The Amazing (Quantum) Race

They might be used to working at the level of the invisible and the intangible, but today they struck a deal that was both very real, very tangible and very ambitious.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo and the Singapore’s Centre for Quantum Technologies signed a deal today to pool resources and collaborate in a race to build a quantum computer – a supercomputer capable of performing advanced calculations at the speed of light. 

Traditional computers use a series of 1’s and 0’s (called bits) in order to perform long, tedious calculations. But a quantum computer harnesses the unique properties of molecular building blocks so that these 1’s and 0’s can occur at the same time, opening the door for the infinitely large computing speeds.

With both institutions in command of significant resources, talent and quantum computing know-how, this agreement simply concretizes a de facto relationship that has been enjoyed by the two for years. Researchers have regularly been sharing discoveries, ideas and experimental data with one other even before this agreement was finalized on paper.