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The ­.S. National Academies Reports on the Prospects for Quantum Computing

By IEEE Spectrum

December 10, 2018

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A task force organized by the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine evaluated the feasibility of developing a functional quantum computer, with emphasis on "the time and resources required, and how to assess the probability of success."

However, the panel ultimately doubted a quantum system for compromising RSA 2048 or comparable discrete logarithm-based public key cryptosystems will be built within the next 10 years.

Challenges the committee acknowledged as potentially insurmountable include creating a self-reinforcing cycle of technical progress that gives rise to commercial applications that feed into private-sector investment and drive further technical progress.

The experts also predicted the near-term creation of a "noisy intermediate-scale quantum computer," which would likely be impractical, given the current lack of any known algorithms or apps that could effectively use it.

Still, the committee said efforts to develop quantum computing remain valuable as foundational research for yielding "transformative new knowledge and applications."

From IEEE Spectrum
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