Could a hybrid Classical/Quantum Computer be built?

Hello, everyone! 🦊 My name is Amaroq.

I was wondering about something recently, pertaining to the development of quantum computing hardware. Anyone who is familiar with quantum computers is well aware that there are both advantages and disadvantages when compared to classical computers. But just like how hybrid Digital/Analog integrated circuits have been built, would it also be possible to build a single integrated circuit board with both quantum and classical (digital or analog) logic circuitry on it? For instance, if you used the same materials and fabrication process so that they could operate in the same environment? More importantly, would there be any appreciable benefit to such a design?

Sincerely,
Amaroq. Tail high~!

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Comments

11 comments
  • Hello Amaroq, in my opinion this would not work, because the noise of CPU would negatively impact QPU state.

    maybe with some other designs of QPU, where shielding is not neccessary (i wonder if such a design exists?).

     

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  • There was an article that I once saw a while back about building qubits which could be integrated into classical circuits. I'll have to find it again. Once I have the article, I'll edit my post to include a link.

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  • Yeah, I can't even edit my post correctly with how broken the website is. Anyways, I couldn't find the specific article I'm looking for, but I found some others which may eventually lead there:
    https://m.phys.org/news/2018-06-scientists-coherent-coupling-quantum-dot.html
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-00213-3
    https://phys.org/news/2018-08-multi-purpose-silicon-chip-quantum.amp
    https://m.phys.org/news/2018-03-scaling-silicon-quantum-photonic-technology.html

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  • There may be a time when a quantum processing unit could be packaged into something like a pin grid array or similar. The processor could be used in a fashion similar to how GPUs are used today. (I.e., as a coprocessor performing specialized tasks.) However, I think the engineering challenges (i.e., isolation from noise) are well beyond current technology.

    If something like this is ever built, I think it would advance computing quite a bit. Consider how the 8087 math coprocessor boosted the capabilities of microcomputers, or how modern GPUs enhance today's computers.

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  • I'd love to see that as soon as it can be built. By the time we get to that point, it wouldn't be hard to imagine a Digital/Analog/Quantum supercomputer being constructed at the first opportunity.

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  • In a sense, this is what is happening already!

    The quantum computer is housed in a cryogenic cooling unit that is accessed using a classical computer server.

    Here is a link to some more information:
    https://docs.dwavesys.com/docs/latest/c_gs_1.html#physical-description

    Being able to run the quantum computer in a less isolated environment would be hugely beneficial!
    Maintaining these temperatures and conditions is a very difficult feat. 

    The current D-Wave QPU is very good at solving some difficult problems, while the classical computer is quite good at solving others.
    At this point, being able to leverage both in a portable way would be very useful.

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  • Well, you can string together multiple physical qubits to form larger logical qubits, which are less susceptible to noise. I'm also sure that you can filter out other sources of noise with some further breakthroughs.

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  • Unfortunately, stringing together multiple physical qubits to form a logical qubit does not quite work, unless all of the physical qubits are isolated and can interact and become entangled with each other and not other, external factors.

    Further breakthroughs to filter out other sources of noise would be so great! At present, as described in the documentation in the above link, the QPU needs to be housed in an isolated shielding and kept at very very low temperatures to achieve this.

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  • https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/quest-to-reduce-quantum-errors
    Sometimes, the most important breakthroughs are also the quietest ones.

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  • Hi Amaroq

    I believe that the answer to your question is "Eventually Yes", but in my honest opinion we live in a world where everyone is speaking about serverless, like not wanting to deal with hardware.

    In this context, all you need is a Cloud, or better, a MultiCloud access where you can split and run your application for what can be done efficiently on the CPU/GPU in a classical cloud, and what can be done efficiently in the Q-World address it in the Leap Cloud.

    See you around, cheers :)

    Cal

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  • Hi Amaroq,

    Yesterday we launched Leap 2 and I am happy to tell you that it is now much easier to solve problems using a combination of quantum and classical resources.  Please try using our new hybrid solver, which you will see on your Leap Dashboard as hybrid_v1. It accepts problems of up to 10,000 variables fully connected!

    Submit the problem through Ocean as you would any other problem to the D-Wave system, but specify the new LeapHybridSampler in your Python program:

    from dwave.system import LeapHybridSampler

    Take a look at our Knapsack example in Github, which is designed to demonstrate the usage of the hybrid solver.

    Let us know how it goes, 

    Fiona

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