Quantum Processor Does 9,000 Years of Work in 36 Microseconds

Technology continues to move forward at incredible speeds and it seems like every week we learn about a new breakthrough that changes our minds about what is possible.

Researchers in Toronto used a photonic quantum computer chip to solve a sampling problem that went way beyond the fastest computers and algorithms.

The paper the researchers published says that the Borealis quantum chip took only 36 microseconds to solve a problem that would take supercomputers and algorithms 9,000 years to figure out.

Yes, you read that right…9,000 years.

The Borealis chip uses bursts of light to transmit quantum information and the researchers believe that this is a huge leap forward for quantum chips.

The authors of the study say, “This work is a critical milestone on the path to a practical quantum computer, validating key technological features of photonics as a platform for this goal.”

Quantum computers are different from traditional computers and one major way is to process three units of data instead of only two. The computers we are used to use binary (0, 1) and quantum computers use what is called qubits (0, 1, both).

While this news is certainly exciting, quantum computers still have a long road ahead of them. The UK Ministry of Defence purchased its first quantum computer in order to run tests, but it could be years before we know how or when they’ll be used regularly.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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