聚焦量子计算热潮:各国政府正加大投入

2018年12月17日 11:02
來源:香港奇点财经 Singularity Financial

Introduction: The world’s leading technology companies, from Google to Alibaba in China, are racing to build the first quantum computer, a machine that would be far more powerful than today’s computers.China has announced an $11.4-billion national quantum-computing effort. Similarly, the European Union has committed $1.1 billion over 10 years. The U.K. is investing $358 million over five years. Even Australia and Canada have launched their own initiatives.The upsurge in quantum computing development has evolved from a competition between companies to a competition between countries.

前言:从谷歌到中国的阿里巴巴,世界上领先的科技企业都在竞相建造第一台通用量子计算机。奇点财经了解到,近期中国宣布投资114亿美元的国家量子计算发展计划。同样,欧盟计划在10年内投入11亿美元。英国将在五年内投资3.58亿美元。甚至澳大利亚和加拿大也推出了自己的举措。量子计算的热潮已从企业之间的竞争发展成国家之间技术的竞赛。

一、量子计算受到的关注仍在快速提升

(1)政府与企业正逐渐意识到量子计算的潜力

Previously, Singularity Finance mentioned in the article “The age of quantum computing is approaching, practical problems would be handled soon”, as the focus of quantum computing is gradually increasing, the research and development of quantum computing will receive more support. The active research of governments, companies and colleges would greatly promote the technology development and commercial application of quantum computing. The fierce competition in the field of quantum computing will also shorten the generalization time of quantum computing, and the era of quantum computing is coming. Indeed, people are paying more attention to the development of quantum computing. Recently, two related reports have shown that not only commercial companies, but the countries has also begun to pay attention to this field.

此前奇点财经在《量子计算迎来新一轮热潮,落地指日可待》一文中提到,随着量子计算这个领域的关注度逐渐提高,量子计算的技术研发将得到更多支持,政府、公司与学院的积极研究也将极大地推动量子计算的技术研发与商业应用。量子计算领域的激烈竞争也将会缩短量子计算的通用化时间,量子计算时代即将到来。确实,量子计算关注事实上正快速提升。近期有两则相关报道表明量子计算已不单受到商业公司的重视,国家也开始关注这个领域。

Singularity Financial reported that the long-awaited report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on quantum computing prospects has been released on DEC.4. The report states that although there is still a lot of work to do in the field, given our current technology levels, there is “no fundamental reason why a large, fault-tolerant quantum computer could not be built in principle.”In addition, Research firm Gartner also included quantum computing in its list of strategic technologies for 2019. Brian Burke, chief of research for Gartner, recently told a symposium audience that by 2023, up to 20 percent of organizations around the world will be budgeting for quantum computing projects, up from less than one percent today.

奇点财经报道,美国国家科学院、工程院和医学院于12月4日发布了在量子领域备受期待的量子计算前景报告。该报告指出,尽管这个领域还远未成熟,但以我们目前的技术水平理论上可以造出大型、容错的量子计算机。此外,研究公司Gartner还将量子计算列入2019年的战略技术清单。Gartner研究主管Brian Burke最近在专题研讨会上告诉观众,到2023年,全球将有20%的组织为量子计算项目投入预算,而目前这么做的只有不到1%。

The U.S. intelligence community may already be thinking along those lines, given the new report was written in response to a request from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. But private investment in quantum computing has also been on an upswing. Leading tech companies such as Google, IBM and Intel have been developing their own test versions of quantum-computing architecture, along with start-ups such as D-Wave Systems in Canada and the U.S.-based Rigetti Computing.

鉴于这个报告是应国家情报总监办公室的要求编写,可以推测美国情报界可能已在考虑这些问题。与此同时,量子计算领域的私人投资也呈上升趋势。谷歌,IBM和英特尔等领先的科技公司一直在开发自己的量子计算架构测试版本,同时也有大量量子领域初创企业涌现,如加拿大的D-Wave Systems和美国的Rigetti Computing等。

Qubitekk, a Southern California start-up, is working to secure power grids in Tennessee using the technology. The Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories are working with Qubitekk to secure power grids with quantum technology. A second start-up, Quantum Xchange, is building a quantum encryption network in the Northeast, hoping to serve Wall Street banks and other businesses, with plans to connect big banks operating in the two cities. Researchers at Stony Brook University on Long Island are preparing a third venture.

