"Quantum chip connected to internet is yours to command"

09/06/2013 - 00:00

By Jacob Aron -

Quantum computing is in the cloud, and you don't need a degree in advanced physics to run your own programs. For the first time, anyone with a web browser will soon be able to log in and run basic algorithms on a quantum chip hooked up to the internet.

A quantum chip processes information in qubits, or quantum bits, which, unlike the digital bits in a regular computer, can be both 0 and 1 at the same time. In theory, this ability should allow quantum computers to offer far speedier computation than current PCs – although devices that can definitely outperform standard machines don't yet exist.

Until now only a few labs around the world have had access to even basicquantum computers. Google recently purchased a D-Wave quantum computer and shares access with NASA and other select researchers, but not with the general public. Questions also remain over just how quantum D-Wave's machine really is, because it operates using a non-mainstream technique called adiabatic quantum computing.