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Talk: Quantum computing - The next BIG thing?
Speaker: Olaf Horstmann
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Brief History of Quantum Computing
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● 1980s: Theories and Scientific Papers
● 1990s: First algorithms
○ Shor’s, Grover’s, Deutsch’s
○ all based on theories and without physical devices
● 1998: First 2-qubit quantum computer (Oxford)
● 2000: First 7-qubit quantum computer (Los Alamos)
● 2008: D-Wave creates 128 qubit chip (QA1
● 2015: D-Wave breaks 1000 qubit barrier
○ D-Wave creates chip with over 2000 qubits (QA1
○ IBM creates 50 qubit chip (GM2
○ Intel creates 48 qubit chip (GM2
● 2018: Google announced “Bristlecone”, a 72 qubit chip (GM2
○ said to have achieved “quantum supremacy”
Quantum Annealing; 2
Quelle: https://blockchainwelt.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/quantum-computer-chalmers.jpg; Quanten Computer Chalmers
Will Quantum Computing take over the world of today’s bits and bytes?
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● a “classical bit” represents a transistor/gate
○ is either 0 or 1
○ +100 billion transistors in modern CPU
● a “qubit” represents the state of a quantum particle
(electron, photon, ion)
○ is either 0 or 1 or any state in between
(which can be thought of as both 1 and 0)
○ “largest” chip today is 2000 qubits
What is a Quantum Computer and what are “Qubits”?
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Basically: Searching minima on a curve
What is “Quantum Annealing”?
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● e.g. “best way to stack items in a shipping container”
● or “best route through a given set of locations”
● machine learning
● protein folding
● challenge: reformulate each original problem, so it could be represented by a curve
What can quantum annealing be used for?
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● In short: A quantum version of “classical” binary logic gates
○ searching for a specific entry in a set of entries
■ e.g.: in 1 Mio. entries, a classical system might need to check all 1 Mio.
a quantum algorithm (Grover’s Search) would only take √1 Mio. = 1000 tries as max.
○ factoring prime-numbers
■ today’s computer are good at multiplying prime-numbers, but very bad at factoring them
■ the highest prime-factorized number to date is 291311
A solution, for what is currently only possible by brute force
What can a “Gate Model”-Quantum Computer be used for?
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● most systems require super cooling (barely above the absolute zero)
● high error-rates (magnet-fields from individual atoms can disturb the calculation)
● the quantum states(superposition, entanglement, ect.) can only be held up for some
10s of microseconds currently
● impossible to “debug” the systems by classical understanding
○ every taken measurement would alter the state of the system and thus return new data
unrelated to the “bug”
Challenges in building quantum computers
Still: “Yes and no”
● Will I be walking around with a quantum processor in my smartphone?
○ probably not
○ in most of today’s applications there will be no benefit
● Is our current encryption in danger?
○ probably not (yet)
○ by the time quantum-computers can crack today’s encryption, alternatives will be available
● So where will quantum computing be used?
○ in a limited set of applications (e.g. databases or encryption)
○ But: When the first computer was developed, probably nobody did foresee the invention of the
internet or smartphones.
So will quantum computers eventually take over or not?
Vielen Dank für Eure Aufmerksamkeit!
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