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Blaine Bateman

Will Quantum Computing Enhance Analog Design? Part 2

Blaine Bateman
eafpres1
eafpres1
6/8/2013 7:07:53 PM
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Re: Qubits
Hi amrutah--Actually, the D-Wave 2 has 512 qubits in the "processor", and they have plans to upgrade to 2048 qubits.  This is different than the number of levels per bit.  However, more qubits are important to tackle larger problems.

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amrutah
amrutah
6/8/2013 4:50:27 PM
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Qubits
 "can simultaneously have a value of 0, 1, and all values in between"

    I have read that currently the latest version of the quantum computers have a 512 level qubits and there are plans to increase it to 2048 levels which will lead to higher computational speeds.

 

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amrutah
amrutah
6/8/2013 2:51:33 PM
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Re: Still in the Early Stages
Blaine,

   Thanks for the post and the "critic" link you posted in the comments.  It helps understand this topic of "Quantum Computers".  But at times, it leaves me still in the confused state about this technology.

  I have to say that this technology is in its nascent stage, the algorithms used to solve the problems to determine its speed might vary but the hardware is not a false.  It is still based on the laws of physics and quantum theory.

   

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Scott Elder
Scott Elder
6/4/2013 9:30:16 PM
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Re: Which is Better / Definition of Success
Which is Better:

Here's one--data converters interfacing with sensors.  SAR vs. Delta-Sigma.

SAR is low powered, but needs a preamp to get the signal into the dyamic range of the SAR.  And it also needs a more agressive anti alias filter.

Delta-Sigma is high powered, but needs less of a preamp (maybe none) and a much simpler anti-alias filter.

Seems like lots of issues to contend with like CMRR with power line noise, cost, in addtion to the issues listed above.

I think the world of data converters has gotten so complicated that I wonder how many applications really are using the appropriate solution (lowest cost at lowest power with adequate performance).  This is in line with Bill S. comments of a while back where he questioned whether an engineer does a sufficiently thorough job assessing the real requirements of each component.  How much money is overspent to just swamp the problem with precision?

....and then the topic of Neural Networks was brought up again last week as an alternative to deterministic signal processing.  But my mind is still quite closed on that topic for all of the reasons I listed in that discussion.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
6/4/2013 8:14:32 PM
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Re: Which is Better / Definition of Success
Scott--agree that metrics/scoring needs to be well defined up front.  Do you have any analog electronics examples though?  Seems like a fun topic.

To your previous point, I see the tube vs. SS arguments often using adjectives that I have to look up in the dictionary.  In fact, the entire audio media community seems infected with some kind of hypervocabularism.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
6/4/2013 8:12:13 PM
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Re: Still in the Early Stages
Hi Scott--you certainly have company on questioning the metrics.  If you would like to read some (scathing) counter arguments and (even more scathing) replies take a look at this blog:

Shetl-Optimized Blog

One way to look at this, if you stay out of the existence and other physics arguments, is that 15 years and $100M is chump change compared to the money that has gone into Nuclear Fusion.  Yet I'm sure it can be done, and one day may be the dominant energy source for the planet.

Closer to home in the physics community is string theory.  A few decades and untold billions later, some physicists have started to cry wolf.  Some are even questioning if math is the real answer (!).  

Quantum computing could fall anywhere within the space of the above two examples, or turn out much better.

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Scott Elder
Scott Elder
6/4/2013 5:56:22 PM
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Re: Still in the Early Stages
"Which is better discussions."  I only like the ones where the definition of success is agreed upon upfront.  Otherwise it is like discussing politics and religion.

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Scott Elder
Scott Elder
6/4/2013 5:49:49 PM
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Re: Still in the Early Stages
Hi Blaine- I'm not hung up on what D-Wave wants to call their computer or how it actually works.  I guess those things bother physicists because of the implications behind the terms.  But, the best argument I've seen made against D-Wave's claims is that their success metrics are based upon how fast they solve problems that are optimized for their hardware when compared against another piece of hardware (Intel processors) that is designed to solve ALL types of problems.

D-Wave has been at this for nearly 15 years.  If I asked a digital engineer to go design a digital circuit to compute the D-Wave specific problem, I seriously doubt the comparison ratio would have been 30,000x and it surely wouldn't have cost $100 million dollars to design.  A simple and-gate can input, compute and propagate a result in pico-seconds.  I think the clock cycle of an Intel CPU is a few hundred pico-seconds.  So does that mean that I should claim a 1000x speed up in and-function computing?

I used to use an IC layout tool that was lightning fast on redraw.  One could zoom in and out and pan all around faster than you could see even with 100 Million transistors in the design  Turns out the team that wrote the software coded the compute intensive algorithms in assembly code!!!  

But let's not let the wind out of their sails.  One thing is certain.  Everyone is learning more.  When the insiders give up, then we'll know the truth.

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eafpres1
eafpres1
6/4/2013 4:22:22 PM
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Re: Still in the Early Stages
I would think of Google etc. as a leading indicator. You are right about validation. There is a lot of controversy and heated debate on whether quantum computing is real. In addition there are those that say D-Wave's computer isn't actually a quantum computer. I think in time the validation will get worked out for quantum computers, unless the whole thing goes away. Do you have any favorite "which is better" stories for analog electronics? I like "tubes vs SS".

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Scott Elder
Scott Elder
6/4/2013 3:22:36 PM
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Still in the Early Stages
One aspect of quantum computing that mimics analog is that claims are not easily verified. Who is to say that analog circuit A is better than circuit B?  We can't even get audiophiles on the same page when it comes to whether gold plated conductors produce better sound.  I think we'll know the outcome when many more customers buy quantum computers.

If Google buys one, Lockheed buys one, that's okay, but that's not validation.  Those companies view these purchases as staying in the game, staying in the know, which is important.  But its not validation.

 

 

 

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