The Problem With Quantum Computing

from the technology-of-the-future dept

In a recent post about quantum computing, I repeated the joke that it’s a “technology of the future… and it always will be.” It seems that the folks at DARPA agree. In a wide ranging talk about future technologies, the head of DARPA explains why he doesn’t think quantum computing is going anywhere. He points out that it’s an analog system, and as such, runs into tremendous scaling problems. It sounds like the technology may be useful in some, very specific, circumstances, but other than that, don’t expect a quantum computer on your desk any time soon.

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Comments on “The Problem With Quantum Computing”

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LittleW0lf says:


In a recent post about quantum computing, I repeated the joke that it’s a “technology of the future… and it always will be.”

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” -Popular Mechanics, 1949

Given that 50 years ago, people had assumed that computers by now would weigh no less than a ton, I think this might be selling the farm before the cow.

Quantum computers may not be around for general use in another 50 years, but 50 years ago, people also assumed that general purpose computers wouldn’t be available by now.

However, I think the ultimate use for Quantum Computing will be in plotting trajectories through space at sub-light speeds or through wormholes, where accuracy is crucial, and time is even more crucial.

Dave Bacon (user link) says:


Well, I’ve actually had an exchange of emails with Robert Leheny about this EETimes article because the claim that the difficulty in building quantum computers is that they are analog is pretty ignorant of the true problems and in those emails he tells a different tale than the one presented in this article. There ARE huge difficulties in building a quantum computer, but being analog is definitely not one of them. If your interested in a grossly toned down version of why this is true, you might check out my post on this subject at The Quantum Pontiff Sorry for plugging my post, but, well, saying that quantum computers won’t work because their analog makes me go absolutely nuts!

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