Writing Quantum Computer Code
Seems inevitable that quantum computers will be available in much greater capacity than the current cloud-based offerings from Alibaba and IBM, amongst others. Meanwhile, realization is setting in that coding these wonders is different than coding classical computing systems. Microsoft has Q#, there is qHiPSTER and QISKIT to name several languages. Google is leading the development of OpenFermion, available at GitHub and a complete offering through PyPI. April 1, 2018.
Which Cryptocurrencies Are Quantum-resistant?
Quantum computers are little more than science-fiction, in a practical sense, thus far. However, with the advent of cryptocurrencies, the threat of a “quantum supreme” computer to the cryptocurrency market has the community buzzing. The potential for one of these systems to crack the crypto coins is striking a chord and forcing changes to be made. Several cryptocurrencies have implemented quantum-resistant features. This piece touches on the subject and lists those which may be immune to quantum decryption. April 2, 2018.
Quantum to the Pessimist; Quantum to the Optomist
Quantum is coming. 5, 6, 10 years from now quantum computers will [likely] have emerged to be able to make complex computations. This piece by Greg Satell, found on DigitalTonto, covers the relatively brief history, applications, and corporate involvement of quantum computing, interjecting wise commentary providing ample food for thought. Worth the read. April 4, 2018.
Big Blue Brings In Startups
IBM, we like to refer to them as “Big Blue”, is expanding its Q Network and ecosystem. Recently announced, the quantum computing leader has chosen to add at least 8 startups. Strangeworks, QxBranch, and Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) are several quantum computing startups making their entry. We’ve prevsiouly reported on IBM’s Q network; read on if you haven’t heard. April 6, 2018.
Error-free and Ultra-fast Quantum Computing
Fault-tolerance from Anyons…Anyone? These particles show promise to provide error-free quantum computing at high-speed. Though bringing down error-rates in quantum systems has been accomplished to some extent, the speed has been reduced. The Anyon, a theoretical particle, if proven, may provide both fault-tolerance and high-speed. April 8, 2018.
Cut & Paste, Not Copy & Paste
Researchers in Canada and China have been working to enable quantum key distribution in optical fibre networks. Their work, coincidentally, was conducted independently yet arrived at nearly the same time — not to be silly. The challenge was the noise generated by the pre-existing networks and how to reduce the error-rates of transmitted photons while keeping the transmission rate “o.k.”. Written in layperson’s terms, this piece provides further details on the study and the concepts of quantum cryptography as it relates to classical cryptography. April 8, 2018.
Commercialization of Quantum
A watch using the atomic clock, a quantum-encrypted conference call, sensors to measure magnetic fields, quantum computers. Each of these breakthroughs involve quantum science and each relies on quantum computing in one form or another. The companies, discussion of the technology, and future of them are discussed in this piece. April 8, 2018.
IBM selects the Aussies…
University of Sydney’s leadership in quantum computing, exemplified by recent advances in quieting a quantum system’s hardware, has leant the helping in IBM choosing the Q-CTRL group to join Big Blue’s Q-Network. Amongst other startups such as Strangeworks+, Q-CTRL hopes to gain access to the world’s most advanced quantum computing systems available in its newly formed alliance with IBM. This pairing will likely be beneficial to all, let alone the two. April 9, 2018.
Cryptography, Quantum Computing, and the Post-Quantum Computing Era…
We’re not even at a really useable quantum computer in the commercial world at this point in history. When we get there, what will the computing age be like? In a post-quantum computing era, the world of cryptography will have been rocked. Will consulting firms see a rush of the sort seen during Y2K? What will become of cryptocurrency? Will the first users of the quantum supreme system get the loot and scoot? Take a quick read of this editorialist’s ideas. They may not be far off the mark and are likely in tune with the reason The Qubit Report was founded: “To keep an eye on the state of the quantum computing industry so you know what’s going on”. April 9, 2018.
