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"Quantum computing is not a future vision, but a current reality"

This is what Prof. Dorit Aharonov, one of the founders of the company 'Kedma Quantum Computing' and a lecturer at the Hebrew University, said at the meeting of the Silicon Forum - a forum of the leaders of the high-tech industry in Israel, which took place on July 1, 2024 and dealt with quantum computing.

Prof. Dorit Aharonov. Photo: Avi Blizovsky
Prof. Dorit Aharonov. Photo: Avi Blizovsky

"Quantum computing is not a future vision, but a current reality". This is what Prof. Dorit Aharonov said, One of the founders of the company 'Kedma Quantum Computing' and a lecturer at the Hebrew University At the meeting of the Silicon Forum - a forum of the heads of the high-tech industry in Israel, which took place on July 1, 2024 and dealt with quantum computing. The meeting took place at the IBM house in Petah Tikva in the organization of the ASG company. Shlomo Gerdman, CEO of ASG, moderated the panel, and Avi Wiesel, quantum computing ambassador at IBM Israel, and Major Avraham Barbi, quantum computing officer at MFA, also participated.

"Quantum technology is in its infancy and has the potential to change many fields. Many challenges are still ahead of us, but progress in recent years is significant. It is important to maintain ethics and prepare for potential threats. The experts predict that quantum computing will become a significant part of the near future." Gerdman said.

"Is this a new hype, or are we really going to abandon Moore's Law, von Neumann and all the standard methods because the new player has arrived in the neighborhood?"

Prof. Aharonov replied: "Tomorrow it won't happen. It is already happening today. The progress in the last two years in hardware is amazing. We have reached a stage where the quality of qubits and gates has improved significantly. There is a certain threshold of gate quality that allows error correction. When you cross this threshold, you can work more precisely and without significant errors. The goal is to increase the number of qubits and improve the quality."

Already 30 years ago, Prof. Aharonov proposed a theoretical solution to the noise problem in her doctoral thesis under the supervision of Prof. Michael Ben Or at the Hebrew University. However, this solution, and advanced versions of it that have been adopted by giant companies such as IBM and Google, require many resources and a significant increase in the number of qubits in the quantum computer required to correct the errors.  

"The problem is that the maximum number of qubits in quantum computers today is small - on the order of a few tens or hundreds of qubits. The numbers of qubits are going to increase in the coming years, but this increase is expected to be quite slow, which means that with the existing solutions for handling errors that are very expensive in terms of numbers of qubits, it will take too long until the great promise inherent in quantum computing is realized."

"Kedma has developed a software called "Magic" or in English Qesem = quantum error suppression and error mitigation that overcomes the noise problem in an efficient and unprecedented way. The software removes the effects of noise and reproduces the calculation results without the overhead of qubits, which will leave more qubits free for the calculation itself and will therefore allow even small quantum computers to perform complicated calculations accurately.

"Our software brings us significantly closer to realizing the enormous potential of quantum computing," says Prof. Aharonov. "Magic makes it possible to obtain a quantum algorithmic advantage already today, in certain applications, and will significantly shorten the time required to reach solutions in critical areas."

Wiesel added: "IBM has been engaged in this field since 2016. The question of whether it will be in the future or tomorrow morning depends on the companies' large investments in the field. The IBM ecosystem is huge, with large companies and international bodies investing large sums in the field. There are quantum computing technologies that are already being implemented today. The companies wouldn't just invest if it wasn't worthwhile and significant."

Major Barbie added: "We believe in technology. In the past the field was seen as high risk, but today there is a lot of progress. We are working on the developments and applications so that as soon as the computer arrives, we will know how to work with it. We understand that development requires time and adaptation, just as today's smart phone was not understood 50 years ago. There is a real revolution in the field here, and you need to understand the potential."

A panel as part of the Silicon Club forum meeting, which dealt in the field of quantum computing. From the right: Avi Wiesel, IBM, Major Avraham Barbi, MFA, Prof. Dorit Aharonov, Kedma, and the moderator of the panel, Shlomo Gerdman, CEO of ASG. Photo: Avi Blizovsky
A panel as part of the Silicon Club forum meeting, which dealt in the field of quantum computing. From the right: Avi Wiesel, IBM, Capt. Avraham Barbie, MFA, Prof. Dorit Aharonov, front, and the moderator of the panel, Shlomo Gerdman, CEO of ASG. Photo: Avi Blizovsky

"The quantum computer costs millions of dollars and requires a huge space. How many companies can afford to have such a computer?"

