Google has taken a big step towards making quantum computing a reality. The company's Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab — which is a real team and not something from a "Terminator" movie — announced it was working with researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara to create "new quantum information processors.” This is not Google's first stab at quantum computing. Previously, it teamed up with Canadian start-up D-Wave systems, which has shipped two advanced computers: one to Lockheed Martin and another to Google and NASA. Google said it was building on the "D-Wave quantum annealing architecture" in its effort to build a true quantum computer, which raises the question, "What exactly is quantum computing?" Regular computers use a binary system of ones and zeroes. Quantum computers would use qubits that could exist as a one or zero at the same time, allowing them to make incredibly long, complex calculations in a short amount of time, perfect for advanced encryption techniques and analyzing genes for medical research.
--- Keith Wagstaff
First published September 3 2014, 8:36 AM