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Model of world's first commercial quantum computer lands in Seoul, amid global race to gain 'quantum advantage' Updated: 2019-06-11 16:12:20 KST

It looks like an golden chandelier, but you're not seeing shards of glass.
It's a model of the world's first commercial quantum computer, on display in the Korean capital on Tuesday.
Quantum computers are being developed around the world to process information and solve problems that are extremely difficult or even impossible for standard computers.

"Maybe something takes a thousand years or a million years on a classic computer. You can do in a few hours or few minutes on a quantum computers. We think that will happen on a range of industries. It could be the creation of brand new materials -- household materials, they could be metal alloys for cars or for aeroplanes. They could be new drugs for medicines. Financial services so banks are very interested in that."

"The IBM Q may have provided a conceptual turning point, expanding quantum computing beyond the walls of the lab, but when it comes to outperforming a regular computer on meaningful tasks, or achieving the so-called “quantum advantage”, most scientists say we still need more time."

Normal computers store data in binary form, as either ones or zeros.
However, quantum computers use a unit called a qubit, which can exist as a one and a zero at the same time, in what's called a state of "superposition".
As both possibilities exist, this increases the amount of data the computer can store or process, meaning it can run through all possible outcomes at once.
However, it's not just the number of qubits that matter-- keeping them in a workable state, or "coherence time" is one of the biggest hurdles in quantum computing.

"We need to convert the qubits into effective cubits. What is important is the connection between the qubits, If you have more connection, then you have higher capacity to handle more complex problems. We envision that real practical applications will be found once machines achieve 100 qubits. "

Despite the complications,.. researchers and firms are striving to harness the quantum advantage, which could take the AI revolution and data clouds to a whole new realms.

"Already, the flow of data across countries is adding more to the global economy than manufactured goods. That will also form the basis for society’s biggest problems like how to better cure cancer, how to better forecast weather so we can better save lives."

While quantum computers are unlikely to replace standard computers for decades, if ever,
scientists say it's clear a new era of computing has begun.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.
Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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