Quantum computing comes in leaps and bounds. There is now an operating system available on a chip thanks to consortia led by Cambridge University with a vision to make quantum computers as transparent and known as RaspberryPi.
This “sensational success” is compared to the Cambridge Independent Press at the time during the 1960s when computers were shrinking from being room-sized to being sitting on top of a desk.
About 50 quantum computers have been built so far, and they all use different software – there is no quantum equivalent of Windows, iOS or Linux. The new project will deliver an OS that allows the same quantum software to run on different types of quantum computing hardware.
The system, Deltaflow.OS (full name Deltaflow-on-ARTIQ) was designed by the start-up of Cambridge Uni. Riverlane. It is powered by a chip developed by consortium member SEEQC using a fraction of the space required in previous hardware. SEEQC is headquartered in the United States with a major R&D site in the UK.
“In its simplest terms, we’ve put something that once filled a room on a chip the size of a coin, and it works,” said Dr. Matthew Hutchings, chief production officer and co-founder of SEEQC in a press release.
“This is as significant to the future of quantum computers as the microchip itself was to commercialize traditional computers, allowing them to be produced cost-effectively and on a scale.”
Quantum computers store information in the form of quantum bits, or quits. Like Schrödinger’s cat (which would not have the spoken language effect if he chose an inanimate object), kbit can exist in two different information states at the same time.
But for quantum computers to be truly powerful, they need to be able to scale up to include many more quits, making it possible to solve some seriously challenging problems.
“Where a lot of electronics were needed to control the kbit, it’s now available on a chip the size of a penny,” Hutchings explained. “All the functionality is on a chip, so we’ve solved the problem for the quantum era.”
Great vision for Quantum OS
Riverlane has a great vision: an operating system that makes quantum software portable across Kbit technologies – scalable to millions of Kbit.
“This incites the highest possible performance out of every quit – even for applications like error correction that need fast response loops,” it says.
Deltaflow-on-ARTIQ is the first step in achieving this vision.
What will quantum computing be used for?
With enough quits, quantum computers can process complex calculations at very high speeds.
One application for which the vast processing power can be used is to simulate digital versions of chemical compounds, test theories and predict real chemical actions, without the use of a physical laboratory. According to Riverlane, it takes about $ 1 billion to bring a new drug to market and many years of research, testing and clinical trials. Quantum computing could offer an abbreviation.
The benefits of this post-COVID-19 are clear.
Another advantage: better batteries. The UK government has ambitious goals of achieving zero-zero emissions by 2050. Similar to drug development, quantum computers can be used to create a “virtual lab” environment that enables a much faster, less expensive and more robust way. screen battery materials. This sustainable method will allow for improved research and development into a cleaner future.
Quantitative developments in logistics, weather forecasting, cybersecurity and finance are expected.
Other members of the Riverlane group include Hitachi Europe, Oxford Quantum Circuits, patch designer Arm and the National Physical Laboratory. They will develop their technology and develop firmware for their quantum processors, which will later interface with Deltaflow.OS.
Hitachi Europe, for example, is building a quantum computer based on the same microprocessor technology currently found in laptops, cars and mobile phones.
Riverlane is not the only quantum specialist in Cambridge. Cambridge Quantum Computing says it is building tools for the commercialization of quantum technologies, the long-term impact of which will be profound.
In fact, there is a long way to go to transform quantum computers from experimental technology into commercial products. The name for this is “quantum advantage” and is compared to gold rush – as in this article at Nature.
As Riverlane puts it, “Quantum computing is a high-risk industry that has the potential to lead to huge rewards. only five years. “
If the flowering quantum ecosystem continues to grow rapidly, then perhaps the revolution may take place sooner than we think.
By the way, Riverlane hires.