Google launches project for quantum processor for artificial intelligence

Physics professor John Martinis of the University of California will lead the project. In addition to the Quantum Research Laboratory of Google and NASA, his team can also access university facilities. Microsoft also runs a quantum research project at the university.

Google has announced that it will soon launch a project to explore a quantum processor for artificial intelligence. In a research blog from the group, Development Manager Hartmut Neven writes that the physicist John Martinis of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is heading the project. Google has selected the university as a research partner.

Google logoMartinis and his co-workers have taken “big steps” in the construction of superconducting quantum electronics components, according to Neven. Just recently, the researcher received the Fritz London Memorial Prize “for achievements in quantum control and quantum information processing”.

Unlike normal bits, quantum bits, or just qubits, can contain zero and one at the same time – as in the paradox around Schrödinger’s cat , which is both dead and alive. This would allow millions of parallel calculations and the quantum computer would have a barely imaginable performance advantage over conventional computer technology

The new research team will use the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. This was created by Google in cooperation with the NASA Ames Research Center and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA). In the future, Martinis works for both the university and Google. His team remains open to students at UCSB, whose research facilities are also available.

Quantum computing is the center of many researches. For example, the US secret service NSA wants to crack encryption with a quantum computer. D-Wave Systems, one of the first commercial providers of quantum systems, has already won Google and NASA as customers. However, researchers at ETH Zurich doubt the performance of the $ 15 million D-Wave 2.

Californian students interested in quantum physics even have a choice of several chairs: Since this summer, Microsoft’s Quantum Research Station Q has also been located at the University of California, Santa Barbara, under the direction of the Fields Medal- winning mathematician Michael Freedman .

Open source is eating the license-based world

Even the otherwise proprietary industry giants, especially IBM, HP and VMware, embrace open source technologies. HP’s first public cloud variant “HP Cloud” was already based on OpenStack. The HP Helion Cloud unifies the entire cloud portfolio (public, private) based on OpenStack. Furthermore, HP is now the largest code contributor for the upcoming OpenStack “Juno” release, which will be released this October. IBM participates in OpenStack and uses Cloud Foundry as the basis for its PaaS “Bluemix”. At VMworld in San Francisco, VMware announced a closer cooperation with OpenStack and Docker. In this context, VMware will present its own OpenStack distribution (VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO)) in the first quarter of 2015, with which an OpenStack implementation based on VMware’s vSphere can be set up. The partnership with Docker will result in Docker Engine running on VMware VMware Fusion products and servers running VMware vSphere and vCloud Air in the future.

Not only for technical reasons open source solutions like OpenStack are attractive. OpenStack also makes a significant contribution from the financial perspective by significantly reducing the costs of setting up and running a cloud infrastructure with the open source framework. The license cost for current cloud management and virtualization solutions of the total cloud TCO is about 30 percent. This means that many startups and major reputable software vendors, such as Microsoft and VMware, are generating good revenues with the license sales of corresponding solutions. With OpenStack, CIOs now have the opportunity to provision and manage their virtual machines and cloud infrastructures using open source technology. Free community editions as well as professional distributions for the enterprise use including support are available for this purpose. In both cases, alternatives to significantly reduce the license costs for the operation of cloud infrastructures. With OpenStack CIOs hold a not to be underestimated means of pressure against Microsoft and VMware in the hand.


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