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Quantum Technology – What’s the hype all about?

Quantum computing technology has become a much talked about topic in both academia and industry. National authorities and industry experts are keen on decrypting the hype and maturing the technology due to its known potential to unfold the data layers in an industrial ecosystem and its significant potential of disruption on our society. (Several examples to demonstrate the possible impact of quantum-accelerated impact on industry). Quantum computing technologies have been grabbing thoughts of leaders, researchers and other think tanks. Intel for instance, plans to invest about $50 million over the next 10 years into research on quantum computing together with the Dutch research centre QuTech. While, the first quantum revolution started in the early 1900 with the contributions of Plank and Einstein which helped us to get a bird’s view on the behaviour of light and matter, it is time to apply the quantum technology to understand the theory at a granular level.

Quantum computer revolution:

Though over the last few years there has been shout-out on the quantum technology, long-term investments to address industry pain points can only be justified through the overall benefits outweighing the huge cost of building a quantum infrastructure. In addition to the quantum addressing challenges of encrypted data in intelligent services, the quantum computers will become available to the masses once the manufacturing and industrial implications pave way for a matured model. The ideal case would lead to “Quantum computing-as-a-service” with an economical and feasible breakthrough in industrial experience.

The next possible service:

Technology breakthroughs have heralded the era of advanced technologies. Though the focus is now on production of multi-qubit devices t enable the quantum mechanics, it is equally important to create a quantum ecosystem that would consist of a standardised quantum programming language. However, there are few technological challenges that should be well-addressed to pave the way for scientific computing and before charting a quantum road-map:

  • Scalability remains a hindrance due to higher power consumption
  • Also, scaling these technologies comprises of approximately one billion processing elements which h increases the error frequency and needs a timely error detection
  • The data movement between different components like processors, memory and processing nodes remains a challenge towards exascale computing. Movement of data over long distances requires a lot of energy and time.

How India is playing along in development of new-age computers:

The primary component of quantum computing is “qubit”, the basic unit of information in quantum computer. Interconnecting qubits and mass production of devices will be a strenuous task. Quantum computers are entirely different from the classical machines due to its capability of solving complex problems. In the global race to build quantum computers, India has just been aligned to the theoretical aspect as compared to US, China and other European countries. Amidst the number of researchers and theorists, only a few had been focusing on building a quantum computing device.


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