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Digging deep into quantum computers: myths and realities

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+  Misconceptions: Quantum computing is a very recent technology that still has a long way to go before it can achieve any relevance in the real world. The very complex and sophisticated challenges facing the new tech makes many existing ideas surrounding it sound almost like myths. Let’s look at two of the most common misconceptions regarding quantum computers.

Even though it’s unlikely that we’ll soon have quantum computers on our desks, the genuine transformational power of quantum computing can’t be denied. Leading researchers think a future where classical computers will work in sync with quantum computers is the best possible outcome from work in this revolutionary field.


+  1.  Quantum computers will replace classical computers.  This is not happening in the foreseeable future, and according to some experts- never. Firstly, quantum computers aren’t being developed to take over classical computers. It’s more accurate to think of them as a new kind of technology designed to carry out high-precision, specialized activities. For everyday use ranging from streaming high-definition videos to writing this article- quantum computers remain largely useless. A quantum computer may be able to outperform a classical computer at a specific task, but for most day-to-day activities, it’s a safe assumption that they won’t become a fixture in our lives.

+  2. Commercial quantum computers are just around the corner.  Even though quantum computers show us glimpses of an exciting technology of the future, we are still at least decades away even before this technology crawls out of its infancy. The main hurdles to overcome include writing quantum algorithms, which is vastly different from classical algorithms. To build a functional machine, absolute zero temperature has to be generated and maintained. The error in calculations is still too large. To efficiently solve practical computational problems, the computer would require millions of qubits. Most current quantum computers are being experimented with using less than 100 qubits. The device is extremely complex overall compared to classical computers. So it’s a long shot to predict the availability of commercial quantum computers anytime soon.

Source:  The Daily Star.  Mushfique Fahim,  Digging deep into quantum computers: myths and realities…

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