Quantum Computing Remains Mostly Promise, but Maybe Not for Long. How to Play It.

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You won’t see quantum computing showing up in any significant way on corporate income statements or Wall Street models just yet, but scientists are increasingly talking about its power—and it could one day become a physical part of technology companies’ results. Is.

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Pushed by 3,000 people inside its research division, it is one of the leading companies in quantum computing, providing a way to break through the limits of so-called classical computing.

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At a basic level, classical computing is digital – it relies on bits – the smallest unit of information being in one of two states. Sometimes. yes or no one or zero. But quantum computing has the potential to be zero and one at the same time.

For a crude metaphor, think of a coin that has been flipped. When it lands, it is either a head or a tail. But what is it when it’s still in the air? It has the potential to be both.

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The main point is that quantum computers have the ability to handle certain types of highly complex problems, especially those with a large number of possible solutions that even conventional supercomputers cannot handle.

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Dario Gil, who runs IBM’s vast scientific army, says that, in May 2016, the company became the first to connect quantum computers to the cloud. IBM now has more than 20 quantum computers online, he says, running more than two billion “quantum circuits” a day.

Gill says that quantum computers have yet to cross the threshold of doing things you couldn’t do with classical computing—but he says the company should cross that line in the next few years. And he noted that interest levels are high, with more than 300,000 users in the scientific and development community around the world.

Robert Sator, a 39-year-old IBM veteran, is the company’s chief evangelist for quantum computing, and is the author of dance with cubits, a 2019 book on the subject.

in an interview with baron’sSutor says that the nature of quantum computing is that it is more akin to the natural world, which generally doesn’t work in a binary way. “If you want to do calculations about the elements of nature,” he says, “you need a computer that acts like nature does.” He says that nature obeys the practical laws of quantum mechanics. The world is analog, not digital.

Sutor is clear that quantum computing is not a wholesale replacement for classical computing; Instead, the systems would work together. But he also says that quantum technology in areas such as chemistry, risk assessment and artificial intelligence will be able to do things that conventional methods cannot.

Auto maker Daimler (DAI.Germany) is experimenting with quantum computing technologies to develop batteries for electric vehicles of the future. The Cleveland Clinic is actually setting up its IBM quantum computer to research pathogens, among other things.

The IBM Research division is well prepared to take on the quantum-computing challenge. A century of experience solving computing’s biggest problems should certainly help.

write to Eric J. at [email protected] savitz

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