At the forefront of technology: Quantum and supercomputers

Physics, space, medicine, media, defence… Quantum technology and supercomputers are used today to conduct cutting-edge studies in many fields. Because the power and speed of conventional computers are not enough to respond to heavy work.

For example, a difficult problem that can be solved in hundreds of years with a classical computer can be solved in an hour with a supercomputer and in a second with a quantum computer.

Head of Computer Software Department of Fırat University, prof. Dr. As Mehmet Karaköse quotes: “If you want to do great engineering projects, if you want to work in the field of space, if you want to do really advanced and good work in the field of artificial intelligence , you need to get a supercomputer or a quantum computer.


What are the quantum and the supercomputer?

teacher. Dr. Karaköse explains that supercomputers basically work with the same logic as ordinary computers. These can be considered a collection of thousands of personal computers.

The operating logic of quantum computers is quite different. Classical computers are based on bit logic, while quantum computers are based on qubits and quantum mechanics.


“It is becoming a necessity day by day”

Although the operating logic of quantum and supercomputers is different, both mean enormous speed and power.

Automotive, finance, risk management, fraud detection, digital games, drug and vaccine studies, social media big data processing, simulators, development of advanced artificial intelligence algorithms… According to the table compiled by Karaköse, quantum computers and supercomputers are needed to carry out work in all these areas. .

Karaköse, the advantages of these computers, “The main factor here is the time factor. You can do it with 10 computers, but you can do it in 100 years. It is possible to do this in 1 hour when using a supercomputer, and in 1 second if you have a quantum computer. In this respect, it even becomes a necessity in major works, day after day. »


Several companies with quantum computers

Quantum computers are not common and it is not possible to buy a quantum computer. Karaköse said, “If a company says, let me buy a quantum computer, they can’t. He could achieve this by building a quantum computer himself,” he says. So much so that only a few companies in the world are actively using quantum computers.

One of these companies is IBM, which has a quantum computer of about 50 qubits… D-Wave and Google also use a quantum computer of 1027 qubits, especially in studies related to NASA. Additionally, Google has a 72 qubit quantum computer and Intel has about 49 qubits.


Project supported by TUBITAK

Karaköse repeatedly pointed out during our conversation that there should be more research and study on quantum computers in Turkey. He explains that they are trying to train researchers in this field and have started a new project with the support of TÜBİTAK.

This project will focus on producing software to run on quantum computers using artificial intelligence. He says they will use IBM’s infrastructure for some verifications under the project they started in March, and it is the first project in this regard in Turkey.


How common are supercomputers?

Each year, a list of the top 500 supercomputers is published. According to July 2021 data from this list, the best supercomputer in the world is in Japan. The supercomputer named Fukagu ​​has 7.6 million cores. For comparison, conventional computers usually have four or eight cores.

Fukagu ​​is followed by Summit, which has 2.4 million cores in the United States, and Sierra, which has 1.5 million cores, which are used in particular in nuclear weapons in the United States. China, Germany and Italy are also in the top 10.


Supercomputer studies in Turkey

teacher. Dr. Karaköse says that in 2007, ITU developed a supercomputer with about 11,000 cores, and this supercomputer entered the list of top 500 supercomputers in June 2007 at the 240th place. He says that five months later, in November 2007, he fell to 484th place.

“In these five months, 244 new supercomputers have been built around the world, and they are much better than the supercomputers we have here. After 2007, this supercomputer could no longer be included in the top 500 supercomputers in the world; far behind “.


cybersecurity concern

This issue also has a cybersecurity dimension.

The high speed achieved with quantum computers can become a drawback. Karaköse explains whether quantum computers will cause security problems, especially at a time when cyberattacks in many fields, from commerce to politics, are frequently on the agenda:

“If a quantum computer is going to pose a security problem, the only way to solve it is a quantum computer that will act on the other hand. If you have a computer that will attack you and solve it in a second, you must have a computer that will solve the problem in a second.

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