Alice and Bob's Journey to Reducing Quantum Overhead #shorts
The Quantum StateFebruary 09, 202400:01:00

Alice and Bob's Journey to Reducing Quantum Overhead #shorts

In this insightful reel, Théau Peronnin delves into the monumental challenges and innovative breakthroughs in the realm of quantum computing. Initially highlighting a study by Google from 2019, Peronnin points out the staggering requirement of 20 million physical quantum bits (qubits) needed to run Shor's algorithm for breaking RSA 2048 encryption, a goal far beyond current capabilities, with IBM leading at around a thousand qubits. This gap underscores the colossal challenge facing the field.

However, the narrative takes an optimistic turn with the introduction of Alice and Bob, a pioneering company that is redefining the approach to quantum computing by addressing the issue of quantum overhead. Peronnin explains that of the 20 million qubits previously thought necessary, only 0.03% are actively involved in computation, with the rest serving as overhead. Alice and Bob's innovation lies in their development of the cat qubit, which natively corrects half of its errors through a hardwired feedback loop, thereby significantly reducing the overhead and making a higher proportion of qubits available for computation.

This breakthrough leads to a remarkable reduction in the required number of qubits from 20 million to just 350,000, achieving a 60-fold improvement. This advancement not only makes quantum computing more accessible by reducing the cost and complexity of quantum computers by 98% but also marks a significant stride towards realizing the full potential of quantum computing for complex problem-solving and encryption tasks.

What is Quantum Overhead?
Quantum overhead involves extra qubits and resources in a quantum computer, mainly for error correction and ensuring qubit coherence and entanglement. It's similar to the resources needed for a classical computer's operating system and background tasks, crucial for stability but not directly involved in computations. Quantum bits' susceptibility to errors and decoherence makes reducing overhead essential for practical, scalable quantum computing. Innovations like Alice and Bob's cat qubit, which decreases the needed qubit count, are key to advancing quantum computing from theory to application.