Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2011-07-18

Desktop Grids

Version 4.2.4 of OurGrid middleware released

XtremWeb-HEP 7.5.0 released

The Cloud

Rutgers-led experts assemble globe-spanning supercomputer Cloud

IBM debuts Cloud-based analytics suite to help companies boost marketing results

HP accelerates customers' path to open, hybrid Cloud

IBM expands business in Japan with new Cloud data centres

VMware unveils VMware vSphere 5 and comprehensive Cloud infrastructure suite

Panaya reaches 2,000 ERP systems milestone

VMware introduces VMware vSphere Storage Appliance to further simplify IT for small and midsized businesses

ET Water celebrates smart irrigation month with the launch of the GNOME Smart Irrigation Calculator

From end-user to data centre: Cisco enhances Cloud computing performance, efficiency and security

EuroFlash

Lomonosov supercomputer sets world record for performance on Graph500 benchmark

European Commission to organize Information Day on Cloud Computing, Internet of Services and Advanced Software Engineering

Bright Cluster Manager selected by Freie Universitaet Berlin to manage new Dell-based HPC system

Eurotech to receive 4 million euro order from Selex Elsag for Aurora HPC for cyber security applications

Medicsight and Ziooft partner in U.S. to offer computer-aided detection with supercomputing functional analytics

Imec achieves breakthroughs in enabling future DRAM and RRAM

USFlash

IBM Power Systems running Linux outperform competition on standard benchmarks

Drexel University chose advanced HPC and Bright Cluster Manager to help unravel the mysteries of the Universe and the world of molecular dynamics

Moving data at the speed of science: Berkeley Lab lays foundation for 100 Gbps prototype network

Scientists model physics of a key dark-energy probe

SDSC visualizations win 'OASCR' Awards at SciDAC 2011

SDSC's Trestles provides rapid turnaround and enhanced performance for diverse researchers

Sandia's 'cooler' technology offers fundamental breakthrough in heat transfer

Changsha National Supercomputing Center inaugurated

Oracle introduces Oracle Exadata Storage Expansion Rack

University of Virginia's Olivier Pfister accomplishes breakthrough toward quantum computing

GNS Healthcare collaborates with NCI in new approach to lung cancer: supercomputer analysis to aid in matching targeted drugs to patients

Wolfram Research announces gridMathematica 8: Adding the power of CUDA over the Grid

UC Irvine study points to new approach to influenza's antiviral resistance

basysKom, Codero, Gluster and Nixu Open join The Linux Foundation

Stanford engineers build a nanoscale device for brain-inspired computing

NVIDIA names Stanford University a CUDA Center of Excellence

NIST prototype 'optics table on a chip' places microwave photon in 2 colours at once

University of Virginia's Olivier Pfister accomplishes breakthrough toward quantum computing

15 Jul 2011 Charlottesville - A sort of Holy Grail for physicists and information scientists is the quantum computer. Such a computer, operating on the highly complex principles of quantum mechanics, would be capable of performing specific calculations with capabilities far beyond even the most advanced modern supercomputers. It could be used for breaking computer security codes as well as for incredibly detailed, data-heavy simulations of quantum systems.

It could be used for applying precise principles of physics to understanding the minute details of the interactions of molecules in biological systems. It could also help physicists unravel some of the biggest mysteries of the workings of the universe by providing a way to possibly test quantum mechanics.

Such a computer exists in theory, but it does not exist in practicality - yet - as it would need to operate with circuitry at the scale of single atoms, which is still a daunting challenge, even to state-of-the-art experimental quantum science. To build a quantum computer, one needs to create and precisely control individual quantum memory units, called qubits, for information processing.

Qubits are similar to the regular memory "bits" in current digital computers, but far more fragile, as they are microscopic constituents of matter and extremely difficult to separate from their environment while at the same time increasing their number to a practical-size quantum register. In particular, qubits need to be created into sets with precise, nonlocal physical correlations, called entangled states.

Olivier Pfister, a professor of physics in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, has just published findings in the journalPhysical Review Lettersdemonstrating a breakthrough in the creation of massive numbers of entangled qubits, more precisely a multilevel variant thereof called Qmodes.

Entanglement dwells outside our day-to-day experience; imagine that two people, each tossing a coin on their own and keeping a record of the results, compared this data after a few coin tosses and found that they always had identical outcomes, even though each result, heads or tails, would still occur randomly from one toss to the next. Such correlations are now routinely observed between quantum systems in physics labs and form the operating core of a quantum computing processor.

Olivier Pfister and researchers in his lab used sophisticated lasers to engineer 15 groups of four entangled Qmodes each, for a total of 60 measurable Qmodes, the most ever created. They believe they may have created as many as 150 groups, or 600 Qmodes, but could measure only 60 with the techniques they used.

Each Qmode is a sharply defined color of the electromagnetic field. In lieu of a coin toss measurement, the Qmode measurement outcomes are the number of quantum particles of light (photons) present in the field. Hundreds to thousands of Qmodes would be needed to create a quantum computer, depending on the task.