据悉,南加州初创企业Qubitekk正在使用量子加密技术来保护田纳西州的电网。另一家初创公司Quantum Xchange正在美国东北部建设一个量子加密网络,洛斯阿拉莫斯国家实验室(Los Alamos National laboratory)和橡树岭国家实验室都在与Qubitekk合作,使用量子技术保护电网。希望为华尔街银行和其他企业提供服务。公司最终的希望是把这个量子加密网络延伸到整个东海岸。位于长岛的石溪大学(Stony Brook University)的研究人员正在准备成立另一家企业。

(2)量子计算的矛与盾

A quantum computer can solve complex problems that would otherwise take billions of years for today’s computers to solve. It can also poses a very big challenge to our existing communication encryption technology. Because, it could break the encryption that protects digital information, putting at risk everything from the billions of dollars spent on e-commerce to national secrets stored in government databases.

量子计算能给我们带来超乎想象的计算能力的同时,也给现有的通信加密技术提出非常大的挑战。因为量子设备可以用于破解数字信息加密,使所有的数字信息面临危险,从数十亿美元的电子商务支付,到存储在政府数据库的国家机密都将因量子计算而风险急剧增加。

An answer? Encryption that relies on the same concepts from the world of physics. Just as some scientists are working on quantum computers, others are working on quantum security techniques that could thwart the code-breaking abilities of these machines of the future.

因此,量子计算领域的加密保护技术发展备受政府的关注。正如一些科学家在研究量子计算机一样,另一些科学家也在研究量子安全技术,这种技术是依赖于物理世界概念的加密技术,用于阻止这些未来量子计算机器的密码破译。

Issued by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the report prescribes a healthy dose of skepticism for the quantum-computing fever that has infected tech news headlines and press releases in recent years. Contrary to some sensational claims, quantum computers will not completely replace classical computers anytime soon, if ever. And despite a spike in commercial interest, the short-term impact on the computing industry will probably be fairly small. “I think in the next year or two we won’t get to solving actual problems yet,” said John Martinis, a research scientist at Google and professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, during a press conference. “But there will be better machines out there, and excitement will pick up with the understanding that we are still doing basic science.”

不过总的来说,美国国家科学院,工程和医学院发布的量子计算报告中表明了一种对量子计算热潮,包括量子威胁论的合理怀疑态度,认为当下的科技新闻头条和新闻稿受到了这股狂热潮流的影响。与一些耸人听闻的说法相反,报告中表示,量子计算机不会很快完全取代传统计算机。尽管商业利益激增,但对计算行业的短期影响可能不会太大。“我认为在未来一两年内我们还无法解决实际问题,”加州大学圣塔芭芭拉分校Google研究科学家和物理学教授约翰马丁尼斯在新闻发布会上说。“将会有更好的计算机出现,随着我们加深对基础科学的理解,行业的兴奋将会增加。”

 

二、中美在量子加密领域的竞赛

It is a race with national security implications, and while building quantum computers is still anyone’s game, China has a clear lead in quantum encryption. As it has with other cutting-edge technologies, like artificial intelligence, the Chinese government has made different kinds of quantum research a priority.

据悉尽管各国都开始投入量子计算机的建造,但中国在量子加密方面已明显领先。与中国在人工智能等其他尖端技术上的做法一样,政府已经把各种量子研究列为重点。

(1)中国大力投入,已取得领先地位

The country has invested tens of millions of dollars building networks that can transmit data using quantum encryption. Last year, a Chinese satellite named Micius, after an ancient philosopher, managed a video call between Beijing and Vienna using quantum encryption. A dedicated quantum communication network between Beijing and Shanghai was also put into operation last year, after four years of planning and construction.

