Quantum computers open up a new era for high-speed computations.
They will be 1,000,000,000 times faster than current silicon-based computers. Today's high-speed computer sitting in front of you is fundamentally no different from its 30-tonne ancestors,
which were equipped with some 18,000 vacuum tubes and 805
kilometres (500 miles) of wiring!
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore saw the future. His prediction, popularly known as Moore's Law, states that the number of transistors on a chip doubles about every two years. This observation about silicon integration, made a reality by Intel, has fueled the worldwide technology revolution.
What is a quantum Computer?
In a quantum computer, the fundamental unit of information (called a quantum bit or qubit), is not binary but rather more quaternary in nature. This qubit property arises as a direct consequence of its adherence to the laws of quantum mechanics which differ radically from the laws of classical physics. A qubit can exist not only in a state corresponding to the logical state 0 or 1 as in a classical bit, but also in states corresponding to a blend or superposition of these classical states.
The Power of Quantum Computers:
As the technology evolves, several factors work together to push us toward quantum computing, and push out the classical silicon-based chips. These factors are scaling in size, energy consumption,
economics of building leading-At the current rate of chip miniaturisation, energy efficiency and economics, the classical
computer of the year 2020 (if it could happen at all) would contain a CPU running at 40 GHz (or 40,000 MHz), with 160 GB (160,000 MB) of random-access memory (RAM), and run on 40 watts of power.
Scaling: The computing world is
full of innovations, and many of them
involve more powerful and smaller
chips. Chip capacity has doubled every
18 months, according to Moore's Law,
but the chip size remains constant. The
number of transistors on a single chip is
also rising exponentially. It seems that
if miniaturisation continues at the current
rate, a bit will be represented by a
single atom by the year 2020.
Atoms Packed In An "Egg Carton" Of Light?
Scientists at Ohio State University have taken a step toward the development of powerful new computers -- by making tiny holes that contain nothing at all.
The holes -- dark spots in an egg carton-shaped surface of laser light -- could one day cradle atoms for quantum computing
Fundamental limitation to quantum computers
Quantum computers that store information in so-called quantum bits (or qubits) will be confronted with a fundamental limitation. This is the claim made by Dutch theoretical physicists from the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM).
Obstacles and Research:
The researchers said that the potential for quantum computing is huge, and that recent progress has been encouraging -- but there are still many obstacles to overcome before quantum computers become commercially available. To be viable, quantum computers must have at least several dozen qubits before they will have the ability to solve real-world problems.
Currently, research is underway to discover methods for battling the destructive effects of decoherence to develop an optimal hardware architecture for designing and building a quantum computer, and to further uncover quantum algorithms to utilize the immense computing power available in these devices. Naturally this pursuit is intimately related to quantum error correction codes and quantum algorithms.