Quantum Technology News – Issue #7
The most exciting thing about these last few weeks is that companies and governments have actually started putting timelines on when you will be able to have the first quantum computers. Large companies have publicly come out and said that in 10 years, we will have quantum computing. Some governments are hush-hush, but others are putting a 2-3 year timeline, while other companies are saying 5-7 years. Whatever the timeline is, the fact that companies are staking their reputations on real timelines confirms a lot of quantum computing problems have been solved, and the race is on.
NSA’s decision to move towards quantum safe cryptography seems to be a response to this rapid increase in funding and research.
Quantum information, also known as quantum computing, could be about to explode. Within 15 years it could change information technology forever, but the science behind it is so high-level that giant tech companies don’t quite seem to know how to start dipping their toes in. The race so far is building ready to go quantum computers; but what if the next step is rapid design and prototyping of qubit chips, customized for the specific quantum application that you need – whether it be quantum telecommunications, cryptography, or computing?
The NSA announced that they were moving away from the accepted Suite B algorithms that have been recommended for 10 years, and said they are working towards “quantum resistant” algorithms. Even more interesting, the NSA advised: “For those partners and vendors that have not yet made the transition to Suite B algorithms, we recommend not making a significant expenditure to do so at this point but instead to prepare for the upcoming quantum resistant algorithm transition.” This means they no longer recommend transitioning from RSA to ECC – even though both are quantum weak.
While the Snowden documents have not shown massive progress in quantum computing up to 2013, the amount of funding and research put into quantum computing since then is enormous, which may or may not be part of NSA’s decision to start moving towards quantum safe encryption
The physical nature of computers might reveal deep truths about their uniquely powerful abstract abilities. Michael Nielsen, the author of this post, is one of the authorities on quantum computing, explains the connection between classical and quantum computers, and their respective computational models.
Additional thoughts from Bruce Schneier on quantum computing. While many say that quantum computing isn’t moving, it isn’t because of failures in science, it’s because of failures of propagating research and news out. Timelines are thinning and a post-quantum future is near.