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Encryption Software Market, Size, Trends and Forecast 2020

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Encryption Definition – Tech Terms

Encryption is the process of converting data to an unrecognizable or “encrypted” form. It is commonly used to protect sensitive information so that only authorized parties can view it. This includes files and storage devices, as well as data transferred over wireless networks and the Internet.

You can encrypt a file, folder, or an entire volume using a file encryption utility such as GnuPG or AxCrypt. Some file compression programs like Stuffit Deluxe and 7-Zip can also encrypt files. Even common programs like Adobe Acrobat and Intuit TurboTax allow you to save password-protected files, which are saved in an encrypted format.

Encryption is also used to secure data sent over wireless networks and the Internet. For example, many Wi-Fi networks are secured using WEP or the much stronger WPA encryption. You must enter a password (and sometimes a username) connect to a secure Wi-Fi network, but once you are connected, all the data sent between your device and the wireless router will be encrypted.

Many websites and other online services encrypt data transmissions using SSL. Any website that begins with “https://,” for example, uses the HTTPS protocol, which encrypts all data sent between the web server and your browser. SFTP, which is a secure version of FTP, encrypts all data transfers.

There are many different types of encryption algorithms, but some of the most common ones include AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), DES (Data Encryption Standard), Blowfish, RSA, and DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm). While most encryption methods are sufficient for securing your personal data, if security is extremely important, it is best to use a modern algorithm like AES with 256-bit encryption.

Updated: November 11, 2014

This page contains a technical definiton of Encryption. It explains in computing terminology what Encryption means and is one of many technical terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Encryption definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

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18 free cloud storage options | Network World

The cloud is full of free storage, if you know where to look.

From Box to DropBox, Google to Apple, theres plenty of free storage to be had in the cloud. Many companies use free cloud storage as a way to entice users into their clouds in hopes that they will pay more for additional storage.

Below, in alphabetical order, are 18 free cloud services but a word of warning: The market for free cloud storage is volatile and offers from these vendors can change frequently, including being eliminated with little or no warning.

+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: 7 ways to supercharge your personal cloud storage+

The deal: 5GB free in S3; free unlimited photo storage for Amazon Prime customers.

Details: Amazon Web Services business-oriented cloud storage service named Simple Storage Service (S3) has a tier of up to 5GB of free storage. On the consumer side, Amazon Prime members get free unlimited cloud storage for photos in Amazon Cloud Drive with their subscription, which costs $99 per year and includes free two-day shipping on eligible products. For non Amazon-prime members, unlimited photos can be stored for $11.99 per year after a three-month free trial. For $59.99 per year Amazon offers an Unlimited Everything plan, which allows any file or document to be stored.

More information: Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon S3

The deal: 5GB of free cloud storage

Details: Apple iCloud Drive comes with 5GB of free cloud storage. Users looking to bump up their storage can do so for $0.99/month for 50GBs; $2.99/month for 200GB; $9.99/month for 1TB and $19.99 for 2TB. ICloud is meant for Apple users, but there is an iCloud app for Windows. A third-party app is needed to access iCloud storage from Android devices.

More information: Apple iCloud

The deal: 10GB free cloud storage

Details: Backblaze offers personal computer backup and business cloud storage services. But it also has an offer for 10GB of free cloud storage. Additional storage is $0.005/GB/month. There is a limit in the free version of 1GB downloaded per day. Mac and PC backups are $5 per computer per month, or $50 per year. Business plans start at $5 per computer per month, or $5 per month per TB.

More information: Backblaze pricing

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What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know now …

The cloud in cloud computing originated from the habit of drawing the internet as a fluffy cloud in network diagrams. No wonder the most popular meaning of cloud computing refers to running workloads over the internet remotely in a commercial providers data centerthe so-called public cloud model. AWS (Amazon Web Services), Salesforces CRM system, and Google Cloud Platform all exemplify this popular notion of cloud computing.

But theres another, more precise meaning of cloud computing: the virtualization and central management of data center resources as software-defined pools. This technical definition of cloud computing describes how public cloud service providers run their operations. The key advantage is agility: the ability to apply abstracted compute, storage, and network resources to workloads as needed and tap into an abundance of pre-built services.

