Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Quantum computing

Quantum computing.... A new era

We know there is a limit of everything. But is there a limit to computing? Well the answer is currently not known to us. In this article, I will be discussing about “BEYOND CONVENTIONAL COMPUTING”.

          Think about the early computers. They had been to large for us to handle. Eg: ENIAC. But the birth of silicon technology or rather the birth of Integrated circuits has made those super large computers reduce to the size of some centimeters. Modern PCs, desktops, tablets have a lot more computing power than the previous ones. Let’s say they have lacs of times more computing power. But the question is “Is it enough”? Well the statistics don’t say so. We need more and more and perhaps another major leap is required in modern computing. Companies, manufacturers, developers have all stuck there mind in semiconductor technology. They are going on developing the “OLD FASHIONED” Semiconductor Technology. The Size of the microchips are getting smaller and smaller.
          There are some limits in the Semiconductor Technology.
          1: When size is being reduced, the heating effect is considerably increased. As heating increases, the device tends to get damaged more and more.
          2: Semiconductor are not available to us forever. They are not renewable resources.
          3: Digital circuits using semiconductors have only 2 modes of operation. 0 and 1 that is on or off. They don’t have any further state.
          4: As size is getting reduced, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle comes into effect.
It’s not possible for a semiconductor technology to remove these drawbacks So here comes the concept of “QUANTUM COMPUTERS”.
          Quantum computers unlike digital computers don’t use the concept of transistors. They use the properties of quantum theories like superposition, entanglement to operate on data.  In conventional computing we use bits. In quantum computing we use qbits or quantum bits.  These computers will have a lot more computing power than the conventional computers. Since a subatomic particle have many energy states, Therefore this property can be used to compute multiple tasks at a particular time which will be again a lot more than conventional ones.
          A subatomic particle can have any quantum number. If we can use that property of quantam number to store values and process data, we will be able to get a super processor with a very high processing speed. Thus for tasks which require high processing power such as in complex algorithms, space programs, defence and other areas quantam computers will definitely serve our purpose.
Quantam computer technology is still at it’s infancy but a company in Burnaby, British Columbia,Canada announced the first commercial quantum annealer on the market by the name D-Wave One. The company claims this system uses a 128 qubit processor chipset. We hope that in future we would shift to quantam computers and break the “LIMITS OF CONVENTIONAL COMPUTING”.