Quantum technology is ready for commercial deployment according to Lockheed Martin, an American military contractor. The company is the first to use quantum computing as part of its business and is confident that the technology can be expanded on a commercial scale. Quantum technology goes outside of the standard computing code by using new values and creating new computing realities. Those working on quantum computing are optimistic about the breakthroughs to come.
Some skeptics believe the technology may not perform as well as Lockheed Martin expects. If it does, powerful computing systems could be supercharged to handle complex tasks faster than technology today. Ray Johnson, Lockheed’s chief technical officer, said, “This is a revolution not unlike the early days of computing.” Mr. Johnson indicated the computer would be put to use developing and testing complex radar, space and aircraft systems.
Microsoft, I.B.M. and Hewlett-Packard have also been developing quantum computer technology. Quantum researchers “are taking a step out of the theoretical domain and into the applied,” said Peter Lee, the head of Microsoft’s research arm. The long term goal of researchers is to exploit a property of matter in a quantum state known as superposition, which, makes the basic elements of a quantum computer called qubits. Qubits can hold a vast array of values along with the help of a second state known as entanglement. The two states together are necessary for quantum computing.
Lockheed bought a system from D-Wave that uses a different mathematical approach than others working on their own systems. Its processor is designed to find the least amount of energy required to form relationships from data. The process is known as adiabatic quantum computing and could be used to evaluate logistics, determine financial strategies or be used in applications like calculating protein folding. However, the company’s scientist have yet to publish any scientific data showing that the system is faster than current conventional binary computers.