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The first true photonic (quantum) computer goes on sale at the end of this year

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The first photonic computer will be going on sale by the end of the year. I've been fascinated by the idea that computers could be run with photons instead of electrons since the 80's when I read an article in Scientific American about them. But the promise of those efforts failed, mainly because they tried to create transistor style logic gates that used light. But light and electricity are physically very different so that analogy didn't work out. However a reassessment of the potential of photon computing has produced a new product from a young company; Lightmatter.





While the optical transistor was dying, a new kind of optical computing approach was being invented. In the mid-1990s, the field of quantum computing was growing rapidly owing to new proofs that showed that quantum systems could solve problems that were intractable on classical computers. There were many known approaches to implementing quantum systems, including using photons (single particles of light). In 1994, in hopes of building an optical quantum processor, Michael Reck and co-authors described a system that used arrays of a fundamental optical component — the Mach-Zehnder Interferometer (MZI) — to perform an important mathematical operation called matrix multiplication.







It's not good at logic operations, but what it does excel at is Linear Algebra, machine learning, chemistry, RAY TRACING. (go to the 15 min mark in the You Tube video)




This is that 1983 article in Scientific American I read;


https://ur.booksc.me/book/10696832/e271e8    (downloadable PDF of the original 1983 article)





Edited by L'Ancien Regime
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One of the keys of photonic computing's superiority is that it's non-Von Neuman architecture. The computers we're using have  Von Neumann bottleneck between memory and processor. Non-Von Neumann photonic architecture allows for in memory computing. But it gets far crazier than that when they start simulating neural synapses...and that is Neuromorphic Computing..







Edited by L'Ancien Regime
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Posted (edited)




Xanadu a Canadian quantum computing startup allows access to their Xanadu cloud service for free.



Xanadu Cloud offers you free access to photonic quantum computers, software, support and educational resources.

The Free Tier gives you credits for running smaller workloads on Borealis and X-Series quantum hardware, and enables exploration for everyone. If you are looking to run larger jobs, we offer a Flexible Tier (pay-as-you-go) with our cloud partner Amazon Braket. For researchers and corporate teams looking for dedicated access packages, please reach out to learn more about Xanadu's Partner Tier.



Quantum computers based on photons may have some advantages over  electron-based machines, including operating at room temperature and not temperatures colder than that of deep space. Now, say scientists at quantum computing startup Xanadu, add one more advantage to the photon side of the ledger. Their photonic quantum computer, they say, could scale up to rival or even beat the fastest classical supercomputers—at least at some tasks.

Whereas conventional computers switch transistors either on or off to symbolize data as ones and zeroes, quantum computers use quantum bits or “qubits” that, because of the bizarre nature of quantum physics, can exist in a state known as superposition where they can act as both 1 and 0. This essentially lets each qubit perform multiple calculations at once.

The more qubits are quantum-mechanically connected entangled together, the more calculations they can simultaneously perform. A quantum computer with enough qubits could in theory achieve a “quantum advantage” enabling it to grapple with problems no classical computer could ever solve. For instance, a quantum computer with 300 mutually-entangled qubits could theoretically perform more calculations in an instant than there are atoms in the visible universe.




Edited by L'Ancien Regime
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