Quantum computing sounds like something from a Star Trek movie, but as traditional computing systems are reaching their limits when it comes to being used in the manufacturing process, quantum computing promises to be revolutionary.
What is Quantum computing?
A traditional computer system is binary. This means that the bits are either a ‘1’ or a ‘0’. In quantum computing bits can be in many different states at the same time.
Being in different states at the same time means that calculations will be performed at a much higher rate. But what exactly does this mean in real-world terms? We spoke to Alex from Tuball.com a company that produces carbon nanotubes that are used to improve the properties of the materials they are added to.
Alex said that “Quantum computing could help us to find new materials or properties that could help us in the production of new materials, it could also reduce power consumption within the manufacturing process.”
The problem with forecasting for traditional computers is that if the data set is too big then it usually takes longer for the calculations to finish than for the event to arrive. This is typically seen within weather forecasting.
If the data set is too small then the forecast is often inaccurate. Quantum computing will improve forecasting as it can be fed larger datasets which will improve forecasts while still being efficient on time.
Cut down on research costs
Research is often expensive and can sometimes be dangerous too, however with quantum computing research can be moved from the lab onto the computer where multiple simulations can be run while stretching your companies research and development budget further.
For manufacturing companies, it could make the difference between only testing a few ideas to testing all of them. Medical companies on the other hand could cut down on years of research and bring more life-saving treatment to market sooner.
Quantum computers would be able to crack today’s encryption protocols very easily, but they would then replace them with virtually hackproof replacements meaning that long term quantum computing will provide improved encryption to your files and computer system.
Fed up of driving and getting stuck in traffic jams? Quantum computing could be used to predict traffic flows and redirect the traffic where they predict a build-up. Not only could quantum computing be used to improve the flow of traffic but it could also be used to improve driving overall.
Self-driving cars are still in their infancy but quantum computing could help self-driving cars as they would be able to make more decisions per second than a traditional computer. This could lead to less congestion, improved fuel performance and fewer accidents on the road.
Will quantum computers replace normal computers?
Quantum computers can benefit the user in many areas but for some jobs, your typical computer system will be more efficient. For example, you don’t need a quantum computer to run an excel sheet, send an email or update your Facebook status.
Quantum computers will be used for handling large datasets and making complex decisions quickly. When it comes to quantum computing think of it as a tool to solve big data problems.
When can we expect quantum computers to be available to all?
We are still many years off from having quantum computers in our homes but enterprise companies are beginning to use quantum computers in their business.
Lockheed Marting and Volkswagen are already using quantum computing within their business. But it’s not just the well know brands using quantum computing. In a study carried out by D-Wave, 40% of large enterprise companies are now using quantum computing in their business.