Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 10:02 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "But a powerful new type of computer that is about to be commercially deployed by a major American military contractor is taking computing into the strange, subatomic realm of quantum mechanics. In that infinitesimal neighborhood, common sense logic no longer seems to apply. A one can be a one, or it can be a one and a zero and everything in between - all at the same time. [...] Now, Lockheed Martin - which bought an early version of such a computer from the Canadian company D-Wave Systems two years ago - is confident enough in the technology to upgrade it to commercial scale, becoming the first company to use quantum computing as part of its business." I always get a bit skeptical whenever I hear the words 'quantum computing', but according to NewScientist, this is pretty legit.
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Yes, but
by Drunkula on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 12:19 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

But can it crunch SETI work units?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yes, but
by Lennie on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 12:24 in reply to "Yes, but"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Even more important can it be used to make certain encryption algorithms useless.

That is the thing I always care about.

And it is always the government agencies or government contractors that gets these kinds of systems first.

From an other article linked in the comments:

"There was a further limitation. Theoretically, the quantum computer should operate at a temperature of 0 kelvin, but such extreme cooling is impossible in practice, so D-Wave repeatedly ran the system at slightly above zero in the hope of reaching the lowest-energy state. Due to these higher temperatures the calculation got the right answer only 13 times after 10,000 attempts."

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2012/08/quantum...

So eventually you might end up with something like a couple of thousand guesses to decrypt certain data.

If that is true, that could be bad.

Edited 2013-03-22 12:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Yes, but
by xiaokj on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 16:21 in reply to "RE: Yes, but"
xiaokj Member since:
2005-06-30

Said improvements imperil current cryptography systems. However, it is not the end-all of cryptography -- the newest replacement in SSH and GPG security, for examples, include elliptic curves and another algorithm. These newer algorithms are not known to be attacked by quantum computation.

Reply Parent Score: 2