奇点财经了解到,中国已经在建设使用量子加密传输数据的网络上投入了数千万美元的资金。去年,中国一颗以古代哲学家墨子的名字命名的卫星,使用量子加密技术成功实现了北京与维也纳之间的视频通话。经过四年的规划和建设,北京和上海之间的专用量子通信网络也于去年投入使用。

For now, quantum encryption works only over a limited distance. The satellite link between Beijing and Vienna stretched this limit to a record 4,630 miles. On the ground, using optical fiber lines, the ceiling is about 150 miles.

目前,量子加密只能在有限的距离内工作。北京和维也纳之间的卫星连接将这个距离扩大到了创纪录的4630英里(约合7451公里)。在地面上,使用光纤线路的最大距离大约是150英里(约合240公里)。

This main line is being extended to other cities and regions. The goal by 2030 is a Chinese-built network for sharing quantum encryption keys across the globe.Some security experts question the effectiveness of quantum encryption. Because it is so new, it has not been put through anywhere close to the rigorous testing that would give it a stamp of approval from skeptical cryptographers.But Chao-Yang Lu, a professor of physics at the University of Science and Technology of China, said the Beijing-Shanghai quantum network was a significant upgrade.

这条干线正在延伸到其他城市和地区。中国的目标是,在2030年前,建成一个连接全球各地的分享量子加密密钥的网络。一些安全专家对量子加密的有效性有怀疑。因为这种技术如此之新,它还没有经受过任何可以让持怀疑态度的密码学家对技术表示认可的严格测试。但科大物理系教授陆朝阳说,量子通信京沪干线是一次重大的升级。

With communications sent by traditional means, eavesdroppers can intercept the data stream at every point along a fiber-optic line. A government could tap that line just about anywhere. Quantum encryption cut the number of vulnerable spots in the Beijing-Shanghai line to just a few dozen across 1,200 miles, Professor Lu said.“We admit that it’s an intermediate solution,” he said. “It’s not the final solution. But it’s already a huge improvement in terms of security.”

使用传统通信方式时,窃听者可以在光纤线路上的每个点拦截数据流。政府可以在通信线路的任何地方进行窃听。陆朝阳说,量子加密技术让长达1200英里的京沪干线上易受攻击的点减少到了几十个。“我们承认这是一个中间阶段的解决方案,”他说。“这不是最终的解决方案。但就安全而言,这已经是一个巨大的进步。”

The one drawback to developing quantum defenses was pointed out by William Jackson, in his Cybereye column this week. He notes that spending government money and resources on preventing quantum computers from breaking down encryption might slow the development of quantum science. “The existence of cryptographic algorithms that are believed to be quantum-resistant will reduce the usefulness of a quantum computer for cryptanalysis,” Jackson notes. And that could curb the desire, at least somewhat, to develop the technology.

对于量子加密技术的发展,Cyber​​Eye专栏的作者兼技术专家威William Jackson于12月7日指出了开发量子防御的一个缺点。他指出,花费政府资金和资源来防止量子计算机破坏加密可能会减缓量子科学的发展。“被认为具有量子抗性的加密算法的存在将降低量子计算机在密码分析中的实用性,”Jackson指出。这可能会遏制开发技术的愿望,至少在某种程度上。

The oppsite is, “China has a very deliberate strategy to own this technology,” said Duncan Earl, a former researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who is president and chief technology officer of Qubitekk, a company that is exploring quantum encryption. “If we think we can wait five or 10 years before jumping on this technology, it is going to be too late.”

不过与此相对,橡树岭国家实验室(Oak Ridge National Laboratory)的研究员Duncan Earl则表示“中国对拥有这项技术有一个经过深思熟虑的战略“,并补充“如果我们认为我们可在加入这项技术之前等个五年、十年的话,那将太晚了。”

(2)美国多位专家呼吁美政府投入量子基础设施

In the United States, the government and industry have viewed quantum encryption as little more than a science experiment. Instead, researchers have focused on using ordinary mathematics to build new forms of encryption that can stand up to a quantum computer. This technology would not require new infrastructure.

据悉,在美国,政府和业界认为量子加密不过是一项科学实验。所以,研究人员的精力一直集中在使用现有的数学来构建新的、可对抗量子计算机的加密方法。而这种做法不需要研发新的基础设施。

Small start-ups like Qubitekk are unlikely to match the millions of dollars in infrastructure already created in China for quantum encryption. But many experts believe the more important work will happen in research labs, and the Department of Energy is funding a test network in Chicago that could eclipse the kind of systems deployed in China.

