TECH
07/09/2015 06:49 BST | Updated 07/09/2015 06:59 BST

Intel Invests $50 Million In Quantum Computing Research

Tech giant, Intel has pledged $50 million (£33 million) to quantum computing research, which could ultimately give us a supercomputer unlike any machine we have known so far.

In an open letter, CEO Brian Krzanich announced a 10-year partnership with Delft University of Technology and TNO, the Dutch Organisation for Applied Research.

Describing the "exciting possibilities" about the research he said: "Quantum computing is one of the more promising areas of long-term research we've been exploring in our labs, with some of the smartest engineers in the world.

quantum computing

"We believe it has the potential to augment the capabilities of tomorrow's high performance computers."

For anyone who has experienced the curse of the rainbow wheel or Window's equivalent, Intel's hefty $50 million will provide a glimmer of hope.

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"Why quantum computing and why now?" Krzanich asks in his letter. And it is an important question.

The childlike excitement most have when discussing the promise of a quantum computer is due to its underlying physics.

Today, computers understand data using a very specific language made up of two digits - 1 or 0 - binary digits or bits. Think of a coin, which can only exist as a head or tail at any one point in time.

Quantum computers however, give our machines a language that will allow them to process the data at a much faster rate using qubits, that can exist in multiple states not just in 0s and 1s.

Going back to our coin analogy, this would be a coin that is constantly spinning -- existing as heads and tails at the same time.

"It is a subatomic scenario that requires suspending conventional wisdom around basic physics, where an electron can actually be two places at once, spinning clockwise and counterclockwise at the same time," Krzanich explains.

For now, this is a theoretical promise that intel wants to make a reality.

"A fully functioning quantum computer is at least a dozen years away, but the practical and theoretical research efforts we're announcing today mark an important milestone in the journey to bring it closer to reality," said Mike Mayberry, Intel vice president and managing director of Intel Labs.