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In the Previous post regarding “The problems of shrinking Transistor sizes”, we discussed about all the physical limits that a traditional computer is expected to abide by. Obviously, we cannot allow our computing power to come to a standstill, so new and exiting technologies are being developed which can solve this problem. Currently the most exciting technology is “quantum Computers“. So lets discuss about this topic and end this two part series on Quantum Computing.
Traditional Computers use bits( 0’s or 1’s ) as their fundamental unit of all processes that run on the computer. A Quantum Computer radically changes the way operations are performed by using Qubits. They are radically faster than any other traditional computer out there. Often performing multiple operations in parallel at the same time, due to a very weird quantum property called quantum Superposition.
Qubits are like bits for a Quantum Computer, they can be in 2 possible states(0 or 1). However the advantage of a Qubit is that it can exhibit both these states at the same until it is measured. When measured the states collapse into one definitive answer, either 0 or 1, this is called Quantum Superposition. When unobserved, the Qubit is in a superposition of states between 1 and 0. Example: a photon, it can be either horizontally polarized or vertically polarized at the same time when unobserved. But once we measure it for example by using a filter, it has to decide whether it is horizontally or vertically polarized. This is the same with electrons, where its spin determines its value.
The power of Qubits
Due to its property of having multiple states at once Qubits can be extremely powerful, while 4 bits can only handle a maximum of 16 individual values with only one possible state at a given time, a Qubit can be all of those 16 states at the same time granting insane computing power. With the use of Quantum Gates superpositions can be manipulated and the desired result can be deducted. The processing power of a Quantum CPU exponentially increases with each addition of a new Qubit.
We can gain access to insane performance if we exploit a Quantum Gate successfully.
Uses of Quantum Computer
Quantum Computers are really great while solving problems that are parallelized. Traditional Computers are not very good at doing parallel tasks. Sure, with multithreading it can be done, but it is more focused towards tasks that are single-threaded. A place where a Quantum Computer could excel is in Database searching. Traditional Computers search databases for records one by one! Which means they are extremely slow. A quantum computer can search multiple records at the same time in parallel which increases the speed drastically. If a traditional computer has a complexity of ‘n’ to solve a problem, a Quantum computer needs just the square root of n as the complexity. There are many more uses, but we will discuss about them in a future csshorts episode!
Quantum Computers are really the next big innovation after the microprocessor. They have amazing powers and if used correctly could change the way we use computers. Many companies like D-Wave and Google already have Quantum Computers. But we are far, far away from the days where we can have Quantum Computers in our homes! Until then, They are just machines that have insane capabilities when used correctly.
Thank you for reading this blog post. This concludes the 2 part series on Quantum Computers. See you soon with more exciting content!
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