It seems almost a certainty that the next generation of computers will use quantum mechanics for processing power. In place of zeros and ones, quantum mechanics offer zeros that are sometimes zeros, and sometimes ones. A single quantum computer could speed through problems that currently require entire data centers to solve, reducing operating costs by the bucket.
Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave sold this vision of the future to Lockheed Martin in May of 2011, in the form of a single quantum computer. It appears as though Lockheed Martin was impressed with the result. The company has moved to commercialize the system and integrate the computer into business operations.
“Computationally, this is the equivalent of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk,” said Greg Tallant, Lockheed Martin program manager. “It’s a game changer for Lockheed Martin, a game changer for our customers, and ultimately a game changer for humanity.”
While Lockheed Martin might be impressed, other scientists are still skeptical of D-Wave’s system. The quantum computer company has yet to produce data proving its computer is any faster than conventional binary systems. Still, if the bean counters at Lockheed Martin are convinced enough to invest, D-Wave might well be on to something.
Below you’ll find a video about quantum computing from Lockheed Martin. You can also find an app about quantum physics and other science-y stuff from Lockheed Martin on iTunes.