How is quantum computing different than classical computing? What can a quantum computer achieve that a classical computer cannot? What risks do quantum computers pose to society and global business? The following post dives into these questions and others.
First, a quantum computer uses a quantum property called superposition or qubits to store data. Unlike a classical computer whose bits of data can exist as either a zero or a 1, a qubit can be a zero, 1, or both at the same time. This capacity of qubits to exist in an indeterminate state enables them to perform several calculations simultaneously at speeds greater than the speeds practically achievable by classical computers.
This opens the door to solving many real-world problems that would take a classical computer hundreds, if not thousands of years to solve. This is why experts believe that quantum computing will find dozens of applications in future. Soon, you can expect quantum security and quantum communications to be the norm. Quantum technology will power message encryption for more secure messaging, and quantum authentication will play an enabling role in data and information security.
Quantum Versus Classical Computing
In general, classical software development translates a programming language source code into platform-specific ‘machine code’ and operations (gates) that are performed on thousands of transistors. Similar to how classical gates manipulate bits, in quantum computing, quantum gates manipulate qubits.
In classical computers, an algorithm usually requires lots of parallel computations which can be time-consuming. But quantum programming will take into account multiple options at the same time and execute an algorithm on all options in a single step. One key opportunity for advancing quantum computing lies in identifying methods to express quantum applications using high-level abstractions, then compiling and mapping these onto quantum simulators. A simulator can implement expected behaviours based on qubits and quantum gates to produce the same results that would be produced on a real quantum computer. It can be used to work on quantum algorithms and improve them to make them usable when quantum computers are finally available for real-world applications. However, it will be slower than a real quantum computer, since the quantum effects that will give the latter its fast speeds will have to be simulated on this machine using classical software.
Quantum Computing and the Quantum Threat
Currently, expertise and costs of building quantum computers combined with the slow pace of quantum algorithm and hardware development are huge hurdles to this technology’s commercial availability. But these problems can be overcome; for example, quantum-accelerated computing as a cloud service could be a promising approach for large-scale commercialization. Furthermore, the quantum systems of tomorrow will be hybrids of classical and quantum units, with a typical application containing both classical and quantum code.
In the near future, one of the fields that will be completely disrupted by quantum computing is cryptography. Current cryptographic systems are fairly safe because their underlying mathematical algorithms cannot be broken by classical computers in a reasonable timeframe. But once sufficiently powerful quantum computers are developed, this safety will become an illusion. This is worrying because business models, IT infrastructure and software systems that rely on these algorithms rarely get re-factored quickly, so making them quantum-safe will take several years. As such, efforts are underway to find ‘post-quantum’ public-key cryptosystems that will resist future quantum attacks.
Quantropi’s QEEP™ Achieves Perfect Secrecy
Here’s the very good news. Quantropi has already developed a quantum-safe solution that achieves Perfect Secrecy, today. This novel solution, QEEP™ (Quantum Entropy Expansion and Propagation), is highly effective at protecting against quantum attacks. This lightweight, energy-saving solution works well with numerous real-world applications including IoT devices, and restricted-space environments like smart cards. It is also suitable for critical environments like autonomous vehicles requiring ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC).
Based on the uncertainty principle and using quantum permutation gates, QEEP™ can distribute keys over today’s Internet in perfect secrecy. It provides an easy-to-deploy, cost-effective solution for point-to-point, app-to-app, and device-to-device security. It can also be easily integrated with today’s web applications or frameworks to add quantum security while effortlessly maintaining existing user experiences. QEEP™ provides repeatable perfect secrecy at all endpoints, regardless of the communication medium.
To learn more about how QEEP™ guarantees quantum-safe communications, read our technical white paper here.