The last few years have seen tremendous progress towards the construction of non-trivial quantum computers.
Over time classical computing hardware became easier, safer, and faster to use, this resulted in a lot of demand in manufacturing in classical hardware and as a result not much research and development was contributed in the field of Quantum computing.
But there are just some problems which are practically impossible for the classical computers to solve but when it comes to quantum computers their power can leave the classical computers eating dust.
Quantum computing is quite different from traditional digital computing and requires thinking about things in a non-intuitive way. The operations which the quantum computer performs are all based on advanced mathematics which are carried out simultaneously and performed while using extensive energy resources and consumed a lot of memory which are beyond the scope of common hardware systems.
Building a functional quantum computer requires holding an object in a superposition state long enough to carry out various processes on them, which is currently only possible for big names like Google and IBM but their interfaces run on bespoke operating systems invisible to external users. this interfaces are set at a very high level which leads to low-performance implementations.
Riverlane, a Cambridge University spin-out company, claims to have successfully trialed Deltaflow.OS, its first high performance universal operating system (OS) for quantum computers. The new OS is said to use “hardware abstraction layer” which enables applications to be implemented on quantum hardware.
Riverlane CEO Steve Brierley said: “We have solved a really important problem in quantum computing: how hardware and software interact whilst teasing the highest possible performance out of a quantum computer. This finally shifts the complexity of designing quantum computer applications from hardware to software.”
When compared with other interfaces like that of IBM, Deltaflow.OS is said to out performance them in quantum computing applications by orders of magnitude.
The Deltaflow.OS is also capable of carrying out quantum error-correction, which is essential to build large and reliable quantum computers, the performance improvement due to Deltaflow.OS will be on the order of 1000 fold.
A Riverlane-led consortium, consisting of Oxford Ionics, Hitachi Europe, ARM, the National Physical Laboratory as well as hardware start-ups Oxford Quantum Circuits, Seeqc, Universal Quantum and Duality Quantum Photonics, has recently been awarded a £7.6M grant by the UK government to bring Deltaflow.OS to market.
Quantum computers promises high computing power and is expected to drive innovation in the fields of health care. The application of quantum computing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is also expected to change the performance of this technologies in the coming decade.
However, not everybody is convinced that quantum computers are worth the effort. Some mathematicians and theoretical physicist believe that some obstacles are practically impossible to overcome, putting quantum computing forever out of reach.
Only time will tell who is right.
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