并且,像Qubitekk这样的小型初创企业不太可能像中国为量子加密建立基础设施那样,投入数百万美元。但许多专家认为,更重要的工作将发生在研究实验室,美国能源部正在为芝加哥的一个测试网络提供资金,该网络可能会比中国目前的系统更先进。

That is not to say that quantum computing should be ignored. Quite the opposite. The danger is that secret, encrypted data can be mined and stored today, and broken over the next decade when a sufficiently advanced quantum computer is finally developed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is aware of that danger and has already collected over 70 quantum resistant algorithms for evaluation.

美国政府已逐渐意识到量子计算机的威胁,今天的加密数据,可能会被下个十年中开发出的先进量子计算机所解密。美国国家标准与技术研究所意识到这种危险,并已收集了70多种用于评估的量子抗性算法。

The U.S. could still benefit from a better-safe-than-sorry approach even if quantum computing progress proves slow, said Bob Blakley, global director of Information Security Innovation at CitiGroup and co-author of the report. He said it would not hurt to develop and implement new “quantum-safe” cryptographic algorithms, especially because existing ciphers require regular refreshment anyway to minimize the chance of being cracked. “Even if we didn’t think quantum computing was likely to exist in 50 years or 100 years, we would still be engaged in an effort to replace the current generation of cryptographic algorithms on about the schedule we’re replacing them with quantum-safe algorithms,” he said.

花旗集团信息安全创新全球总监,该报告的共同作者Bob Blakley表示,即使量子计算进展缓慢,美国仍然可以通过备无患的方式应对它的发展。并补充道,这么做并不会阻碍开发和实现新的“量子安全”加密算法,特别是因为现有的密码需要定期刷新才能最大限度地减少被破解的可能性。即使我们认为量子计算可能在50年或100年内不存在,我们仍然会努力创造新一代的量子安全加密算法。

If quantum computers fail to prove commercially viable in the short term, quantum-computing research may need additional backing by the government. Until now federal funding for quantum computing research has been sporadic and spread out in uncoordinated fashion among various agencies. That may change with the National Quantum InitiativeAct, which was introduced as legislation in July 2018 and aims to provide $1.275 billion in funding for a 10-year research effort. The bill cleared the House of Representatives in September and now requires the Senate to take up its cause.

还有专家认为如果量子计算机在短期内未能证明其具有商业可行性,那么量子计算研究可能需要政府的额外支持。到目前为止,联邦对量子计算研究的资助一直是零星的,并且在各个机构之间以不协调的方式展开。不过这可能会随着国家量子倡议法案而改变,该法案于2018年7月作为立法引入,旨在为10年的研究工作提供12.75亿美元的资金。该法案于9月份通过了众议院,现在要求参议院采取行动。

 

Conclusion: Singularity Finance has been paying attention to the development of quantum computing. Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants, startups are all focused on developing quantum computing. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. In addition to its commercial value, two-sided quantum computing as an emerging technology can be uesd to improve the security of network. All in all, factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. In the meantime, countries have gradually realized the importance of quantum computing and increased their investments. Although some countries are developing the technology with  better-safe-than-sorry attitude. The fact is tha It objectively promote the infrastructure of quantum computing, thereby this will further promote the development of quantum computing.

总结:奇点财经一直关注量子计算领域的发展,近几年在这个领域中,研究实验室,政府机构(NASA)以及微软,IBM和谷歌等科技巨头、初创企业等都开始致力于开发量子计算机,试图抢先将这项技术落地。与此同时这个领域受到投资者的关注,正吸引着数亿美元的投资者资金。除了它的商业价值。作为新兴技术具有两面性的量子计算可用于保护系统免受恶意攻击,帮助提升网络安全性。也可用于瓦解公开密钥 RSA体系,威胁到现有的加密体系。世界各国已逐渐认识到这一点并加大投入,尽管部分国家是以有备无患的态度发展这项技术,在客观上仍极大地促进量子计算的基础设施布置,由此更进一步的促进量子计算的发展。