From a customer perspective, the public cloud offers a way to gain new capabilities on demand without investing in new hardware or software. Instead, customers pay their cloud provider a subscription fee or pay for only the resources they use. Simply by filling in web forms, users can set up accounts and spin up virtual machines or provision new applications. More users or computing resources can be added on the flythe latter in real time as workloads demand those resources thanks to a feature known as auto-scaling.

The array of available cloud computing services is vast, but most fall into one of the following categories:

This type of public cloud computing delivers applications over the internet through the browser. The most popular SaaS applications for business can be found in Googles G Suite and Microsofts Office 365; among enterprise applications, Salesforce leads the pack. But virtually all enterprise applications, including ERP suites from Oracle and SAP, have adopted the SaaS model. Typically, SaaS applications offer extensive configuration options as well as development environments that enable customers to code their own modifications and additions.

At a basic level, IaaS public cloud providers offer storage and compute services on a pay-per-use basis. But the full array of services offered by all major public cloud providers is staggering: highly scalable databases, virtual private networks, big data analytics, developer tools, machine learning, application monitoring, and so on. Amazon Web Services was the first IaaS provider and remains the leader, followed by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Cloud.

PaaS provides sets of services and workflows that specifically target developers, who can use shared tools, processes, and APIs to accelerate the development, test, and deployment of applications. Salesforces Heroku and are popular public cloud PaaS offerings; Pivotals Cloud Foundry and Red Hats OpenShift can be deployed on premises or accessed through the major public clouds. For enterprises, PaaS can ensure that developers have ready access to resources, follow certain processes, and use only a specific array of services, while operators maintain the underlying infrastructure.

Note that a variety of PaaS tailored for developers of mobile applications generally goes by the name of MBaaS (mobile back end as a service), or sometimes just BaaS (back end as a service).

FaaS, the cloud instantiation of serverless computing, adds another layer of abstraction to PaaS, so that developers are completely insulated from everything in the stack below their code. Instead of futzing with virtual servers, containers, and application runtimes, they upload narrowly functional blocks of code, and set them to be triggered by a certain event (e.g. a form submission or uploaded file). All the major clouds offer FaaS on top of IaaS: AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and IBM OpenWhisk. A special benefit of FaaS applications is that they consume no IaaS resources until an event occurs, reducing pay-per-use fees.

The private cloud downsizes the technologies used to run IaaS public clouds into software that can be deployed and operated in a customers data center. As with a public cloud, internal customers can provision their own virtual resources in order to build, test, and run applications, with metering to charge back departments for resource consumption. For administrators, the private cloud amounts to the ultimate in data center automation, minimizing manual provisioning and management. VMwares Software Defined Data Center stack is the most popular commercial private cloud software, while OpenStack is the open source leader.

A hybrid cloud is the integration of a private cloud with a public cloud. At its most developed, the hybrid cloud involves creating parallel environments in which applications can move easily between private and public clouds. In other instances, databases may stay in the customer data center and integrate with public cloud applicationsor virtualized data center workloads may be replicated to the cloud during times of peak demand. The types of integrations between private and public cloud vary widely, but they must be extensive to earn a hybrid clouddesignation.

Just as SaaS delivers applications to users over the internet, public APIs offer developers application functionality that can be accessed programmatically. For example, in building web applications, developers often tap into Google Maps API to provide driving directions; to integrate with social media, developers may call upon APIs maintained by Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Twilio has built a successful business dedicated to delivering telephony and messaging services via public APIs. Ultimately, any business can provision its own public APIs to enable customers to consume data or access application functionality.

Data integration is a key issue for any sizeable company, but particularly for those that adopt SaaS at scale. iPaaS providers typically offer prebuilt connectors for sharing data among popular SaaS applications and on-premises enterprise applications, though providers may focus more or less on B-to-B and ecommerce integrations, cloud integrations, or traditional SOA-style integrations. iPaaS offerings in the cloud from such providers as Dell Boomi, Informatica, MuleSoft, and SnapLogic also enable users to implement data mapping, transformations, and workflows as part of the integration-building process.

