.

Re:The simulator (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#44779297)

I can or can't haz Heizenberger?

Re:The simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774839)

Anyone able to explain how quantum programming works, or provide a reference? I don't really understand what the simulator is saying...

Re:The simulator (1)

Phiu-x (513322) | about a year ago | (#44776065)

Quantum programming does not work any different for classical programming. Sur you can develop algorythm specifics for QC, but you write thos using classical logic. There is no black magic invovled. You *just* have to have access to qbits to do the work. Now if you want to learn HOW Qbit and Quantum computers WORK . You have a lot to read. Start now. There is a difference between the physics that makes it work and the applications. Do you need to know how your pocket calculator work to use it ? My mom does not.

Re:The simulator (1)

iris-n (1276146) | about a year ago | (#44779227)

I don't think the analogy holds. Certainly knowing the details of quantum optics is quite labourious, but doing quantum programming is already some kind of quantum mechanics, that does not reference any particular physical system. Just like a Turing Machine uses Boolean algebra, but does not reference any particular machine to implement it.

Also, it's true that the algorithms are described in purely classical terms, but they probably sound like gibberish if you are not familiar with the concepts. As an example, let me describe you one of the simplest quantum algorithms known, the single-qubit version of Deutsch's algorithm [wikipedia.org] , which decides whether a (classical) single-bit function f is such that f(0)=f(1) or f(0) != f(1):

Initialize your qubit in the state |0>
Apply the Hadamard gate to it
Apply the oracle that calculates f to it; it is described by the operator e^(i pi f(0)) |0>1|
Apply the Hadamard gate to it again
Measure in the computational basis.

I don't think it is particularly hard to understand it, though; if you want to do it seriously, there's a quite good book about the subject: it's called "Quantum Computation and Quantum Information", by Michael Nielsen and Isaac Chuang.

Quantum Photonics? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44774433)

I'm a doctor, not a doorstop. - EMH Mark I

simulator (1)

callmebill (1917294) | about a year ago | (#44774549)

I'm neither a physicist nor a computer scientist, but if you can "hone [your] skills" using the simulator, why isn't it sufficient to have a fast enough simulation of a quantum system using a classical computer, and solve your problems on the simulator?

Re:simulator (3, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44774705)

For the same reason it's wasn't sufficient to simulate your computer programs on paper back in the early days of computing...the simulation is FAR from fast enough.

Re:simulator (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about a year ago | (#44782545)

Only, well, they're far faster. Quantum computing is a sham and anything you can do on a "quantum computer" you can do faster on a normal computer.

What now?

Re:simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774801)

This has got to be the dumbest comment I've ever seen on /.

Re:simulator (1)

Phiu-x (513322) | about a year ago | (#44776099)

Only to be beaten by yours.

Re:simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44775329)

For the same reason we don't just write a simulator for some 100 GHz Pentium X and stop making new chips. The simulation will be slower than the actual thing. And in the case of quantum computers, it will be of a different computational complexity class, so it will likely end up being a lot slower for any useful problems.

Scalability (3, Informative)

hweimer (709734) | about a year ago | (#44775553)

I'm neither a physicist nor a computer scientist, but if you can "hone [your] skills" using the simulator, why isn't it sufficient to have a fast enough simulation of a quantum system using a classical computer, and solve your problems on the simulator?

The reason is scalability. Even with the best currently existing methods, the computational complexity of simulating quantum systems on classical computers grows exponentially with the number of qubits. Quantum computers, being quantum systems themselves, do not have this exponential scaling. With just two qubits, the exponential penalty for classical simulation is rather small (and the classical simulation will be much faster), so the only reason why you would want to build an actual experiment is to make proof-of-principle tests of the technology. With a few tens of qubits, the exponential growth becomes relevant, and classical simulation becomes impractical. Right now, the world record for the full simulation of quantum systems on classical computers is 42 qubits, and the world record for quantum computing stands at 14 qubits. So, while the real experiments still have some way to go before they catch up with what we can do with classical computers, it's not crazy to think that this will happen within the next decade.

Re:Scalability (1)

Phiu-x (513322) | about a year ago | (#44776135)

This. And the holy grail is >300 qbit. I want to see this in my lifetime.

Re:Scalability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44778247)

This. And the holy grail is >300 qbit. I want to see this in my lifetime.

What happens at 300 qbit? Don't tell me it's the Singularity!

