Even though the effect of Moore’s Law has been making computers smaller and more efficient, researchers for some time have known that we wouldn’t be able to sustain this level of growth.
The reason being that if we follow the current scenario, we will soon reach a point where we won’t have enough power to sustain the energy needs of our computers.
This is why there is a need for the construction of new types of computers, which would be a lot more powerful as well as efficient than current generation devices.
To fulfill these requirements, researchers have been focusing on trying to create Quantum Computers. These devices differ from traditional computers as their bits can be reprogrammed on the fly.
What this means is that while the bits in traditional computers can only be fixed in a single state (0 or 1), the bits in quantum computers, called qubits, can be programmed to take either state when needed.
This makes them infinitely more powerful and efficient, as this way they can complete complex functions by using a limited amount of resources.
Up until now, experiments conducted to create systems like this haven’t been as successful, since the systems that were built could only complete one function at a time.
But now, researchers from the University Of Maryland have successfully gone past this hurdle and created the World’s First Reprogrammable Quantum Computer.
This device is called the Module, and it is made from just five ions, which have been trapped in a line by a magnetic field.
In order to make the device function, the system uses a software controlled laser beam which change the state of these ions.
Through this method, the system can solve complex problems with just these limited resources. The researchers have already proven this capability by making the computer solve three complicated algorithms in just a single step.
Now that the efficiency and sustainability of a design like this have been proven, the researchers will now focus on expanding the number of qubits that can stuff on a single module.
We don’t yet know what the upper limit of said module could be, but if they are able to get a high enough number, we could possible see the emergence of a whole new range of quantum devices.