The most difficult security issue related to cloud computing is the management of user identity and its associated rights and permissions across private data centers and pubic cloud sites. IDaaS providers maintain cloud-based user profiles that authenticate users and enable access to resources or applications based on security policies, user groups, and individual privileges. The ability to integrate with various directory services (Active Directory, LDAP, etc.) and provide is essential. Okta is the clear leader in cloud-based IDaaS; CA, Centrify, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Ping provide both on-premises and cloud solutions.

Collaboration solutions such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and HipChat have become vital messaging platforms that enable groups to communicate and work together effectively. Basically, these solutions are relatively simple SaaS applications that support chat-style messaging along with file sharing and audio or video communication. Most offer APIs to facilitate integrations with other systems and enable third-party developers to create and share add-ins that augment functionality.

Key players in such industries as financial services, healthcare, retail, life sciences, and manufacturing provide PaaS clouds to enable customers to build vertical applications that tap into industry-specific, API-accessible services. Vertical clouds can dramatically reduce the time to market for vertical applications and accelerate domain-specific B-to-B integrations. Most vertical clouds are built with the intent of nurturing partner ecosystems.

The clouds main appeal is to reduce the time to market of applications that need to scale dynamically. Increasingly, however, developers are drawn to the cloud by the abundance of advanced new services that can be incorporated into applications, from machine learning to internet-of-things connectivity.

Although businesses sometimes migrate legacy applications to the cloud to reduce data center resource requirements, the real benefits accrue to new applications that take advantage of cloud services and cloud native attributes. The latter include microservices architecture, Linux containers to enhance application portability, and container management solutions such as Kubernetes that orchestrate container-based services. Cloud-native approaches and solutions can be part of either public or private clouds and help enable highly efficient devops-style workflows.

Objections to the public cloud generally begin with cloud security, although the major public clouds have proven themselves much less susceptible to attack than the average enterprise data center. Of greater concern is the integration of security policy and identity management between customers and public cloud providers. In addition, government regulation may forbid customers from allowing sensitive data off premises. Other concerns include the risk of outages and the long-term operational costs of public cloud services.

Yet cloud computing, public or private, has become the platform of choice for large applications, particularly customer-facing ones that need to change frequently or scale dynamically. More significantly, the major public clouds now lead the way in enterprise technology development, debuting new advances before they appear anywhere else. Workload by workload, enterprises are opting for the cloud, where an endless parade of exciting new technologies invite innovative use.

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Get to know Linode, the new (big) kid in town –

Youre likely familiar with Linode, the open-source cloud hosting company headquartered across the Ben Franklin Bridge in Haddonfield, N.J.

Get ready to become a little bit more familiar soon, though. Come 2018, the company will be moving into its new home in Philadelphia at the corner of 3rd and Arch.

And theyre hiring.

Linodes growth has been organic since its founding in 2003, but its values have not changed. Folks at the company say there arent many layers between engineers and C-level executives. Employee feedback is always taken seriously, and the impact employees have on the company, its customers (nearly half a million, by the way) and the Linode community is visible on a day-to-day basis.

Fostering a supportive environment is a big part of Linodes company culture and the backbone of the work the company does.Check out their culture page, brought to you by Talent, below.

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500 Cloud Operators, Managed Service Companies and Hosters to Gather at the 13th Annual Hosting & Cloud … – Benzinga

451 Research analysts and industry experts to tackle the digital future powered by cloud

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 07, 2017

451 Research will host the 13th annual Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS) at the Bellagio Resort & Hotel in Las Vegas, September 18-20. HCTS is the premier forum for executives in the hosting, cloud computing, datacenter and internet infrastructure sectors. The agenda is carefully crafted by 451 Research analysts and industry experts to provide timely insight into the competitive dynamics of innovation, and offers practical guidance on designing and implementing effective IT strategies in a power-packed three-day format.

Knowing that existing and future advancements are only made possible by leveraging the cloud, managed services and datacenters, this year’s Summit will uncover what’s next when it comes to enabling digital transformation. The program is designed to help attendees face the opportunities and challenges of the rapidly changing IT landscape head-on, and leave with actionable outcomes to seize market opportunity, particularly when it comes to innovative technologies like IoT and advanced analytics.

