CAMBRIDGE, Mass., 29 June 2012. Raytheon BBN Technologies has been awarded $2.2 million in funding under the quantum computer science (QCS) program sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). BBN is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN).
The goal of the program is to create tools and methods that integrate all aspects of the quantum computer,from hardware to software, in a single framework, resulting in unified resource management and realistic performance assessment. This will enable more informed decisions about where to direct ongoing quantum computing research and development. Additional program partners include NEC, the University of Waterloo and the University of Melbourne.
Quantum computing does not use binary digits (bits) like a normal computer, instead it uses quantum bits (qubits). Qubits can exist in two states like bits, but they can also exist in any quantum superposition of those two states. The ability to exist in so many different states allows for quantum algorithms, which are much faster than classical algorithms, to be used.
Quantum computers have been built, but they do not yet possess the speed and flexibility of traditional computers.
In the future, quantum computers could outperform traditional computers with improved security and much faster processing speeds. Quantum computing may also decode common encryption keys significantly quicker than traditional computing, cracking codes in hours that would take decades using today's technology.