$10 Million will buy a Quantum Computer?

Todd Millecam tyggna at gmail.com
Fri Jun 21 16:28:21 MDT 2013


On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 1:32 AM, Levi Pearson <levipearson at gmail.com> wrote:
On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 12:33 AM, S. Dale Morrey <sdalemorrey at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I guess the only 2 questions I have are.
> What would one of these be good at doing in layman's terms, i.e. breaking
> crypto, solving pathway problems etc?
> And of course just to make this on topic for the group...
> Does it run Linux?

It's legit, I've contacted them.  It runs their own custom-built OS, which
is really just a very lightweight vector table and you treat it as a device
on a regular computer of your choice.  I think when I asked them they said
it was a modified version of solaris.  It works like a regular machine with
shell access, and you access the quantum computer via C++ API calls that
they provide.

Basically, what it can do is take the hash space of a crypto algorithm in
terms of 2^x, and it changes it to 2^(x-q)  where q is the number of qubits
that the quantum computer is built off of.  Highest qubit count that I've
seen to date was some isreali researchers could get 13 entangled pairs, so
that'd make breaking sha256 a take the time of going through 2^51 hashes
over 2^64,  which means that this particular computer could crack a sha256
password in about 600 days, over a regular cpu machine which would take 4.9
million days (not a GPU-accelerated or supercomputing cluster, mind you)

The protein folding that it can accomplish is helpful for scientific
purposes, and the $10 million makes sense in that context, but it's again,
research, so not necessarily practical application.

The downside is that this machine is liquid-nitrogen cooled because it uses
superconductors--so the $10 million is hardly representative of operating
costs.  A single machine like this would probably cost more than $100k/day
to operate at max load.

-- 
Todd Millecam


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