D-Waves quantum computing system
Volkswagen has become a customer of D-Wave Systems, which builds quantum computers that cost $15 million each.
Martin Hofmann, VWs chief information officer, told New York Times that the investment in quantum computing technology is a sign of things to come.For us, its a new era of technology, he said.
VW is claimed to have used a D-Wave computer to steer the movements of 10,000 taxis in Beijing simultaneously, optimising their routes and reducing congestion, according to the report in NYT.
While some expressed scepticism over the test, many computer technology experts agree that binary computing systems will not be capable of keeping up with the colossal growth in both the volume of data and the requirements for processing it.
Quantum computing, which some say might be the solution, is still in the experimental stage and there are many challenges to overcome, never mind the fact that no one understands anything about it.
Quantum computers, as the name suggests, is supposed to utilise the strange occurrences of the quantum world, which are very different from the binary computing world.
In binary systems, which is what all current computers use, the transistors on a microchip are either on or off 0 or 1. Either of these states is a bit, or a binary digit, in computing jargon, and is the smallest unit of data.
Combinations of these zeros and ones are called bytes in computing. So, an eight-bit byte could look like this: 11111111. Thats eight ones. Such a byte is often considered a unit of memory size; in this example, this would be an 8-bit memory size.
Most desktop computers or microcomputers as they used to be called these days have 64-bit processors, which means they can handle instructions of 64 bits at a time. And they may have one terabyte of hard disk space, which means they store 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of memory.
All of this is reasonably logical, even if youre eyes can go funny looking at all those zeros.
Looking at the quantum world, however, can make your brain go funny, as nothing is as logical as it is in the binary world.
Its a reasonably well known fact that scientists have observed the same quantum particle in two places at once, the reasons for which they are yet to adequately explain.
But even without explaining the reasons why, scientists and technologists have been able to utilise quantum phenomena to create real-world products like funnily enough computer chips.
The light that binds
Apparently, every element in the periodic table absorbs and emits light of very particular frequencies, and these unique spectral lines are regularly used to identify the composition of various substances, according to an interesting explanation on Forbes.com.
Using this key observation, or set of observations, scientists and technologists have been able to create the modern computer-driven, electronic world.
Quantum computing, however, is looking to go deeper into the quantum world beyond electrons and the light each set of atoms emits. They may even go to the sub-atomic level, where particles can behave in even more extreme and inexplicable ways.
Nonetheless, a number of the leading tech companies IBM, Google, Intel and other chipmakers, and of course D-Wave are developing microprocessors and computing systems based on quantum phenomena.
The companies measure their systems capabilities using something called a qubit, or quantum bit, which is like a bit or binary digit.
The difference is that whereas a bit is either a zero or a one, a qubit can be also either a zero or one or both at the same time because of something called quantum superposition, meaning that, unlike a human being, a quantum being can be in two places at once.
This inexplicable ability is said to hold the promise of quantum computers with far more power than binary computers will ever attain.
Big claims for tiny particles
D-Wave claims its system has 2,000 qubits, although its probably not a good idea at this stage for mere mortals to use such numbers to compare different systems until more is understood about them. Not that theres an awful lot of competitors to D-Waves systems.
IBM has produced a processor for quantum computing which it says is configured in 16-qubit and 17-qubit forms, as reported in Technology Review.
Google says it has built a quantum computer chip which has six qubits, also reported in Technology Review, although the company says designs for devices of 30 to 50 qubits are already in progress.
A number of other companies and organisations including Microsoft, Nasa, the US government, and probably Apple are all working on quantum computing systems.
What this means for the automotive sector, or any other sector, is yet unknown, beyond the obvious the more computing power, the better.
But certainly, VWs investment in the technology shows that the traditional automotive giants have realised the quantum computing is the future of cars and perhaps every other technology, even if no one understands what it is.
Auto manufacturers tend to use very large computing systems in the design and development of vehicles, but whereas they may have hired the capability before, they want to own it now.
Often, such companies will hire time on a supercomputer, and some say that a well-programmed supercomputer is still much faster than any of the quantum computers on the market today.
Supercomputers still rule
The hierarchy of computing power not including cloud or cluster computing might look like the following list, with the most powerful at the top:
Quantum computers are looking to enter the list at the very top, above supercomputers.
