Quantum computers have always been regarded as the supercomputers of our age which possess great efficiency.However,their ability over the traditional computers remained an unanswered question.But recently,researchers have found proof that quantum computing systems surpass conventional computing methods in terms of speed and performance.
The world’s only commercially available experimental quantum computer developed by D-Wave Systems outperformed the traditional PC by solving an optimization problem 3,600 times faster than it,according to the reports of New York Times.The test took place at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
D-Wave is a British Columbia-based company established in 1999 with a soul aim of developing practical quantum computers.It invented the first commercial quantum computer, which uses principles of quantum mechanics rather than classical mechanics.Conventional computing uses typical 1s and 0s where as quantum computing uses qubits which can take the values of 0s and 1s at the same time,providing a faster computation speed.
In order to prove its faster computational skills,Catherine McGeoch,a researcher and a consultant to D-Wave,tested a quantum computer and proved that it can beat regular machines.
The system had a thumbnail-sized chip and the hardware is designed to solve a specific optimisation problem i.e.,minimising the solution of a complex equation by choosing the values of certain variables.The problem involves many practical applications, such as image recognition and machine learning.
The scientists ran the problem on a D-wave two computer,which has 439 qubits formed from superconducting niobium loops and also tried to execute the problem on a high-end desktop computer making use of three algorithms.In this,the former computing system performed faster than the later.
Each system was given half a second to find the best solution to the given version of optimisation problem and the trail was repeated with 100 different versions.The D-wave quantum computer found the solution within half a second where as the three regular algorithms lagged behind.
Though,the D-wave computer cant solve the problem directly,it has a software to convert the problems into a form it can handle.Without even being able to solve it straight away,D-wave device still managed to exceed or match the capabilities of the algorithms on regular computers.
D-wave company claims that its computer can offer the best solution to regular algorithms instantly.Howsoever,researchers believe that the speed tests are not fair as the generic computers will always perform less than a device made for exclusively solving a specific problem.
“A next step would be to build a conventional processor optimised for this task, for a fairer comparison,” says professor Jeremy O’Brien of the University of Bristol, UK.
The results seems to be encouraging the D-wave company to work on new projects and the challenge ahead for the D-wave team is to convince customers that it has a new kind of device that will help them in solving problems more effectively.