Qubits, Quantum Physics, Cryptography, a PhD; Great Demand for Big Brains…
We’re seeing it happen: Quantum computing is gaining steam. The media has begun to rumble louder with every qubit added by the commercial leaders vying for the bragging rights of attaining quantum supremacy. Underlying the hype and glitz is real science; complex scientific concepts requiring the biggest brains to advance the research. There is competition for these students and research teams. Between commercial competitors such as Microsoft and Google and research facilities such as TU DELFT and Canada’s Univeristy of Waterloo the call for applicants is being sent. Take a look at this discussion for “Quantum possibilities” with respect to the job market. April 9, 2018.
China: Closed the Technological Gap
U.S. Government investment in quantum computing research sits at $200M per year. China has announced plans to complete its $10B national quantum computing centre by 2020. Why the concern? Because quantum computing is coming and it may break encryption currently deemed unbreakable by classical computers; alter the financial, agrcultural, and chemistry industries with as-yet-unknown ability to calculate results from big data; and enable unbreakable communication security. Though the U.S. may be excelling in quantum hardware, China, as evidenced by patent applications, is focused on software, at least for now, but is poised to take the leap into the lead overall. April 10, 2018.
Taiwan has committed $2.39M annually for quantum computing initiatives over the next 3 to 5 years. Educating the populace, students, in particular, as well as research and development of the quantum computing field within Taiwan are envisioned. Taiwan’s goal is much like every other nation: Develop student interest, develop skills, and develop relationships with global organizations and corporations. April 11, 2018.
Threat of Quantum Computing on Encryption
Those who keep up with quantum computing and its tangents may get lost in one of the greatest aspects of the technology and its science: The threat to encryption. Merely having the thought of a quantum computer breaking encryption in a matter of moments evokes little more than an “okay, we know this” response. This piece, found in Forbes, is a poignant reminder of the facts with a succinct explanation of the quantum computing threat to current encryption standards. Recommended read for any level of interest in quantum computing. April 11, 2018.
Undersea Quantum Communication
Underwater quantum communication is possible. Chinese researchers have been able to entangle two photons in tanks of seawater. Albeit a little odd, they deemed the experiment was needed as it may pave the way for military submarine activity requiring secure communication without the need to surface the submarine or a communication buoy. Though only in an experimental phase, this opens up new insight into quantum channels in water and insight into advancements in China’s quantum computing and military ambitions. April 11, 2018.
Quantum Computers as an Instrument of Oppression?
The politics aside, this essay poses some serious questions for the future of humanity given the arrival of quantum computing. The piece draws parallels to George Orwell’s 1984 but in place of friends turning on one-another, our own data is used against us. Consider the electronic trail we all leave daily, from our personal devices to the speed cameras and ubiquitous video cameras. These devices produce endless data about everyone and everything. It is being amassed. It is impossible to sort through; at least for the time being. How will life be when the petabytes upon petabytes of data are analyzed, or at least assisted by, quantum computers? Looking past the politics, the thoughts provoked are captivating. Qubit. April 13, 2018.
Quantum Random Number Generation Excels
U.S. Government’s NIST organization will be adding to publicly available quantum-system generated products in the near future. The organization’s random number generator is deemed “fail safe”. How? The two entangled photons used to create the randomness are created then measured faster than light can travel. The timing of the measurement makes harmonization of the entangled photons an impossibility – or so we believe. Interesting work and a quick read. April 13, 2018.
Detecting Stealth Aircraft, Remaining Undetected
Uses for quantum computers and the science involved are seemingly limitless. Military uses take the lead in the media, this time for a use other than cracking encryption. It’s stealth technology they’re looking to defeat. The challenge is getting a high rate of entangled photons generated. Researchers at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo are studying this military use. April 14, 2018.
New Type of Qubit
More quantum computing discovery, this time from Harvard. Keeping it simple to understand how researchers created a molecule, see image, below. The molecule is considered a new type of qubit. The practical application to quantum information processing envisioned is heightened device efficiency. April 15, 2018.
Post-Quantum Computing Presentations
The U.S. Government’s NIST organization is wrapping up its post-quantum computing standardization conference in Florida. The conference offered PQC algorithm candidates to discuss their submissions in an open forum. A number of the presentations are available at the NIST conference website. April 15, 2018.
