Though a combination of hardware platforms is most likely for the first quantum computer that can practically tackle real-life problems untraceable by any classical counterpart, a recently developed programmable and scalable photonic circuit based on squeezed light, beam splitters, and photon counters showed a new promise with no large technological barrier left on the path towards the fault-tolerant quantum computer.

Quantum Tech: When the amplitude and phase uncertainties are unequal, the state of light is said to be squeezed. According to quantum interference, the squeezed states sent into the network from ring resonators are mixed at the beam splitters and become scrambled. The types and degrees of scrambles are actively conditioned by the optical path lengths that alter the relative phases. The dynamic parameters are encoded into the input squeezed states. The measured photon number in each scrambled state represents the output of the circuit network where all variables get processed with quantum algorithm(s), a sequence of quantum gate operations. Different algorithms can be remotely reprogramed by regulating the beam splitters and manipulating the phase shifters through the cloud.

Direct Societal Impact: Statistical anomaly detection, image and pattern recognition, neural network training, software validation, circuit fault diagnoses, market instability detection, trading strategy, trading trajectory analysis, pricing and hedging optimization, portfolio optimization, material prototyping, traffic flow management, web advertising, telecommunication network load analysis, eCommerce item listing, network virus and intrusion detection, resource scheduling, graph property analysis, integer factorization, fraud detection, optimizing targeted cancer drug therapies, protein modeling.

Collateral Advantages: Accelerate all technology development at unprecedented rate.

Alternative Quantum Technology: Superconducting quantum computer, trapped ion quantum computer.

Aided System: Semiconductor manufacturing industry.

Simplified illustration of a photonic quantum processor executing a quantum algorithm. Ref:
Xanadu’s X8 photonic quantum computing chip. Ref: