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.
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.
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.
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。
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.
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.
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.」
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.」
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.
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。」
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.