A Quick Intro to Quantum Computing
Quantum computing is on the horizon and it’s time to pay attention. Quantum computers operate fundamentally different than classical or standard computers that we use today. While classical computers use 0’s and 1’s, quantum computing uses qubits which can operate in multiple states at the same time.
This multistate capability leads to an exponential increase in computing power. So while classical computing adds power by adding processors, quantum computing adds power by increasing qubits.
Quantum computing has the promise of being able to factor large numbers extremely quickly. Classical computing struggles at factoring and this quantum computing advantage over classical will be fundamental to developing new applications. Due to quantum’s bipolar nature (existing in 2 states at the same time), Qubits have much more potential and value than classical binary digits (zero or one). In fact when you combine qubits, you are getting an exponential effect. So each qubit added (assuming coherence) leads to a multiplier so that three coherent qubits is 2×2×2 or eight versus classical which would be 2+2+2 or six.
Now this doesn’t sound like much but we’ve all heard the “if you have a penny a day and double it for 30 days you’ll have a lot” (actually over $5 million).
Now let’s say you could line up 64 qubits that are fault-tolerant (reliable).The fact is at 2 to the 64th power these were qubits would enable your quantum computer to run 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 simultaneous calculations. This is an absurd amount of computing power, well beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. At 300 coherent qubits, you would have more simultaneous calculations available than there are atoms in the known universe. And to give you some reference, both Google and IBM have claimed over 70 qubits, although not completely fault-tolerant yet.
With this raw computing power, quantum computing will soon be able to power significant application development in logistics and supply chain, chemistry and materials management, drug discovery, simulation, new materials creation and more.