Prototype Quantum Computers Are Fundamentally Different

New Prototype Quantum Computers.

There is a new kind of computer, quietly being developed by researchers around the world, that quite honestly could change everything we know about the science. In fact, it may have far reaching impacts into the world of cyber security, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency just to name a few.

Imagine a new kind of computer that can quickly solve problems that would stump even the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Quantum computers are fundamentally different. They can store information as not only just ones and zeros, but in all the shades of gray in-between. Several companies and government agencies are investing billions of dollars in the field of quantum information. But what will quantum computers be used for?

South by Southwest 2018 hosted a panel on March 10th called Quantum Computing: Science Fiction to Science Fact. Experts on quantum computing made up the panel, including Jerry Chow of IBM; Bo Ewald of D-Wave Systems; Andrew Fursman of 1QBit; and Antia Lamas-Linares of the Texas Advanced Computing Center at UT Austin.

Lonestar 5

Lonestar 5 is a high performance computing system deployed at TACC for use by academic researchers in Austin and across Texas. It serves as the primary advanced computing resource in the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) initiative, sponsored by The University of Texas System, as well as for partner institutions Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University.

Antia Lamas-Linares is a Research Associate in the High Performance Computing group at TACC. Her background is as an experimentalist with quantum computing systems, including work done with them at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore. She joins podcast host Jorge Salazar to talk about her South by Southwest panel and about some of her latest research on quantum information.

Lamas-Linares co-authored a study (doi: 10.1117/12.2290561) in the Proceedings of the SPIE, The International Society for Optical Engineering, that published in February of 2018. The study, “Secure Quantum Clock Synchronization,” proposed a protocol to verify and secure time synchronization of distant atomic clocks, such as those used for GPS signals in cell phone towers and other places.

The d-wave processor that will change the computing world

Lamas-Linares explained:

It’s important work. , because people are worried about malicious parties messing with the channels of GPS. What James Troupe (Applied Research Laboratories, UT Austin) and I looked at was whether we can use techniques from quantum cryptography and quantum information to make something that is inherently unspoofable.

Antia Lamas-Linares:

The most important thing is that quantum technologies is a really exciting field. And it’s exciting in a fundamental sense. We don’t quite know what we’re going to get out of it. We know a few things, and that’s good enough to drive research. But the things we don’t know are much broader than the things we know, and it’s going to be really interesting. Keep your eyes open for this.


About the cover picture:

The Stallion system is one of the world’s highest resolution tiled-displays. The cluster provides users with the ability to perform visualizations on a large 16×5 tiled display of Dell 30-inch flat panel monitors: an aggregate resolution of 328 megapixels.

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Prototype Quantum Computers Are Fundamentally Different

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