‘Poor Man’s Qubit’ Can Solve Quantum Problems Without Going Quantum
It may still be decades before quantum computers are ready to solve problems that today’s classical computers aren’t fast or efficient enough to solve, but the emerging “probabilistic computer” could bridge the gap between classical and quantum computing.
Engineers at Purdue University and Tohoku University in Japan have built the first hardware to demonstrate how the fundamental units of what would be a probabilistic computer – called p-bits – are capable of performing a calculation that quantum computers would usually be called upon to perform.
The study, published in Nature on Wednesday (Sept. 18), introduces a device that serves as a basis for building probabilistic computers to more efficiently solve problems in areas such as drug research, encryption and cybersecurity, financial services, data analysis and supply chain logistics.
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