Prof. Aharonov: "We see that computers are already successful with tens and hundreds of qubits and thousands of gates. There are computers that work very precisely. The question of the number of logical qubits required to solve important quantum problems is a question of ideas and algorithm development. The number of physical qubits required depends on this question.”

Wiesel added: "Not everyone needs to buy a quantum computer. It can be used as a service through the cloud. Some countries have already bought quantum computers, including Germany and Japan. Seven or eight IBM quantum machines have already been sold.”

Gerdman asked how errors in quantum machines are corrected so that they work properly, and Prof. Aharonov replied: "We developed software that takes a quantum circuit, divides it into smaller circuits that run on a noisy quantum computer, and then performs processing on the results to give a correct answer. We know how to reduce the errors in the gates and improve their reliability. Our software provides a doubling of the size of the calculation that can be run, with the help of error correction and noise reduction."

In a question addressed to him, Wiesel was asked whether IBM works with young companies to build a broader quantum industry, and he replied: "IBM is always looking for partnerships and believes in a broad ecosystem. We work with many companies in the world and share knowledge with large and small entities. These partnerships lead to interesting and varied developments."

To Gerdman's question to Major Barbie whether the army develops quantum technologies or uses civilian developments, he answered: "Most of the developments are done by companies in the Israeli and international ecosystem. We work with the defense and civilian industries to use quantum technologies for military purposes. We have infrastructural studies and applied studies to advance the technology and understand its military applications. The goal is to develop capabilities and be at the forefront of technology in strategic areas as well."

Gordman asked Prof. Aharonov what are the main applications that she thinks the quantum will help promote, and she replied: "There are physical applications such as learning molecules, simulations of physical systems and designing materials. The closest use is studying molecules and working with existing molecules, such as gallium arsenide and silicon. Other options include battery design and solutions for the climate crisis, including carbon capture."

Gerdman asked how a quantum computer is programmed and what the difficulty is, and Prof. Aharonov replied: "There is little understanding about quantum computer programming. There are several types of classical algorithms that are known, but the field is still developing. Quantum computing includes an exponential number of computational pathways that work in parallel. The trick is to design them to engage constructively. We are still at the beginning, but we are working on developing algorithms and tools that will help program quantum computers."

To the question of whether there is a danger of misuse of technology and possible problems such as computer crimes, Wiesel replied: "The issue of cracking the RSA, that is, dealing with a prime number is a tangible threat. Old systems may be damaged. There are organizations in the world that are preparing for these threats and implementing new quantum algorithms. New technology brings many possibilities, but it is important to observe ethics. It is important to prepare to maintain safety and security."

Gordman asked Major Barbie what the status of quantum sensors is and what their possible uses are, and he replied: "Quantum sensors use qubits for accurate measurements of physical quantities. These sensors are now more complete than quantum computing. The advantage of the quantum sensors is their measurement accuracy, and they are already in use in various fields. Quantum sensing is very advanced and has many applications in physical and scientific systems."

To a question from the audience about how quantum computers are programmed, Prof. Aharonov answered: "Quantum software development is a very complex field. It is about the development of unique algorithms for quantum computation. Quantum programming includes the development of algorithms and the use of software that performs quantum calculations, while dealing with hardware problems. The development of the software allows us to save many hardware problems with the help of advanced methods, such as quantum error correction."

To another question from the audience about how quantum technology can be used to simulate the physical world, Major Barbi replied: "Quantum sensors enable precise measurements of physical quantities and enable quantum sensing. The sensors are very advanced and have many applications in physical and scientific systems. Quantum computers can perform super-complicated statistical calculations quickly and with great accuracy, and give answers close to physical reality."

More of the topic in Hayadan:

5 תגובות

  1. Are they building a quantum computer in Israel?
    And if so, do these things apply?
    I have a feeling that everyone comes to suck our knowledge in Israel and we get nothing from any country.
    This is how in the United States they keep the important information to themselves.
    We have no control over what we should keep to ourselves?

  2. A lot of high words without any point. What is the use of making a scientific article for the public without us understanding a word?
    Apparently the writer also did not understand and only copied

  3. Did anyone learn anything from the article? There is a quantum computer, how beautiful, where have we progressed? Where did humanity jump to except blah blah? How do you get out of the sensational exposure? Amazed? in the market? Admiring? I leave bored. Quantum of beauty. How fun you are to have a quantum computer. have fun I do not have. And I really don't feel like I'm burning to buy one or two of these urgently.

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