(ScienceDaily) Researchers have built and demonstrated the first hardware for a probabilistic computer, a possible way to bridge the gap between classical and quantum computing.
Engineers at Purdue University and Tohoku University in Japan have built the first hardware to demonstrate how the fundamental units of what would be a probabilistic computer — called p-bits — are capable of performing a calculation that quantum computers would usually be called upon to perform.
Today’s computers store and use information in the form of zeroes and ones called bits. Quantum computers use qubits that can be both zero and one at the same time. In 2017, a Purdue research group led by Supriyo Datta, the university’s Thomas Duncan Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, proposed the idea of a probabilistic computer using p-bits that can be either zero or one at any given time and fluctuate rapidly between the two.