One of the reasons for wanting to own or even produce the computing infrastructure, however, could be that, even though todays binary computer chips and systems are said to be capable of autonomously driving a car, tomorrows auto giants could be the ones who build or develop their own custom quantum chips and systems, or at least understand quantum phenomena well enough to write firmware for quantum chips like the ones produced by IBM and Google.
Otherwise they might be left stranded in the binary world, and clearly VW has no intention of being left behind.
Other companies from the automotive sector in Germany are also making significant investments in computing technology.
BMW is busy building a new data centre that is 10 times the size of the companys existing facility, according to the NYT.
Reinhard Stolle, a vice president in charge of artificial intelligence at BMW, said: The processing power needed to deal with all this data is orders of magnitude larger than what we are used to.
The traditional control engineering techniques are just not able to handle the complexity anymore.
Meanwhile,Bosch is building a massive chip factory which will represent the biggest investment in the companys 130-year history.
Bosch chairman Volkmar Denner says: By expanding our manufacturing capacities for semiconductors, we are looking forward to the future and strengthen our competitiveness.
Bosch is one of the worlds leading suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems to the big automotive companies.
Tags: technology, quantum, computers
Tags: technology, systems
Tags: systems, technology
- Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) Founder Says Quantum Computing Is Not a Threat to Cryptocurrency, Although That Claim Is Debatable Crypto.IQ | Bitcoin and... - November 18th, 2019
- Innovation Focused Firms Issue Open Call for Hackers - IndustryWeek - November 18th, 2019
- Quantum computer - Simple English Wikipedia, the free ... - October 11th, 2019
- Topological quantum computer - Wikipedia - October 11th, 2019
- What is a quantum computer? Explained with a simple example. - September 11th, 2019
- Qubits and Defining the Quantum Computer | HowStuffWorks - September 5th, 2019
- For a Split Second, a Quantum Computer Made History Go ... - May 13th, 2019
- Noisy Quantum Computers Could Be Good for Chemistry Problems ... - April 11th, 2019
- What is a Quantum Computer? - Definition from Techopedia - April 11th, 2019
- What Is a Quantum Computer? | JSTOR Daily - April 11th, 2019
- Measuring Quantum Computer Power With IBM Quantum Volume ... - April 9th, 2019
- Explainer: What is a quantum computer ... - March 24th, 2019
- What Can We Do with a Quantum Computer? | Institute for ... - March 7th, 2019
- Qubit - Wikipedia - February 25th, 2019
- Quantum computer | computer science | Britannica.com - January 10th, 2019
- IBMs new quantum computer is a symbol, not a breakthrough - January 9th, 2019
- IBM unveils the world's first quantum computer that ... - January 9th, 2019
- Were Close to a Universal Quantum Computer, Heres Where We're At - November 28th, 2018
- Schrdinger's Killer App: Race to Build the World's First ... - August 7th, 2018
- How Quantum Computers Work - May 3rd, 2018
- This is what a 50-qubit quantum computer looks like - January 15th, 2018
- Inside Microsofts quantum computing world | InfoWorld - January 1st, 2018
- Microsoft Takes Path Less Traveled to Build a Quantum ... - December 13th, 2017
- Researchers create new type of quantum computer | Harvard Gazette - December 12th, 2017
- Microsoft releases quantum computing development kit preview ... - December 12th, 2017
- Intel moves towards production quantum computing with new 17 ... - October 11th, 2017
- Quantum computer a possibility in 10 years - News.com.au - NEWS.com.au - September 7th, 2017
- Scientists Propose a New Kind of Quantum Computer, But What ... - Gizmodo - September 7th, 2017
- Quantum detectives in the hunt for the world's first quantum computer - Phys.Org - September 7th, 2017
- Scientists Just Found A Use For The Hashtag In Quantum Computing - Gizmodo Australia - September 4th, 2017
- The Future of AI: From Quantum Computing to the Internet of Things - Outer Places - September 4th, 2017
- We're About to Cross The 'Quantum Supremacy' Limit in Computing - ScienceAlert - September 2nd, 2017
- Explaining the Most Recent Record for Quantum Computing: A 51-Qubit Quantum Computer Array - All About Circuits - September 2nd, 2017
