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Quantum Computing – pros and cons

  • Last Updated : 05 Nov, 2019

In this era of supercomputers, quantum computing is considered as the next big thing. It has been theorized that quantum computes will take a huge leap over the supercomputers. To put this into perspective, supercomputers have achieved a peak performance of around 200 petaflops or 200, 000 trillion calculations per second. Quantum Computers will be able to achieve a billion times more performance power.

A quantum computer will be able to perform any task that a classical computer is able to perform. Although, there is a catch. If we use classical algorithms on a quantum computer, it will simply perform the calculation in a similar manner to a classical computer. For a quantum computer to be utilized to its full potential, quantum algorithms need to be formulated. Quantum algorithms can exploit the phenomenon of quantum parallelism.

These algorithms are not easy to create, requiring a lot of research and development. A well-known example for one of the algorithms is the quantum factorization algorithm created by Peter Shor of AT&T Bell laboratories.
What the algorithm does is tackle the problem of factorizing large numbers into its prime factors. This task is classically very difficult to solve (base on current technology). Shor’s algorithm cleverly uses the effects of quantum parallelism to give the results of the prime factorization problem in a matter of seconds.

A classical computer would take, in some cases, more than the age of the universe to produce a result.
It is clear that breakthroughs are required not just in technology, but also in algorithm and we do require other supporting technology such as leverage of machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, Cloud Computing to accelerate Quantum Computing development.

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