"With this result, we hope to move from this multitude of small-size quantum processors to a single, massively entangled quantum processor, a prerequisite for any quantum computer", Olivier Pfister stated.

Olivier Pfister's group used an exotic laser called an optical parametric oscillator, which emitted entangled quantum electromagnetic fields (the Qmodes) over a rainbow of equally spaced colors called an "optical frequency comb".

Ultrastable lasers emitting over an optical frequency comb have revolutionized the science of precision measurements, called metrology, and paved the way to multiple technological breakthroughs. The inventors of the optical frequency comb, physicists John Hall of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Theodor Haensch of the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, were awarded half of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics for their achievement. The other half went to Roy Glauber, one of the founding fathers of quantum optics.

With their experiments, Olivier Pfister's group completed a major step to confirm an earlier theoretical proof by Olivier Pfister and his collaborators that the quantum version of the optical frequency comb could be used to create a quantum computer.

"Some mathematical problems, such as factoring integers and solving the Schroedinger equation to model quantum physical systems, can be extremely hard to solve", Olivier Pfister stated. "In some cases the difficulty is exponential, meaning that computation time doubles for every finite increase of the size of the integer, or of the system."

However, he said, this only holds for classical computing. Quantum computing was discovered to hold the revolutionary promise of exponentially speeding up such tasks, thereby making them easy computations.

"This would have tremendous societal implications, such as making current data encryption methods obsolete, and also major scientific implications, by dramatically opening up the possibilities of

first-principle calculations to extremely complex systems such as biological molecules", Olivier Pfister stated.

Quantum computing can be summarized by qubit processing; computing with single elementary systems, such as atoms or monochromatic light waves, as memory units. Because qubits are inherently quantum systems, they obey the laws of quantum physics, which are more subtle than those of classical physics.

Randomness plays a greater role in quantum evolution than in classical evolution, Olivier Pfister said. Randomness is not an obstacle to deterministic predictions and control of quantum systems, but it does limit the way information can be encoded and read from qubits.

"As quantum information became better understood, these limits were circumvented by the use of entanglement, deterministic quantum correlations between systems that behave randomly, individually", he stated. "As far as we know, entanglement is actually the 'engine' of the exponential speed up in quantum computing."
Source: University of Virginia

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2011-07-18

Desktop Grids

Version 4.2.4 of OurGrid middleware released

XtremWeb-HEP 7.5.0 released

The Cloud

Rutgers-led experts assemble globe-spanning supercomputer Cloud

IBM debuts Cloud-based analytics suite to help companies boost marketing results

HP accelerates customers' path to open, hybrid Cloud

IBM expands business in Japan with new Cloud data centres

VMware unveils VMware vSphere 5 and comprehensive Cloud infrastructure suite

Panaya reaches 2,000 ERP systems milestone

VMware introduces VMware vSphere Storage Appliance to further simplify IT for small and midsized businesses

ET Water celebrates smart irrigation month with the launch of the GNOME Smart Irrigation Calculator

From end-user to data centre: Cisco enhances Cloud computing performance, efficiency and security

EuroFlash

Lomonosov supercomputer sets world record for performance on Graph500 benchmark

European Commission to organize Information Day on Cloud Computing, Internet of Services and Advanced Software Engineering

Bright Cluster Manager selected by Freie Universitaet Berlin to manage new Dell-based HPC system

Eurotech to receive 4 million euro order from Selex Elsag for Aurora HPC for cyber security applications

Medicsight and Ziooft partner in U.S. to offer computer-aided detection with supercomputing functional analytics

Imec achieves breakthroughs in enabling future DRAM and RRAM

USFlash

IBM Power Systems running Linux outperform competition on standard benchmarks

Drexel University chose advanced HPC and Bright Cluster Manager to help unravel the mysteries of the Universe and the world of molecular dynamics

Moving data at the speed of science: Berkeley Lab lays foundation for 100 Gbps prototype network

Scientists model physics of a key dark-energy probe

SDSC visualizations win 'OASCR' Awards at SciDAC 2011

SDSC's Trestles provides rapid turnaround and enhanced performance for diverse researchers

Sandia's 'cooler' technology offers fundamental breakthrough in heat transfer

Changsha National Supercomputing Center inaugurated

Oracle introduces Oracle Exadata Storage Expansion Rack

University of Virginia's Olivier Pfister accomplishes breakthrough toward quantum computing

GNS Healthcare collaborates with NCI in new approach to lung cancer: supercomputer analysis to aid in matching targeted drugs to patients

Wolfram Research announces gridMathematica 8: Adding the power of CUDA over the Grid

UC Irvine study points to new approach to influenza's antiviral resistance

basysKom, Codero, Gluster and Nixu Open join The Linux Foundation

Stanford engineers build a nanoscale device for brain-inspired computing

NVIDIA names Stanford University a CUDA Center of Excellence

NIST prototype 'optics table on a chip' places microwave photon in 2 colours at once