When thinking about classic computers everything was done by binary coding using 1s and 0s. Quantum computing basing everything on calculations of probability of the objects state giving it the potential to process exponentially more data compared to classical computing. These operations are known as a qubit, and these states are undefined properties that have not been detected of an object. They do not have a clear position, and occur in a mixed ‘super position’, like a coin spinning in the air before it touches the ground.  

Quantum computing is based on quantum theory where traditional laws of physics do not apply and involves the use of atomic and subatomic particles. The interesting thing about these particles is that they behave in unexpected ways. These particles can exist in multiple states at the same time. That is the underlying power that quantum computing will harness. Instead of using the traditional bits that classical computing utilizes quantum computing will use qubits of quantum bits. What is the difference? It is easiest to think about this with an image. If you have a globe or sphere a bit can exist at one of the two poles of the sphere. A qubit on the other hand can exist at any point on the sphere. The result of this is that a quantum computer using qubits will be able to store and process enormous amounts of data and information a million or more times faster using less energy than a classical computer. 

Why the hurry to develop quantum computers? Well, according to a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association we will not be able to power all the computers around the world by 2040 which is no longer far into the future. So, there is pressure to produce quantum computers for commercial consumption. 

The impacts of quantum computing will no doubt change our world because there will be applications for this technology in every industry. It is safe to assume quantum computing will open the door to some extraordinary possibilities when you consider qubits have the capability to process millions of calculations all in the same moment.  The impacts will be game-changing across industries. 

IBM and Rigetti already have quantum computers and allow users access to their quantum computers in the cloud by using IBM’s Q experience or the Rigetti Forest API. Users can test and develop their quantum programs on simulator and run them on the quantum computers in the cloud. 

The race is on to bring quantum computing to commercial scale and the cloud will play a large roll in how that happens.  It will forever change the way we think and interact with data and bring big changes to way in which we do business. It is an incredibly exciting development. AWS like IBM and Rigetti also has their own quantum compute cloud called QC2 that features the first production-ready quantum computer. AWS invites you to try it to solve certain types of math and logic problems at a speed that will take your breath away. The future is here.

Feb 5 21
Christina Zumwalt