Modern quantum computers are expensive bulky devices with advanced cooling systems. Engineers from Purdue University and Tohoku University in Japan have created a prototype probabilistic computer that can operate at room temperature, providing high-speed complex calculations.
Conventional computing systems store and use information in the form of zeros and ones, called bits. Quantum computers use qubits, which can be both zero and one. A new type of unit of information, called p-byte (pi-bit), can be zero or one at any given time and fluctuate rapidly between these two values.
While qubits need low temperatures to work, pi-bits work at room temperature, like consumer electronics - according to the researchers, a probabilistic computer can be built on the basis of existing hardware. According to the developers, it can be used to effectively solve computing problems in areas such as drug development, encryption, cybersecurity, financial services, data analysis, and the supply chain.
The prototype of such a computer, according to scientists, has successfully solved the "quantum" problem of factoring integers. At the same time, the efficiency of the circuit turned out to be a thousand times higher compared to a transistor of the same area. Although hundreds of pi-bits will be required to solve more serious problems, researchers are confident that their mass application is a matter for the near future. In the future, “quantum transistors” are supposed to be used for machine learning and optimization of logistics routes.