Re:Scalability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44780741)

Believe it or not!

If it was really a quantum computer (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#44774631)

I don't have to test it, it already succeeded and failed at the same time.

cluster is to grid is to cloud. (2)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44774805)

from the bristol site

From the 20th of September 2013 you will also be able to access to the worldâ(TM)s first open-access quantum processor

so its not a cloud, or even a cluster. you'll need to register for an account to use the processor and as such id expect the service is going to look more like the superdome 9000 access i had in college than anything close to cloud. FIFO or RR scheduling will be used to execute jobs simulated for time as a component of their priority level. This is actually the way every supercomputer works, we're just extending the academic luxury of such a machine to the general public.

TL;DR: fuck your cloud, get off my lawn.

Re:cluster is to grid is to cloud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44776965)

it is clearly cloud, less i misunderstand, u creten!

no its not a beowolf, nor a farm, nor a cluster - but if those 'granted' 'access' can acess it from the internet, and it does some computer stuff, i'd say it is a cloud compute utility

i mean, why does cloud have to mean MANY computers or servers or even processors or cores? Why does implementation matter, the point is it's VIRTUAL to you, all you care about is it takes input and gives output, how does HOW matter? to give an example: if amazon's or rackspace's exact existing cloud services were each just one SUPER computer respectively, rather than many small servers, some w/ 100 customers VMs and others dedicated to 1 customer, would you no longer call them clouds? EXACT same user interface, apis, exact same performance, but ONE core, a sub-spaced-based carbonium sub-harmonic-resonating isomeric molecule, would it be a cloud to you?

cloud to me means a remote, who cares where or how, compute utility that is accessible via the internet or some dedicated private connection (but remotely, else it's just a computer somewhere).

Success! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44774809)

I got my "Hello Worlds" program to work!

And the first "practical" application: (1)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44774867)

Awesome! Time to write a quantum Bitcoin miner - Let's see if we can waste CPU cycles by the universe itself! ;)

Insert (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about a year ago | (#44775053)

*Insert obligatory "Quantum Leap/Bakula" joke here*

Re:Insert (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44775207)

To late - someone above got one in at 10:03, more than an hour before you.

wow... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a year ago | (#44775183)

well here's the thing...if we split a qbit and i set it to a state, before the signal from my computer tells it to set it will already be set at the lab.

yikes talk about debugging issues.

Re:wow... (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about a year ago | (#44775715)

Eh, people who code multithreaded programs already feel like this is happening anyway, so this is just a special instance of a race condition for those guys =P

Quantum processor != quantum chip (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a year ago | (#44777059)

Just to clarify: this is a quantum processor, not a quantum chip. It is probably more room-sized than chip-sized.

Re:Quantum processor != quantum chip (1)

iris-n (1276146) | about a year ago | (#44779271)

As far as I know the Bristol folks do integrated optics, so it is in fact a chip; not as small as a classical chip, but about the size of a fingernail.

As a side note, it makes me sad that such an awesome project had to taint itself with the mention of Google and NASA waste of millions of dollars to D-Wave. What the Bristol people are doing is quantum computing. What D-Wave is doing isn't.

Or do it yourself in QCF in Octave (1)

TheSync (5291) | about a year ago | (#44777341)

If you want to try out quantum computing [blogspot.com] simulation, consider checking out QCF [sourceforge.net] in the Matlab-like Octave [gnu.org] .

I looked upto the Clouds (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about a year ago | (#44778195)

I swear i could see a guy in a suit.
Pretty sure he was selling something from the the 1990's called "servers that talk to each other".

Id hardly call it a cloud service (1)

brickmack (2537604) | about a year ago | (#44779343)

More like the way supercomputers are run. Youve got to submit a job to be done, and then the jobs are arranged by priority and it may take a while before your code runs on it.

Re:Id hardly call it a cloud service (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44780337)

This should still faster than running your program on a classical computer for the whole time you were in line, provided your particular problem was suitable for solving on a quantum computer in the first place.

Re:Id hardly call it a cloud service (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about a year ago | (#44782549)

No it won't. Classic computers are still faster.

Re:Id hardly call it a cloud service (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44798669)

Neither is faster or slower. Quantum computers are faster at solving certain types of problems (BQP problems), and will become many orders of magnitude faster as they are able to control entanglement between more qubits and solve larger scale version of the same sorts of problems.
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