聚焦量子計算熱潮:各國政府正加大投入

2018年12月17日 11:04
来源:香港奇點財經 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:從穀歌到中國的阿裡巴巴,世界上領先的科技企業都在競相建造第一臺通用量子計算機。奇點財經了解到,近期中國宣布投資114億美元的國家量子計算發展計劃。同樣,歐盟計劃在10年內投入11億美元。英國將在五年內投資3.58億美元。甚至澳大利亞和加拿大也推出了自己的舉措。量子計算的熱潮已從企業之間的競爭發展成國家之間技術的競賽。

一、量子計算受到的關註仍在快速提升

(1)政府與企業正逐漸意識到量子計算的潛力

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.

此前奇點財經在《量子計算迎來新一輪熱潮,落地指日可待》一文中提到,隨著量子計算這個領域的關註度逐漸提高,量子計算的技術研發將得到更多支持,政府、公司與學院的積極研究也將極大地推動量子計算的技術研發與商業應用。量子計算領域的激烈競爭也將會縮短量子計算的通用化時間,量子計算時代即將到來。確實,量子計算關註事實上正快速提升。近期有兩則相關報道表明量子計算已不單受到商業公司的重視,國家也開始關註這個領域。

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.

奇點財經報道,美國國家科學院、工程院和醫學院於12月4日發布了在量子領域備受期待的量子計算前景報告。該報告指出,盡管這個領域還遠未成熟,但以我們目前的技術水平理論上可以造出大型、容錯的量子計算機。此外,研究公司Gartner還將量子計算列入2019年的戰略技術清單。Gartner研究主管Brian Burke最近在專題研討會上告訴觀眾,到2023年,全球將有20%的組織為量子計算項目投入預算,而目前這麼做的只有不到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.

鑒於這個報告是應國家情報總監辦公室的要求編寫,可以推測美國情報界可能已在考慮這些問題。與此同時,量子計算領域的私人投資也呈上升趨勢。穀歌,IBM和英特爾等領先的科技公司一直在開發自己的量子計算架構測試版本,同時也有大量量子領域初創企業湧現,如加拿大的D-Wave Systems和美國的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.

據悉,南加州初創企業Qubitekk正在使用量子加密技術來保護田納西州的電網。另一家初創公司Quantum Xchange正在美國東北部建設一個量子加密網路,洛斯阿拉莫斯國家實驗室(Los Alamos National laboratory)和橡樹嶺國家實驗室都在與Qubitekk合作,使用量子技術保護電網。希望為華爾街銀行和其他企業提供服務。公司最終的希望是把這個量子加密網路延伸到整個東海岸。位於長島的石溪大學(Stony Brook University)的研究人員正在準備成立另一家企業。

(2)量子計算的矛與盾

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.

量子計算能給我們帶來超乎想象的計算能力的同時,也給現有的通信加密技術提出非常大的挑戰。因為量子設備可以用於破解數字資訊加密,使所有的數字資訊面臨危險,從數十億美元的電子商務支付,到存儲在政府數據庫的國家機密都將因量子計算而風險急劇增加。

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,量子計算領域的加密保護技術發展備受政府的關註。正如一些科學家在研究量子計算機一樣,另一些科學家也在研究量子安全技術,這種技術是依賴於物理世界概念的加密技術,用於阻止這些未來量子計算機器的密碼破譯。

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.」

不過總的來說,美國國家科學院,工程和醫學院發布的量子計算報告中表明了一種對量子計算熱潮,包括量子威脅論的合理懷疑態度,認為當下的科技新聞頭條和新聞稿受到了這股狂熱潮流的影嚮。與一些聳人聽聞的說法相反,報告中表示,量子計算機不會很快完全取代傳統計算機。盡管商業利益激增,但對計算行業的短期影嚮可能不會太大。「我認為在未來一兩年內我們還無法解決實際問題,」加州大學聖塔芭芭拉分校Google研究科學家和物理學教授約翰馬丁尼斯在新聞發布會上說。「將會有更好的計算機出現,隨著我們加深對基礎科學的理解,行業的興奮將會增加。」

 

二、中美在量子加密領域的競賽

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.

據悉盡管各國都開始投入量子計算機的建造,但中國在量子加密方面已明顯領先。與中國在人工智能等其他尖端技術上的做法一樣,政府已經把各種量子研究列為重點。

(1)中國大力投入,已取得領先地位

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.

