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Primeur weekly 2012-04-30

The Cloud

Customers worldwide choose Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management in the Cloud ...

AMD selects HP for Cloud data centre ...

GREE selects Oracle's Sun ZFS storage appliance, Oracle Solaris 11 on Sun x86 server for data analysis ...

Chico's FAS chooses HP Converged Infrastructure to increase employee productivity, and cut costs ...

Fujitsu releases software supporting the utilization of big data ...

World's largest genomics institute announces affordable, Cloud-based DNA sequencing service accelerated by NVIDIA GPUs ...

LA Net adopts Emerge.MD's Cloud based telehealth solution to enable clinical collaboration ...

EC OPTIMIS Project to release first open source toolkit for Cloud providers ...

Desktop Grids

SDSC's Trestles supercomputer speeds clean energy research ...

EuroFlash

PRACE to issue Call for Participation in PRACE Scientific Conference 2012 on June 17, 2012 at ISC'12 in Hamburg ...

CGW'12 to issue Call for Papers ...

Russia's largest state-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, acquires equity stake in supercomputer manufacturer, T-Platforms ...

Strong business growth in first quarter for Bull ...

The final frontier: space centre launch facility chooses projectiondesign ...

Data mining opens the door to predictive neuroscience ...

PRACE to issue Call for Participation in PRACE Scientific Conference 2012 on June 17, 2012 at ISC'12 in Hamburg ...

CGW'12 to issue Call for Papers ...

Russia's largest state-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, acquires equity stake in supercomputer manufacturer, T-Platforms ...

Strong business growth in first quarter for Bull ...

New computer techniques speed up drug research ...

New NLeSC Open Call for Converging Sciences ...

USFlash

Terascala announces $14 million Series B funding round led by strategic partner consortium ...

Cray agrees to sell interconnect hardware sssets to Intel ...

Cray reports strong first quarter 2012 results ...

12 companies join Stanford and Berkeley to launch new Open Networking Research Center ...

Terascala announces $14 million Series B funding round led by strategic partner consortium ...

Cray agrees to sell interconnect hardware sssets to Intel ...

Cray reports strong first quarter 2012 results ...

DataDirect Networks selected to support NCSA's Blue Waters supercomputer ...

Valence Health heals growing pains with high-performance analytics from SAS and HP ...

AMD and Adobe Creative Suite 6 innovate with OpenCL and GPU acceleration ...

Canada's St. John Ambulance chooses HP to revive ailing storage network ...

IBM launches PowerLinux solutions to help customers increase efficiency and insights ...

NVIDIA unveils GeForce GTX 690 - Dual graphics card combines world's fastest gaming performance with sleek, sexy design ...

iBridge selects Oracle's Pillar Axiom 600 storage system as the foundation for its new secure data centre ...

Emerson Network Power rugged processing blade now verified by Cisco for secure unified communications in federal and defense applications ...

Physicists benchmark quantum simulator with hundreds of qubits ...

HP unveils enhancements to HP-UX for HP Integrity Systems ...

IBM advances Big Data analytics with acquisition of Vivisimo ...

Oracle beats NetApp results on SPECsfs2008 NFS benchmark at less than half the price and sets two-node world record ...

Physicists benchmark quantum simulator with hundreds of qubits

25 Apr 2012 Gaithersburg - Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have built a quantum simulator that can engineer interactions among hundreds of quantum bits (qubits) - 10 times more than previous devices. As described in the April 26 issue ofNature, the simulator has passed a series of important benchmarking tests and scientists are poised to study problems in material science that are impossible to model on conventional computers.

Many important problems in physics - especially low-temperature physics - remain poorly understood because the underlying quantum mechanics is vastly complex. Conventional computers - even supercomputers - are inadequate for simulating quantum systems with as few as 30 particles. Better computational tools are needed to understand and rationally design materials, such as high-temperature superconductors, whose properties are believed to depend on the collective quantum behaviour of hundreds of particles.

The NIST simulator consists of a tiny, single-plane crystal of hundreds of beryllium ions, less than 1 millimeter in diameter, hovering inside a device called a Penning trap. The outermost electron of each ion acts as a tiny quantum magnet and is used as a qubit - the quantum equivalent of a "1" or a "0" in a conventional computer. In the benchmarking experiment, physicists used laser beams to cool the ions to near absolute zero. Carefully timed microwave and laser pulses then caused the qubits to interact, mimicking the quantum behaviour of materials otherwise very difficult to study in the laboratory.

Although the two systems may outwardly appear dissimilar, their behaviour is engineered to be mathematically identical. In this way, simulators allow researchers to vary parameters that couldn't be changed in natural solids, such as atomic lattice spacing and geometry. In the NIST benchmarking experiments, the strength of the interactions was intentionally weak so that the simulation remained simple enough to be confirmed by a classical computer. Ongoing research uses much stronger interactions.

