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‘Economically Useful Problems’ Will Drive Quantum Computing

By IQT News posted 29 Jul 2019

(Search.Security) Tim Hollebeek, industry and standards technical strategist at DigiCert Inc., was recently interviewed about quantum computers’ cryptography threat.
Hollebeek believes that we are on the edge of the quantum supremacy boundary right now. While current quantum computers aren’t quite powerful enough to do things that classical computers can’t, but that will probably change within about the next year.
He points out that economically useful problems is what is going to drive quantum computing. Those kinds of problems tend to be related to optimization and searching through large sets of data.
Holleebeek pointed out, “There’s a gap between ‘economically important’ and ‘change everything.’ Economically important quantum computers will arrive within the next year or two . .. in the last year or two, we’ve gone from computers that had just a couple of qbits to computers that had 50 to 70, and the quality seems to be getting better.
The economically relevant ones will arrive relatively soon, and they won’t be able to do things that normal computers can’t do, but they’ll be relatively specialized problems, and the computers will be large and expensive and be sitting in million-dollar research labs.
Hollebeck advises, “The most useful thing for people to be doing right now is to be doing research on this and finding out, first of all, where is cryptography used in their systems, what it protects, and what are the data protection lifetimes associated with that. It’s time for people to start having a plan.”

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