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Energy—Quantum computing efficiency

ORNL scientists estimated quantum computing energy usage from a detailed modeling technique. In a study, the team found that quantum computers could reduce energy usage by more than 20 orders of magnitude compared to conventional computers. Credit: Fahd Mohiyaddin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

February 1, 2018 – New research from Oak Ridge National Laboratory indicates that quantum computers will use dramatically less energy than current supercomputers, which could lead to cost savings for computing equipment manufacturers and data centers. “High-performance computers with thousands of processors currently use lots of power to perform complex scientific calculations,” ORNL’s Travis Humble said. Using a sophisticated simulation technique, the team compared the expected energy usage of a quantum processor that uses quantum physics to the energy usage of a conventional processor found in today’s modern supercomputers. “Along with an unprecedented ability to solve big problems, we found that quantum computers have the potential to reduce energy usage by more than one million kilowatt hours,” he said. The team presented their results during the IEEE Rebooting Computing conference.