For the past 50 years, computer processing power has continued to rapidly increase (Moore’s Law). These advances created billions of dollars in enterprise value and saved millions of lives.
However, this progress is stalling. Transistors have shrunk to near-atomic scale, leaving chip engineers with nowhere to go.
“Just relying on the semiconductor industry is no longer enough. We have to shift and punch through some walls and break through some barriers.” — Thomas M. Conte, a Georgia Institute of Technology computer scientist
In traditional computing, information is represented either as “0” or “1” — everything is either true or false. Imagine that each classical bit is a flipped coin: it is either 1 (heads) or 0 (tails) at any time.
Quantum computing’s building blocks are superpositioned particles: particles in multiple states simultaneously. Imagine a qubit is a spinning coin: at any one moment, it is neither heads nor tails, but might be 30% heads, 70% tails. We sort of borrowed that explanation from Morgan Stanley, so consider this a citation.
Superposition allows for quantum information to be both “heads” and “tails,” allowing quantum computers to look through millions of potential solutions at once, rather than sequentially.
Quantum entanglement allows for instant transfer of information across long distances. These interactions allow for exponential growth in computing power with each additional qubit.