Simulators exploit a property of quantum mechanics called superposition, wherein a quantum particle is made to be in two distinct states at the same time, for example, aligned and anti-aligned with an external magnetic field. So the number of states simultaneously available to 3 qubits, for example, is 8 and this number grows exponential with the number of qubits: 2 to the power of N states for N qubits.

Crucially, the NIST simulator also can engineer a second quantum property called entanglement between the qubits, so that even physically well separated particles may be made tightly interconnected.

Recent years have seen tremendous interest in quantum simulation; scientists worldwide are striving to build small-scale demonstrations. However, these experiments have yet to fully involve more than 30 quantum particles, the threshold at which calculations become impossible on conventional computers. In contrast, the NIST simulator has extensive control over hundreds of qubits. This order of magnitude increase in qubit-number increases the simulator's quantum state space exponentially. Just writing down on paper a state of a 350-qubit quantum simulator is impossible - it would require more than a googol of digits: 10 to the power of 100.

Over the past decade, the same NIST research group has conducted record-setting experiments in quantum computing, atomic clocks and, now, quantum simulation. In contrast with quantum computers, which are universal devices that someday may solve a wide variety of computational problems, simulators are "special purpose" devices designed to provide insight about specific problems.

J.W. Britton, B.C. Sawyer, A. Keith, C.-C. J. Wang, J.K. Freericks, H. Uys, M. J. Biercuk and J.J. Bollinger are the authors of "Engineered 2D Ising interactions on a trapped-ion quantum simulator with hundreds of spins", which appears inNature- doi:10.1038/nature10981.
Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2012-04-30

The Cloud

Customers worldwide choose Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management in the Cloud ...

AMD selects HP for Cloud data centre ...

GREE selects Oracle's Sun ZFS storage appliance, Oracle Solaris 11 on Sun x86 server for data analysis ...

Chico's FAS chooses HP Converged Infrastructure to increase employee productivity, and cut costs ...

Fujitsu releases software supporting the utilization of big data ...

World's largest genomics institute announces affordable, Cloud-based DNA sequencing service accelerated by NVIDIA GPUs ...

LA Net adopts Emerge.MD's Cloud based telehealth solution to enable clinical collaboration ...

EC OPTIMIS Project to release first open source toolkit for Cloud providers ...

Desktop Grids

SDSC's Trestles supercomputer speeds clean energy research ...

EuroFlash

PRACE to issue Call for Participation in PRACE Scientific Conference 2012 on June 17, 2012 at ISC'12 in Hamburg ...

CGW'12 to issue Call for Papers ...

Russia's largest state-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, acquires equity stake in supercomputer manufacturer, T-Platforms ...

Strong business growth in first quarter for Bull ...

The final frontier: space centre launch facility chooses projectiondesign ...

Data mining opens the door to predictive neuroscience ...

PRACE to issue Call for Participation in PRACE Scientific Conference 2012 on June 17, 2012 at ISC'12 in Hamburg ...

CGW'12 to issue Call for Papers ...

Russia's largest state-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, acquires equity stake in supercomputer manufacturer, T-Platforms ...

Strong business growth in first quarter for Bull ...

New computer techniques speed up drug research ...

New NLeSC Open Call for Converging Sciences ...

USFlash

Terascala announces $14 million Series B funding round led by strategic partner consortium ...

Cray agrees to sell interconnect hardware sssets to Intel ...

Cray reports strong first quarter 2012 results ...

12 companies join Stanford and Berkeley to launch new Open Networking Research Center ...

Terascala announces $14 million Series B funding round led by strategic partner consortium ...

Cray agrees to sell interconnect hardware sssets to Intel ...

Cray reports strong first quarter 2012 results ...

DataDirect Networks selected to support NCSA's Blue Waters supercomputer ...

Valence Health heals growing pains with high-performance analytics from SAS and HP ...

AMD and Adobe Creative Suite 6 innovate with OpenCL and GPU acceleration ...

Canada's St. John Ambulance chooses HP to revive ailing storage network ...

IBM launches PowerLinux solutions to help customers increase efficiency and insights ...

NVIDIA unveils GeForce GTX 690 - Dual graphics card combines world's fastest gaming performance with sleek, sexy design ...

iBridge selects Oracle's Pillar Axiom 600 storage system as the foundation for its new secure data centre ...

Emerson Network Power rugged processing blade now verified by Cisco for secure unified communications in federal and defense applications ...

Physicists benchmark quantum simulator with hundreds of qubits ...

HP unveils enhancements to HP-UX for HP Integrity Systems ...

IBM advances Big Data analytics with acquisition of Vivisimo ...

Oracle beats NetApp results on SPECsfs2008 NFS benchmark at less than half the price and sets two-node world record ...