Quantum Computing

My understanding for this Media Hunt was how we are trying to use the nano-scale and its effects in the macrosopic region, to improve our technologies

Most of us know of Moore’s Law. Us techies Love and Hate it. Meaning what we just bought,  next year will be worthless. Windows Vista is a good example. Also the iPhone. However we now that it will be better stronger, and faster than ever before the next time around.

So Computers have been developing for some time and we are reaching the point were silicon by itself is becoming the limiting factor.

However companies such as Intel and AMD or still pushing the envelope. The best CPU you can get is the i7-980X [a hexa-core Intel masterpiece] it has 1.17 billion transistors crammed into a die that fits in the palm of your hand, yeah smaller than your phone. the picture below is of the yet to be coated i7-970 the younger brother to the 980 and it too use the 32nm building technology. You heard right, your computer is using nanometer technology to control the electron flow making decisions for what to do with that facebook post you are typing.

Over a billion transistors


Silicon is nearing the limit that it can be controlled for this manufacturing process. The next leap in computer is to remove the one to 12 calculations at a time [hyperthreading a hex core gives 12 threads of actual computation] and move to doing all calculations simultaneously in the array. This is the Quantum Computer.

Taking pieces of atoms and intertwining them so we can use them to do calculations. This is considered the ideal computer, to increase efficiency you find better ways to remove the heat generated.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100929/full/467513a.html [still cannot figure this GUI out for doing URL links]

This goes into how the qubits are made and why three is needed. It is like a Raid 5 array were three disks are used to store the data. Two hold it and the third is a parity disk that allows for one of the disks to be damaged and/or lost and then have the data reconstructed on a new disk. However in a quantum computer two qubits do the calculation and the third is there to make sure they stay in the proper configuration for the calculation.

To get a better understanding of how tedious it is to really build a CPU the video below is of a game known as Minecraft. In this video, the person has built a working 16 bit ALU (no firmware yet unless you count the operation control bits). imagine that each block is ~16nm that means every gate that he built is ~32nm which is the scale that the newest processors use.

The video is a little long so jump to these key parts:
0:10 the size of the thing (not as good as Intel but it is okay)
1:24 the control bits
4:30 the logic gates for interfacing the working part of the ALU into a readout

The rest of the video is him running through it showing some of the things he made for it

The second video gives a better idea of just how tedious nano-manufacturing can be.

this one is not hyperlinked cause it is not really the key point of this post

The future is asking us to increase performance will decreasing input, essential to building the perfect machine. Quantum computing brings us really close. When we get that one figured out we will be set for another decade or so but until then we will have to get the Interns to use the nano-tweezers and install those 1.17 billion transistors for us.

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