Attaining quantum supremacy demands a large number of controllable qubits. Physicists at the Austrian Academy of Sciences with collaboration from others in academia have created measured entanglement between groups of qubits. Distinction must be made that the entanglement is not between individual particles but groups. The multi-particle entanglement was attained and measured using new detection techniques. Potential application to quantum computing is derived from the qubits being able to be addressed and read individually. This team hopes to reach their next milestone of 50 entangled particles. April 15, 2018.
See this Qubit Report page, below, for a conceptual diagram and explanation.
University of Texas Adds to Cybersecurity
The University of Texas at San Antonio announced new investment in cybersecurity through their new National Security Collaboration Center. The center will provide for research and education aimed at improving national security with cybersecurity. Specifically mentioned was a focus on post-quantum cryptography which, coincidentally, was the subject of the U.S. Government’s NIST organization’s conference which concluded this past week. April 17, 2018.
Alternative Qubit Design
Researchers from the U.K., Germany, and Russia, have created a new superconductor qubit. The qubit, composed of super-conducting nanowires, is as-good-as Josephson Junction superconductors. This qubit is founded on quantum phase slip. QPS is failing and recovering superconductivity in thin nanowires in a controllable manner. The QPS is the focus of study as indications are that the coherence time of the new qubit is significantly higher than other types. Read on… April 18, 2018.
Israel’s Technion Receives Substantial Gift
The Hellen Diller Family Foundation has gifted $50M (USD) to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Not only does this name their Center for Quantum Science, Matter and Engineering after the family, it provides financial support for the new quantum center. Though known for quantum mechanics, Technion anticipates leading the world in quantum research; predominantly in the areas of Quantum Sensing and Detection, Quantum Computing, Quantum Simulators, and Quantum Communications. April 18, 2018.
PKI Over-the-Air with Post-Quantum-Computing-Resistant Code
ISARA Corporation is boasting that their full-stack PKI solution for the automotive industry will deliver over-the-air updates to vehicles and remain “quantum-safe” (quantum-resistant). The intent is to get ahead of the quantum-curve as both connected vehicles and quantum computing edge ever-closer to reality. This announcement shows forward momentum of the commercial industry taking the cue that “Quantum is Coming”. April 18, 2018.
Bashing Blockchain; It’s Not Pixie Dust
RSA 2018 is in gear and this year blockchain has taken some punches from the cryptography community. Rivest, Shamir, and Diffe each traded barbs at the tool. There is some value to blockchain, and it stems from quantum computing. Read further…April 19, 2018.
The Sacrificial Qubit
The U.S. and Australian Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI and AUSMURI, respectively) have provided funding to universities to study potential benefits of spectator qubits — qubits functioning as a calibration sensor while primary qubits perform processing. The “sacrificial qubits” will permit real-time calibration in the quantum computing device thus enhancing overall system efficiency. April 19, 2018.
Reducing the Co$t of the Qubit
Quantum computing research would not be possible without large grants from governments. Global corporations such as IBM, Google, and Alibaba, conduct their own research and development funded from their own coffers. The current cost of quantum computing devices is far too high for the commercial market to take off. Significant cost reductions may be on the horizon. The TOLOP project, developed in-part to keep Moore’s law true, has produced transistor component reduction tests which apply to quantum computing. In the tests, the transistors being studied were operated as qubits. If the manufacturing of these special transistors could be mass produced using the current transistor production technologies, it is conceivable the qubit resistors could use the same mass production processes. Ergo, qubit costs tumble, commercial qubit market comes to life. April 21, 2018.
It’s Coming? Is your Executive Leadership Aware?
A few of us in the cybersecurity industry are aware and following the approach of quantum computing and its likely ability to crack encryption in quick order. How aware is your corporate leadership? Perhaps a little longer than an elevator pitch, the Cloud Security Alliance has produced a thought provoking, non-technical and quick read for you to give to those who should — but don’t or choose not to — hear and act on the looming threat. This piece is all about quantum-safe security and developing it within your cybersecurity layers of defense. April 21, 2018.
