Quantum computing is a type of computing that is based on the principles of superposition and quantum entanglement.
In other words, it is a different computation than what can be seen in traditional computers or devices. At the hardware level, it does not need a processor or memory, since the 'qubits' are the main and only unit of this technology.
A simile that we can use to explain the absence of a processor and memory is the case of cameras that used film. These devices originally separated the camera and the film, being two compulsory complementary objects, which ended when digital cameras were established that could carry out the entire process by centralizing it in a single processor together with its memory.
So far these quantum supercomputers are oriented to business or corporate use, since the necessary technology has not yet been developed to even dazzle their adaptation to the general public.
How Quantum Computing Works
Quantum computing is based on two principles:
- Quantum superposition: While traditional computing is based on an absolute binary system, that is, on absolute values of '1' and '0', quantum computing can determine that a value is '1' and '0' at the same time with different weight. In other words, quantum technology can work with values that are 60% '1' and 40% '0'. This breaks with the rules established in traditional computing, which allows the development of new algorithms and, therefore, the possibility of solving problems that previously could not be done.
- Quantum entanglement: This term is that the state of an object belonging to a system of objects can have the same state. In other words, if an object were an atom and a state were a specific place, it could be stated that quantum entanglement makes it possible for the same atom to be in two different places, being the same object with the same state, since being the same object we can affirm that the state is the same even though the place is spatially different.
Due to both principles, computing does not use the 'bits' belonging to traditional computing, but uses the so-called 'qubits'.
What are 'qubits'?
In essence, quantum ‘qubits’ cover more information, are faster to process and the power is higher than that of traditional ‘bits’, so they are the best option to carry out work related to it. big data, the simulation of scenarios or the massive calculation of probabilities.
But not everything is rosy in quantum computing, since stability and the conditions that must be met for a device with this technology to function properly is the main barrier to quantum computing.
Application in key sectors
This form of computing is expected to serve sectors where data is so extensive and complex that traditional computing sometimes falls short in terms of power and speed.
These sectors would initially be the health sector, the financial sector, the cybersecurity sector and anyone related to technology in general:
- Health sector: The main obstacle in this sector is the simulation and identification of scenarios that create a scenario similar to the one presented by our body. The amount of data, simultaneous simulations and necessary conclusions make it almost impossible for traditional computing to recreate these simulations beyond local cases.
- Financial sector: Although it is the sector that in theory least needs this type of technology, if we focus on processes and technologies Fintech we can say that sooner or later traditional computing will become obsolete. In this sector the technology blockchain It is a resource that is used over and over again in cryptocurrencies that use encryption through codes based on ‘bits’, so the move from traditional to quantum computing will be a natural advance.
- Cybersecurity sector: In this case, cybersecurity per se is not considered as a sector but it could well be in the future. The cybersecurity aspect is key to understanding quantum computing, since an encryption system that is based on ‘bits’ can theoretically be easy to invade and damage with another system designed in ‘qubits’.
- Technology sector. In this sector we could bring together the sectors Fintech or cybersecurity. However, it covers all sectors that have some relation to technology. The simile in this case could be expressed in that if at the time the telegraph was a great advance and spread throughout the world as a communication system par excellence, the subsequent arrival of the telephone managed to unseat it.
Although these are some of the sectors in which the greatest projection of this technology is expected, its spread to other sectors is not ruled out.