The computer was acquired by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the United Kingdom.
UK government acquires First Quantum Computer. Quantum computers are amazing machines that are capable of very complex calculations extremely in no time. And according to their creators, they can solve the things that regular computers cannot. The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to work with the British tech company Ocra Computing to explore what quantum technology and quantum computing can do in defense. Stephen Till of the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DTSL) called this step a milestone moment for defense technology.
The computer that we use at our homes or offices, processes data only in bits, which is primarily working on binary values of either one or zero. On the other hand, a Quantum computer uses a two-state unit for processing the data, this is called a qubit. This can represent digits like zero or one at the same time, by processing it through a quantum mechanical process called superposition, allowing quantum computers to bridge can cope with the binary digits with uncertainty, something that ordinary computers cannot do.
The Promise Vs. Reality
The head of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies at the Sussex University, Prof Winfried Hensinger stated that despite the potential of quantum computers, it will take some time to materialize. He further explained that these mighty computers are not yet ready to solve any practical problems yet. Till now we can only gauge how quantum computing will empower you, showing the possibilities it can bring to reality if we scale this machine to form a really large machine into a big system.
But he made sure to add the promise that quantum computers present and the MoD’s realization and exploration of it shows how significant this will develop into. It will bring disruptive changes to all the industries. Particularly, in defense where optimization will be making a huge and significant role.
What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing is a very complex concept and works in a very different way than our laptops or personal computers work, or even the phones that we carry in our pockets. What is mind-boggling is the fact that even the supercomputers, that can process unbelievable amounts of data in just nanoseconds, are not able to perform up to the level of a quantum computer.
The promises of quantum computing are very high. It shows light of hope that it will be able to solve the issues of climate change and will even help in designing new drugs and much more advancements in artificial intelligence. But in this case, we are taking into consideration its use in the defense sector and what potential support it can provide to the military.
It seems as if we are back in time when standard computers started emerging and required large spaces just to keep them cool. But Orca’s quantum computing machines do not require such measures. These devices are a lot smaller and much more practical.
Gaining a Vote of Confidence
The Chief Executive of Orca Computing even though there is an immense debate on the potential and capabilities of quantum computing, the company’s work with the Ministry of Defence is significantly a vote of confidence. He further added that the partnership with MoD will give them a chance to have a close encounter with the real hardware which will allow them to discover new applications of this revolutionary technology.
MoD will be working with Orca’s small PT-1 quantum computer, which is the first one of its kind, that can operate at room temperature instead of requiring a sub-zero environment to keep its heat-sensitive qubits at an optimal temperature. These Orca computers use photons, or single units of light, to increase the efficiency of machine learning tasks like decision-making and analyzing an image.
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It is expected that using these massive computers will improve the latency significantly by also improving the speed of reading and writing to the quantum computers.