End-to-End Quantum Transmission, On-demand
Yale researchers are playing ball, baseball, sorta, with qubits. Akin to clustering classical computers, the approach networks quantum systems and their qubits. Similar to a classical network, the qubits being fired (pitched) must be coordinated with the receiving end (caught) or else risk overwhelming the catcher. Therein lies the benefit of the study — bringing the pitch and catch into synchronized send-and-receive, on-demand. More has been discovered and researched, read on for further details. April 23, 2018.
Buying Time With Blockchains
Theoretical Physicists at New Zealand’s Victoria University are studying the first quantum blockchain. Quantum entanglement is typically studied based on entanglement across space. The new concept involves quantum entanglement in time. Past transactions (in time) are stored in quantum states, again, across time. Tampering is impossible as the entangled photons from earlier — in time — no longer exist. It’s a quantum time machine. Interesting and understandable read from IEEE SPECTRUM. April 23, 2018.
Quantum Computing Utilizing Microwave Photons
High-precision instrumentation has been shown to measure the arrival of microwave photons sans destroying the quantum information encoded. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and University of Tokyo have shown the detection of the photon’s arrival via its cavity-qubit reflection. Though not a completely new concept, use of microwave photons has previously ended with the detected photon destroyed. Enter quantum non-demolition, or QND. With continued research, the end-result could be microwave quantum computing enabled completely by photons. April 23, 2018.
Know the Innards of the Quantum Computer
Quantum computers are complicated machines. Qubits, connector modules, and the well-known super-refrigerator. These are but three components of Yale University’s quantum computer. Brief component descriptions and images are available at this link. April 24, 2018.
Securing Data with Quantum Dots
Using quantum dots, University of Arkansas researchers have managed to detect single photons. Quantum dots are particles at the nanoscale on semiconductors. Low background noise coupled with a high-voltage created by the photon’s electron excitation makes this method more promising. Creating quantum bits resistant to background noise is key to enabling quantum encryption. April 26, 2018.
Bringing Quantum Computing to the End-user
Dell is poised to embark on a long-term effort to bring dual-encryption solutions to the end-user. Doing so elevates the looming threat of quantum computing on data encryption standards in existence, today. Encrypting files and sectors provides a presumably quantum-resistant layering of encryption. More from Dell’s April 24th announcement is found at the link following. April 26, 2018.
Cardano Cryptocurrency: Quantum-Resistant?
Let alone the specific cryptocurrency, Cardano has been engaged with research teams to develop layered security protocols. Quantum resistance is their key focus. If successful, having a quantum resistant platform in place well-ahead of quantum supremacy is a good sign the world is listening to this looming threat. April 26, 2018.
Entangling Objects Visible to the Eye?
If the experimental results hold true, entangling more than a photon of light may have been accomplished. Researchers at Delft University and Aalto University have revealed two experiments demonstrating entanglement of objects nearly visible to the unaided eye. In the experiments, excitation was caused by focused lasers and a continuous bath of microwaves. The results of each provide hypothetically near-term applications within the telecommunications sector in transmittal of data secured with quantum entanglement and a less practical application in the study of gravity waves. Read on for more details at Science. April 28, 2018.
Vacancies and Diamonds
Cornell University has used funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research to study nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds to communicate quantum states via photons. Defects in the atomic structure of the diamonds were compensated for through the use of sound waves. Proof was in the pudding when lasers fired at the diamond caused emittance of photons, indicating the diamond structure was in resonance with the sound. By altering the sound waves, the orbital states of the diamond’s atoms could be altered; ergo, the path taken could be manipulated. April 28, 2018.
The Accuracy of Qubits (…and Google)
Google’s John Martinis delivered a briefing on the necessity of qubit quality vice qubit quantity. A major challenge to the efficacy of quantum computing, reducing the noise and its influence on quantum behavior is a major focus of Google’s quantum computing program. “If the error correction [noise abatement] is not good enough, it doesn’t matter if you have a billion qubits, you are never going to be able to make [qubits] more accurate”, Martinis is quoted as saying in ENTERPRISETECH’s piece. Read more and see the simplified Google strategy beating back the noise at ENTERPRISETECH. April 29, 2018.