India joins quantum computing race

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Keen to tap into the next big advance in computing technology, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund a project to develop quantum computers. A quantum computer, still largely a theoretical entity, employs the principles of quantum mechanics to store information in'qubits' instead of the typical'bits' of 1 and 0. Qubits work faster because of the way such circuits are designed, and their promise is that they can do intensive number-crunching tasks much more efficiently than the fastest comparable computers. For instance, to sort a billion numbers, a quantum computer would require 3.5 million fewer steps than a traditional machine, and would find the solution in only 31,623 steps, says a Morgan Stanley analysis last August. Solving other problems, many having to do with computing physics, becomes possible on quantum machines, the authors say, whereas they might never be possible on traditional computers. While the Physics departments at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, have only forayed into the theoretical aspects of quantum computing, a DST official said that "the time has come to build one."


IBM hopes to double quantum computing speed every year

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IBM's System Q quantum computer looks like no other computer you've ever seen. When running, it's hidden inside a chamber to chill it to a temperature colder than interstellar space. Quantum computers are just weird, with data processed by qubits that can store ones and zeros at the same time. But they're like regular "classical" computers in one obvious way: Their designers want them to run faster. Now, with machines like its Q System One, IBM has not only proposed a convenient single number to calibrate a speedometer but also laid out an ambitious dotted line stretching across a road map into the future.


The Next Tech Talent Shortage: Quantum Computing Researchers

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The labor pool in quantum computing is even smaller. By some accounts, fewer than a thousand people in the world can claim to be doing leading research in the field. The number of international students applying to physics doctoral programs in the United States fell by an average of 12 percent this year, according to a study from the American Physical Society. Universities on the coasts have maintained their numbers, the study said, but the drop is noticeable in the middle of the country. For decades, quantum computing was purely experimental.


A startup uses quantum computing to boost machine learning

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A company in California just proved that an exotic and potentially game-changing kind of computer can be used to perform a common form of machine learning. The feat raises hopes that quantum computers, which exploit the logic-defying principles of quantum physics to perform certain types of calculations at ridiculous speeds, could have a big impact on the hottest area of the tech industry: artificial intelligence. Researchers at Rigetti Computing, a company based in Berkeley, California, used one of its prototype quantum chips--a superconducting device housed within an elaborate super-chilled setup--to run what's known as a clustering algorithm. Clustering is a machine-learning technique used to organize data into similar groups. Rigetti is also making the new quantum computer--which can handle 19 quantum bits, or qubits--available through its cloud computing platform, called Forest, today.


A startup uses quantum computing to boost machine learning

#artificialintelligence

A company in California just proved that an exotic and potentially game-changing kind of computer can be used to perform a common form of machine learning. The feat raises hopes that quantum computers, which exploit the logic-defying principles of quantum physics to perform certain types of calculations at ridiculous speeds, could have a big impact on the hottest area of the tech industry: artificial intelligence. Researchers at Rigetti Computing, a company based in Berkeley, California, used one of its prototype quantum chips--a superconducting device housed within an elaborate super-chilled setup--to run what's known as a clustering algorithm. Clustering is a machine-learning technique used to organize data into similar groups. Rigetti is also making the new quantum computer--which can handle 19 quantum bits, or qubits--available through its cloud computing platform, called Forest, today.