India joins quantum computing race


The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund a project to develop quantum computers. A quantum computer, still largely a theoretical entity, employs the principles of quantum mechanics to store information in ‘qubits’ instead of the typical ‘bits’ of 1 and 0. Qubits work faster because of the way such circuits are designed.

In India, the Physics departments at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, have only forayed into the theoretical aspects of quantum computing. Experts from across the country are expected to gather this month in Allahabad for a workshop to develop such a computer.

For instance, to sort a billion numbers, a quantum computer would require 3.5 million fewer steps than a traditional machine, and would find the solution in only 31,623 steps. Quantum Computing help in solving complex computing physics problems, which were earlier not possible on traditional computers.

Internationally, Canada’s D-Wave Systems, is a pioneer in developing quantum computers and has sold machines to Lockheed Martin and Google.