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Quantum computing: what is it?

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With news this week that Google is going to offer quantum computing to artificial intelligence researchers, the topic has once again become a talking point in the technology industry. But what is quantum computing? Here at Altodigital, we’ve put together everything you need to know about this emerging technology.

What is quantum computing?

Based on physics’ quantum theory, quantum computing utilises the ability of atomic particles to exist in more than one state at any one time. In traditional computing methods, a ‘bit’ is an individual piece of information that can exist in one of two states, 1 or 0. Quantum computing, however, uses ‘qubits’, which can be in a superposition of both states at the same time.

What are the benefits of quantum computing?

‘Qubits’ rather than classical bits can store much more information, carry out operations at a much faster speed, and use less energy. Quantum computing can carry out previously impossible calculations in just a fraction of a second, which can play a huge role in encryption. Indeed, quantum computing could allow data to be encrypted via new and even more secure methods. As well as this, quantum computing can perform more advanced memory and processing tasks than traditional computers.

It has been suggested by some that quantum computing will be a game-changer for all industries, revolutionising everything from weather forecasting to medical advances.

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