奇點財經了解到,中國已經在建設使用量子加密傳輸數據的網路上投入了數千萬美元的資金。去年,中國一顆以古代哲學家墨子的名字命名的衞星,使用量子加密技術成功實現了北京與維也納之間的視頻通話。經過四年的規劃和建設,北京和上海之間的專用量子通信網路也於去年投入使用。

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離內工作。北京和維也納之間的衞星連接將這個距離擴大到了創紀錄的4630英裡(約合7451公裡)。在地面上,使用光纖線路的最大距離大約是150英裡(約合240公裡)。

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.

這條幹線正在延伸到其他城市和地區。中國的目標是,在2030年前,建成一個連接全球各地的分享量子加密密鑰的網路。一些安全專家對量子加密的有效性有懷疑。因為這種技術如此之新,它還沒有經受過任何可以讓持懷疑態度的密碼學家對技術表示認可的嚴格測試。但科大物理系教授陸朝陽說,量子通信京滬幹線是一次重大的升級。

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.」

使用傳統通信方式時,竊聽者可以在光纖線路上的每個點攔截數據流。政府可以在通信線路的任何地方進行竊聽。陸朝陽說,量子加密技術讓長達1200英裡的京滬幹線上易受攻擊的點減少到了幾十個。「我們承認這是一個中間階段的解決方案,」他說。「這不是最終的解決方案。但就安全而言,這已經是一個巨大的進步。」

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.

對於量子加密技術的發展,Cyber​​Eye專欄的作者兼技術專家威William Jackson於12月7日指出了開發量子防禦的一個缺點。他指出,花費政府資金和資源來防止量子計算機破壞加密可能會減緩量子科學的發展。「被認為具有量子抗性的加密算法的存在將降低量子計算機在密碼分析中的實用性,」Jackson指出。這可能會遏制開發技術的願望,至少在某種程度上。

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.」

不過與此相對,橡樹嶺國家實驗室(Oak Ridge National Laboratory)的研究員Duncan Earl則表示「中國對擁有這項技術有一個經過深思熟慮的戰略「,並補充「如果我們認為我們可在加入這項技術之前等個五年、十年的話,那將太晚了。」

(2)美國多位專家呼籲美政府投入量子基礎設施

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.

據悉,在美國,政府和業界認為量子加密不過是一項科學實驗。所以,研究人員的精力一直集中在使用現有的數學來構建新的、可對抗量子計算機的加密方法。而這種做法不需要研發新的基礎設施。

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.

並且,像Qubitekk這樣的小型初創企業不太可能像中國為量子加密建立基礎設施那樣,投入數百萬美元。但許多專家認為,更重要的工作將發生在研究實驗室,美國能源部正在為芝加哥的一個測試網路提供資金,該網路可能會比中國目前的系統更先進。

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.

美國政府已逐漸意識到量子計算機的威脅,今天的加密數據,可能會被下個十年中開發出的先進量子計算機所解密。美國國家標準與技術研究所意識到這種危險,並已收集了70多種用於評估的量子抗性算法。

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.

花旗集團資訊安全創新全球總監,該報告的共同作者Bob Blakley表示,即使量子計算進展緩慢,美國仍然可以通過備無患的方式應對它的發展。並補充道,這麼做並不會阻礙開發和實現新的「量子安全」加密算法,特別是因為現有的密碼需要定期重新整理才能最大限度地減少被破解的可能性。即使我們認為量子計算可能在50年或100年內不存在,我們仍然會努力創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.

還有專家認為如果量子計算機在短期內未能證明其具有商業可行性,那麼量子計算研究可能需要政府的額外支持。到目前為止,聯邦對量子計算研究的資助一直是零星的,並且在各個機構之間以不協調的方式展開。不過這可能會隨著國家量子倡議法案而改變,該法案於2018年7月作為立法引入,旨在為10年的研究工作提供12.75億美元的資金。該法案於9月份通過了眾議院,現在要求參議院採取行動。

 

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.

總結:奇點財經一直關註量子計算領域的發展,近幾年在這個領域中,研究實驗室,政府機構(NASA)以及微軟,IBM和穀歌等科技巨頭、初創企業等都開始致力於開發量子計算機,試圖搶先將這項技術落地。與此同時這個領域受到投資者的關註,正吸引著數億美元的投資者資金。除了它的商業價值。作為新興技術具有兩面性的量子計算可用於保護系統免受惡意攻擊,幫助提升網路安全性。也可用於瓦解公開密鑰 RSA體系,威脅到現有的加密體系。世界各國已逐漸認識到這一點並加大投入,盡管部分國家是以有備無患的態度發展這項技術,在客觀上仍極大地促進量子計算的基礎設施布置,由此更進一步的促進量子計算的發展。