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Calculate tens of billions of dollars and the revenue of quantum computers



Calculate tens of billions of dollars and the revenue of quantum computers

In order to keep the qubits used in quantum computers low enough so that scientists can study them, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy uses an advanced cooling system. Image credit: Thor Swift of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

It is calculated every five millionths of a second. That is the one with 1

8 zeros behind. This is the speed at which a supercomputer processes information exascale. The Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing for the first gigabit computer to be deployed in 2021. However, quantum computers can even complete more complex calculations faster than these emerging trillions of times computers. However, the complementary effects of these technologies far outweigh the competition.


It will take some time before quantum computers are ready to solve major scientific research problems. Although quantum researchers and scientists in other fields are collaborating to design quantum computers to make them as useful as possible when they are ready, there is still a long way to go. Scientists are studying how to build qubits for quantum computers (the foundation of the technology). They are building the most basic quantum algorithms needed for simple calculations. The hardware and algorithms must be far enough away to enable coders to develop operating systems and software for scientific research. Currently, in quantum computing, we are at the same moment when scientists used computers running on vacuum tubes in the 1950s. Now, most of us often keep computers in our pockets, but it took decades to reach this level of accessibility.

In contrast, tens of billions of dollars of computers will be ready next year. When they started, they were already five times faster than our fastest computer, the computer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility (SEEmit), a user facility of the DOE Office of Science. They will be able to immediately solve major challenges such as modeling the earth system, analyzing genes, and tracking fusion barriers. These powerful machines will enable scientists to include more variables in equations and improve the accuracy of models. As long as we can find new ways to improve traditional computers, we can do it.

Once quantum computers are ready for prime time, researchers will still need traditional computers. Each of them can meet different needs.

The U.S. Department of Energy is designing its exascale computer to make it very good at running scientific simulations and machine learning and artificial intelligence programs. These will help us make greater progress in research. In our user facilities, these users are generating more and more data, and these computers will be able to analyze this data in real time.

On the other hand, quantum computers will be very suitable for simulating the interaction between electrons and atomic nuclei that are part of atoms. Since these interactions are the foundation of chemistry and materials science, these computers may be very useful. Applications include modeling basic chemical reactions, understanding superconductivity, and designing materials at the atomic level. Quantum computers can reduce the time to run these simulations from billions of years to minutes. Another interesting possibility is to connect quantum computers to the quantum internet. This combination of quantum Internet and classical Internet may have a profound impact on science, national security and industry.

Just as the same scientist can use particle accelerators and electron microscopes as needed, traditional computing and quantum computing will each play different roles. With the support of the Department of Energy, scientists look forward to improving these tools, both of which will provide references for future research.


Using quantum computing to develop research on genetic diseases


Provided by the U.S. Department of Energy

Citation: Calculating the benefits of exascale and quantum computers (August 3, 2020), retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2020-08-benefits-exascale-quantum.html to August 3, 2020

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