- USRA Upgrades D-Wave Quantum Computer to 2000 Qubits - insideHPC - September 1st, 2017
- Quantum encrypted box hints at unhackable communication - Wired.co.uk - September 1st, 2017
- Quantum Computer Programming: What You Need to Learn to Get ... - TrendinTech - September 1st, 2017
- Google's John Martinis Believes Quantum Computing Threat to Be Long Way Off - Bitcoin News (press release) - August 31st, 2017
- Australian quantum computing outfit goes commercial - Networks Asia - August 31st, 2017
- Elusive Majorana Particle Takes Major Step Towards Quantum Computing - IEEE Spectrum - August 29th, 2017
- Australia gets quantum computing company - ACS (registration) - August 28th, 2017
- Quantum Computing and Financial Trading - LeapRate - August 28th, 2017
- Russians Lead the Quantum Computer Race With 51-Qubit Machine - Edgy Labs (blog) - August 28th, 2017
- Bitcoin vs. The NSAs Quantum Computer Bitcoin Not Bombs - August 26th, 2017
- qBitcoin: A Way of Making Bitcoin Quantum-Computer Proof? - IEEE Spectrum - August 26th, 2017
- Hype and cash are muddying public understanding of quantum ... - Phys.Org - August 26th, 2017
- Silicon Quantum Computing launched to commercialise UNSW ... - ZDNet - August 23rd, 2017
- IEEE Approves Standards Project for Quantum Computing ... - Business Wire (press release) - August 23rd, 2017
- Introducing Australia's first quantum computing hardware company - CIO Australia - August 23rd, 2017
- What is quantum computer? - Definition from WhatIs.com - August 22nd, 2017
- Hype and cash are muddying public understanding of quantum computing - The Conversation AU - August 22nd, 2017
- Finns chill out quantum computers with qubit refrigerator to cut out errors - ZDNet - August 22nd, 2017
- UNSW joins with government and business to keep quantum computing technology in Australia - The Australian Financial Review - August 22nd, 2017
- 'Tools of DESTRUCTION' Quantum computers WILL wreak havoc ... - Express.co.uk - August 19th, 2017
- Quantum computing comes of age - Alphr - August 14th, 2017
- No, Quantum Teleportation Won't Let Us Send Instant Messages to Alpha Centauri - Air & Space Magazine - August 12th, 2017
- Google on track for quantum computer breakthrough by end of ... - August 11th, 2017
- Closing In On Quantum Computing | WIRED - August 11th, 2017
- World's Leading Physicist Says Quantum Computers Are Tools of Destruction, Not Creation - Futurism - August 10th, 2017
- Will you be able to trust a quantum computer? - Digital Journal - August 9th, 2017
- New Methods of Controlling Electrons Could be Major in Quantum Computing - TrendinTech - August 5th, 2017
- Exactly what could quantum computers do? - Electronics Weekly - August 4th, 2017
- What is quantum computing and why does the future of Earth depend on it? - Alphr - August 2nd, 2017
- The Age of Quantum Computers is upon us! - Gizbot - August 2nd, 2017
- Ultracold molecules hold promise for quantum computing | MIT News - MIT News - August 1st, 2017
- Clarifiying complex chemical processes with quantum computers - Phys.Org - August 1st, 2017
- When Will Quantum Computers Be Consumer Products? - Futurism - August 1st, 2017
- Quantum Computers Just Moved a Step Closer to Reality - NBCNews.com - August 1st, 2017
- A New Breakthrough in Quantum Computing is Set to Transform Our ... - Futurism - August 1st, 2017
- Quantum computers compete for supremacy - Salon - July 10th, 2017
- Quantum Computers Compete for "Supremacy" - Scientific American - July 5th, 2017
- Less is more for Canadian quantum computing researchers - ITworld - July 4th, 2017
- New method could enable more stable and scalable quantum ... - Phys.Org - July 4th, 2017
- 6 Things Quantum Computers Will Be Incredibly Useful For - Singularity Hub - July 1st, 2017
- Quantum Machine Learning Computer Hybrids at the Center of New Start-Ups - TrendinTech - June 20th, 2017
- Israel Enters Quantum Computer Race, Placing Encryption at Ever-Greater Risk - Sputnik International - June 20th, 2017
- Prototype device enables photon-photon interactions at room ... - Phys.Org - June 20th, 2017
- The Quantum Computer Factory That's Taking on Google and IBM - WIRED - June 20th, 2017
- Toward optical quantum computing - MIT News - June 17th, 2017
- Get ahead in quantum computing AND attract Goldman Sachs - eFinancialCareers - June 16th, 2017
- KPN CISO details Quantum computing attack dangers - Mobile World Live - June 16th, 2017