Friday, 8 April 2011

Quantum computing device hints at powerful future

It uses the strange "quantum states" of matter to perform calculations in a way that, if scaled up, could vastly outperform conventional computers.
The 6cm-by-6cm chip holds nine quantum devices, among them four "quantum bits" that do the calculations.
The team said further scaling up to 10 qubits should be possible this year.
Rather than the ones and zeroes of digital computing, quantum computers deal in what are known as superpositions - states of matter that can be thought of as both one and zero at once.
In a sense, quantum computing's one trick is to perform calculations on all superposition states at once. With one quantum bit, or qubit, the difference is not great, but the effect scales rapidly as the number of qubits rises.
The figure often touted as the number of qubits that would bring quantum computing into a competitive regime is about 100, so each jump in the race is a significant one.

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