Julich BlueGene Simulates Quantum Computer

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The folks at Jülich released an interested press statement this afternoon.  Quantum computing research has been all the rage as of late.  Unfortunately, its very difficult to simulate such environments in the lab.  We simply don’t have the technology and computational capacity to simulate the next-gen computing technology.  However, the IBM BlueGene machine called JUGENE has officially simulated a quantum computing environment beyond any previous test.  They are now able to prototype quantum computing operations out to 42 bits.

The computing power of a quantum computer grows exponentially with its size,” says Prof. Dr. Kristel Michielsen from the Jülich Supercomputing Centre. “This is both an enormous opportunity for future applications and also a great challenge for simulations at the moment.”

The test included running Shor’s algorithm, a common test algorithm for quantum computing, was demonstrated with 42 bits of precision, thus factorizing 15707 into 113×139.

If so many processors have to work together then in the case of simple algorithms it can easily happen that processors are waiting for each other and thus performance is lost,” says Michielsen. “Our software is optimized so that thousands of processors can work seamlessly together. It scales almost perfectly.”

Very cool stuff.  I’ve had the pleasure of being privy to several traditional system simulators.  These simulators can become very complex and extremely computationally intensive [as a function of the complexity of target architecture].  This puts an interesting perspective on a simulator for a quantum computing environment.

For more info, read their full release here.