A conventional, binary processor can perform some incredibly complex calculations at blistering speeds, measured in FLOPS: floating point operations per second.
The fastest "conventional" processor array running today is China's Tianhe-2, which has achieved speeds of 33.86 petaFLOPS. This is 33 x 1015 floating point operations per second. There are plans to achieve exaFLOP speeds within the next five years or so; 1 x 1018 floating point operations per second.
Are you still with me? Okay, take a breath.
These projects are usually undertaken by governments, and can be quite expensive. James Bamford reported that the U.S. National Security Agency, for example, is said to have requested an exaFLOP capable computer by 2018.
We can only wonder what they'll use it for...
But quantum computing takes all this output, all of this incredible performance, and turns it on its ear.
Why the CIA and Amazon Are All Over This Quantum Computing Upstart
The CIA and the world's biggest Web retailer want to see the world of Big Computing turned upside down.
That's why they joined a $30 million investment round in a small supercomputing startup. The firm is taking a radical new approach to how these processors crunch massive amounts of data.
It's a field that is quickly turning its skeptics into true believers. Then again, cutting-edge tech like quantum computing doesn't come along every day.
No doubt, quantum computing is some pretty complex stuff. So, let me simplify it for you. At its root, quantum computing relies on the high-speed action inside atoms as well as particles of light.
The result is speeds so fast it makes your head spin.
We're talking about computers that could perform some functions millions of times faster than anything that's on the market today.
It's no wonder the nation's top spies and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos want to get in on the ground floor. Though they didn't say how much each ponied up, both took part in the most recent round of financing for D Wave Systems.
In-Q-Tel, which invests in high tech that supports the CIA, and Bezos Expeditions join a growing list of D Wave investors. Other blue-chip backers include the Business Development Bank of Canada, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).
D Wave: Quantum Computing's KingpinFounded in 1999, D Wave spent its first five years in discovery mode. By that I mean the small firm was focused on coming up with novel ways to make quantum computing work and then get the patents it needed to protect the moat it was building.
That early attention to detail has clearly paid off. Today, D Wave holds 90 U.S. patents and has roughly 100 more pending around the globe.
Here's the thing. D Wave is founding a whole new sector of the computing industry while making sure it maintains a strong first-mover advantage.
After struggling for years, D Wave is now on a roll.
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How Light Will Make the Web 85,000 Times Faster-and Power Blazing Fast Computers
Since the dawn of the Internet, millions of users have dreamed of getting true high-speed connections.
Well, fasten your seat belts folks...
A new breakthrough promises to provide Web and other computer networks links that are 85,000 times faster than what we have today.
No, that's not a misprint. But it is so fast it's hard to get your mind around-especially for those of you who remember using phone lines to surf the web.
Back then it seemed you could take a break, paint your house, cut the grass and clean the kitchen -- and still get back to your computer before it finished downloading a photo.
Forget video. That sounded like a sci-fi fantasy.
Admittedly, it's gotten quite a bit faster since then. Over the past decade millions of users around the U.S. have joined the broadband revolution. It's now becoming standard to link to the Web at speeds of at least 10 megabits per second, or about 175 times faster than dial up.
But even at those speeds, the magnitude of the change I'm describing is hard to fathom. But I'll try.
Think of it this way: If dial up was a one-story home, then today's broadband would stand almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
Yet, to equal what I'm calling Ultimate Broadband--or 85,000 times faster than what we have now-- you'd have to string Empire State Buildings 1.3 times around the entire surface of the Earth!
Internet Speeds Beyond Belief
It works using twisted beams of infrared light.
Now you know why this innovation will be so crucial for the future of broadband communication and entertainment.
Having just upgraded my home theater, I can speak from personal experience. Super-fast connections are what's driving the next wave of home entertainment and data services.
And here's the thing: you won't need wires to take advantage of these incredible speeds.
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