Photonic quantum computers have a lot of benefits over standard quantum computers.
In the past month, the world’s first photonic quantum computer has become available to the public. The new Xanadu quantum processor is made of light. Only the size of a thumb-nail, the silicon chip is able to run algorithms by manipulating the infrared laser beams contained on it. But, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Quantum computing could eventually change the world.
The emerging technology is constantly hyped alongside other major emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. If it reaches its full potential, it could transform the medical world, improve cybersecurity, revolutionize communications, and even drastically shift the artificial intelligence landscape.
Companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Google are racing to build reliable quantum computers. However, most of the general public does not know that some quantum computers are already available to institutions, banks, and universities. Just this past summer, IBM achieved the most powerful quantum computing system that featured a historic Quantum Volume of 64 on a 27-qubit client-deployed system.
Xanadu’s quantum computer is revolutionary because it is the first quantum computer of its kind. It is what is known as a photonic quantum computer. We are still exactly sure what is the best material to make an optimal quantum computer. One little known area still being explored is infrared light.
According to Xanadu, photonics-based quantum computers have many advantages over older platforms. The computers are able to operate at room temperature, easily integrate into existing fiber optic-based telecommunication infrastructure, which could open the doors to a future where quantum computers are networked.
“We believe that photonics offers the most viable approach towards universal fault-tolerant quantum computing with Xanadu’s ability to network a large number of quantum processors together. We are excited to provide this ecosystem, a world-first for both quantum and classical photonics.
Some obvious disadvantages? Quantum computers are wildly expensive to develop, hence why companies like IBM offer cloud computing services. Secondly, the power of quantum computing in the wrong hands could be used to do nefarious things. Finally, experts still believe that we have at least a decade before quantum computing reaches its full potential.