Quantum computers have been a subject of discussion for many years. They have probably been something that philosophers and technology pundits have talked about before desktop computers were even invented.
IBM recently announced that these computers are about to make their way into our lives. This new update could have interesting implications for the computer market. While most of the changes are welcome, there are going to be some complications as well. This is a reality that we all will have to get used to.
IBM Brings Quantum Computers to the Forefront of the Technology Industry
This week IBM made public that it was going to make all users participate in its latest creation, a quantum processor. One of the future paths being tested by computer companies. Companies like IBM assure that the development of this technology will make computers 100 million times faster in just one decade.
The newly created processor does not reach those standards yet, but it will allow all users to try it for free on their devices, thanks to its cloud service. As its drivers assure, “no organization or company will have priority” when it comes to experimenting with it. Something that did happen previously with other inventions such as Google Glass, whose testing was only offered in a very select manner.
These types of processors are not entirely new. In 2012 the company D-Wave claimed to have created a processor with quantum technology. However, experts believed that it would still take a couple of decades for such a product to reach the public. One year later Google and NASA jointly bought one of these D-Wave computers. In 2015 Google confirmed the good functioning of this technology.
If the basic mode of operation of a conventional computer is based on bits, quantum technology allows them to operate in qubits. The possible states of the bits are zeros and ones, while the qubits can have both states at the same time. This fact means that computers with quantum processors can perform a greater number of operations at once.
There are also ‘buts’.
The first problem with quantum technology applied to computing is that -although we can perform many operations in parallel- at the moment, we cannot obtain results from all of them. The challenge, now, is to investigate all the ways to extract the maximum information.
In addition, there are two major barriers for this technology to reach the market now. To begin with, it would have to bring about a radical change in the security world. Some organizations force potential attackers to carry out complex operations that can take years to materialize. Quantum technology would make it easier to face this challenge.
On the other hand, there is talk of a decade because all the algorithms that allow these computers to function would have to be developed again from scratch.
Quantum Computers Will Change the World
Quantum computers have been something that people have been waiting for over the last several decades. They are finally starting to arrive on the market, which will change things in incredible ways. IBM expects that these changes will have great potential, but they also will force us to develop new algorithms to overcome some initial new challenges.