Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Quantum Supremacy: India’s first Quantum Computer Simulator toolkit launched

The change is here! The change in the form of Quantum computing has the potential to transform medicine, break encryption and revolutionise communications as well as artificial intelligence. In recent developments, India’s first Quantum Computer Simulator (QSim) Toolkit was launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) which is considered as the first-of-its-kind toolkit to be indigenously developed in the country.

The development of the QSim toolkit is a collaborative effort of IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Bangalore, IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Roorkee and C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing).

What is QSim and what problem does it address?

The world of Quantum computing is rapidly emerging. It is capable of performing a variety of tasks more effectively and efficiently than the present-day classical computers by harnessing the power of Quantum Mechanics. The project that was conceptualized through a multi-institutional approach addresses the challenge of advancing the Quantum Computing research frontiers in the country.

QSim is a vital tool in learning and understanding the practical aspects of using Quantum Computers. Supported and funded by Meity, QSim aids researchers with various aspects:

– In order to develop Quantum Algorithms, QSim allows researchers & students to write and debug Quantum code.

– QSim aid researchers to examine and explore Quantum Algorithms under conditions that are idealised as well assists the students in making necessary arrangements for experiments to be able to run on actual Quantum Hardware.

– QSim, an essential educational and research tool, can also serve in creating interest among students and researchers in the field of Quantum Technology.

– This toolkit will enable the researchers and students to explore Quantum Computing in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

In addition to the above-mentioned features, the toolkit also creates a platform that provides users with the opportunity to acquire the skills of ‘programming and designing’ real Quantum Hardware.

Against the background of Design and Development of Quantum Computing Toolkit (Simulator, Workbench) and Capacity Building” project “The team from IIT Roorkee extended help to other teams including Indian Institute of Science, CDAC-Bangalore, CDAC-Hyderabad in order to provide the requisite expertise in Quantum computing and the subsequent programs that are going to be tested and implemented on the toolkit. Among various features, one of the unique features of the toolkit is its intuitive user interface. It offers a powerful quantum computer simulator integrated with a graphical user interface to create quantum programs.

Understanding Quantum Computers

With an analogy; to do a complex calculation, a quantum computer would take 200 seconds while a classical, present-day computer would take 10,000 years! That is not an exaggeration, but a leap forward to solve complex problems that present day’s most powerful computers cannot solve and will not be able to solve. Quantum computers harness the phenomena of quantum mechanics that exploit the law governing the behaviour of atoms and subatomic particles. At a diminutive level, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that to solve complex problems, supercomputers aren’t that super!

To represent complex and large problems, Quantum computers are able to create vast multidimensional spaces which classical supercomputers are unable to do. Put simply, Algorithms that employ quantum wave interference are used to find solutions in this vast multidimensional space and translate them back into forms that are understandable by the scientists which allow them to tackle and solve problems. Known as ‘Qubit’, Quantum computing depends on bits that have properties of quantum physics. Traditional computing bits are either “0” or “1,” but qubits can be in both states simultaneously, which is a quantum property represented as superposition.

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