Quantum Technology News – Issue #9
The biggest news of the week is the long-anticipated Google quantum computing announcement. The announcement states that the D-Wave machine is more than 10^8 times faster than simulated annealing running on a single core.
Independent analyses by Dr. Scott Aaronson show that while the results are showing that D-Wave is becoming more mature and probably has quantum effects, the technology suffers the drawbacks of just being built on old quantum computing techniques that we know are not the most optimal anymore. Additionally, Selby’s algorithm (a classical algorithm on a classical computer) still outperforms D-Wave.
In the cryptography community, even though the D-Wave computer cannot break modern cryptography, the fact that the NSA is preparing to move to quantum resistant algorithms shows that there is concern over either: quantum computing research acceleration, or problems with existing ECC algorithms (or both?).
Australian continues to fund quantum computing research and announce breakthroughs weekly, this time on a quantum computer code that will allow for the beginning of a full-stack solution to controlling and programming a quantum computer, built on top of the breakthrough last month, where UNSW showed the first logic gate in a silicon chip.
Google Research Blog: When can Quantum Annealing win? This original announcement links to the paper Google published and data on simulated vs quantum annealing.
Google experiments suggest that the D-Wave computer exploits quantum phenomena and is faster than simulated annealing for a specifically engineered problem, Selby’s algorithm still performs better than the D-Wave quantum computer.
Why the NSA moving away from Suite B cryptography due to quantum computers makes total sense — Quantum Bits — Medium
Even though the Snowden files released in 2013 showed limited progress from the NSA on quantum computers, the last 2 years since have been a storm of real, practical results, as well as funding poured into both companies and academic research. Quantum computers could actually have been the trigger to begin the move to post-quantum cryptography since the acceleration of the field.
In the next step towards making quantum computing a reality, Australian researchers have for the first time written computer code that can be interpreted by standard devices like smartphones and tablets but can make calculations at a fraction of the speed and time of current transistor-based computing.
Commonwealth Bank has announced an additional $10 million in-principle commitment towards the world’s first silicon-based quantum computer, currently being developed in Sydney.