Sessions focused on identifying new opportunities and mapping strategies that enable the digital future include:

Melanie Posey Research Vice President and General Manager, Voice of the Enterprise, 451 Research

Eric Hanselman Chief Analyst, 451 Research

Andy Lawrence Research Vice President, Datacenters and Critical Infrastructure, 451 Research

Christian Renaud Research Director, Internet of Things, 451 Research

William Fellows Founder & Research Vice President, 451 Research

Rory Duncan Research Director, 451 Research

Kelly Morgan Research Vice President, Services, 451 Research

Al Sadowski Research Vice President, Voice of the Service Provider, 451 Research

The industry’s top thought leaders and their peers will present fresh perspectives on the cloud and hosting industry, including guest speaker Nicholas Thompson, Editor in Chief of Wired, who will discuss how the digital world is changing and how we’re changing and responding to it. Additionally, attendees will be among the first to hear key announcements regarding product releases and have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders.

To attend HCTS, or to learn more, please visit:

For media inquiries please contact:Kaitlin BuckleyMarketing Coordinatorkaitlin.buckley(at)451research(dot)com T: 617.598.7212

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Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own – Networks Asia

One of the first tasks Tom Doria was charged with when he was brought on board as CIO of SeneGence International late last year was to evaluate cloud services for ERP. The global manufacturer and multilevel marketing company for womens cosmetics is experiencing tremendous growth and its platform couldnt match the pace needed for the company to remain competitive, says Doria.

We have been using an ERP package that was designed more for a small or medium business market and didnt have the extensibility and scalability capabilities that we were looking for to run a Fortune 500 company, he says.

Doria is in the throes of evaluating all the major players in the ERP space, but has no doubt the cloud is the future home for SeneGences core business apps.

In fact, while he continues his research, as an interim step, Doria has already moved all the companys Acumatica ERP processes into Microsoft Azure to take advantage of what he calls scalability and survivability.

He has no illusions that a full-blown migration will be a quick or easy process. Implementing an ERP package is not an instantaneous journey; it takes 12 months or potentially longer. But Doria is convinced it will be well worth it and be a panacea for helping SeneGence address the needs of a high-volume business that operates 24/7/365.

Momentum for cloud ERP growing

SeneGence is by no means alone. By 2020, the organizational norm will be hybrid ERP environments, where a combination of on-premises and cloud-based models will be deployed, according to PwC.

Gartner projects at least half of large enterprises will successfully implement a software-as-a-service strategy by 2025 and run their core ERP systems in the cloud. The reasons mirror why other workloads and apps are steadily being moved to the cloud: scalability, reliability, elasticity and cost savings, to name a few. IT leaders also say maintaining hardware, software and infrastructure is no longer a core part of their business, and freeing up IT resources enables staff to play a more strategic role in helping their organizations be innovative and competitive.

Businesses need to think differently than they did 20 years ago, explains Michael Guay, research director of ERP strategy at Gartner. When it comes to deciding whether to move an ERP system to the cloud or keep it on-premises, Guay tells clients they need to strike a balance between the functionality I get and how much of a good fit is it, versus going with best of breed, which will make my life more complicated because it means more vendors and more products in the mix.

Its not an either-or proposition, he adds. The reason a lot of people were dissatisfied with their ERP system [was because] the decision was not Should I buy from one or two vendors if you were an Oracle shop you bought from Oracle. Often, that meant you had a functional app that didnt suit the needs of the business, so you had to customize a solution and that leads you down a very bad path.

By contrast, most cloud vendors allow you to extend a suite without having to modify the code, Guay adds.

Human resources systems, for example, are a natural fit for the cloud because there is not a tremendous amount of integration required for them to work with other systems, he says. In that case, an organization might opt to buy its financials and HR systems from the same vendor. Its important to look at the functionality the systems provide and determine whether they have so much data flowing between the two that it makes sense to get the components from the same vendor, or if they can buy standalone systems, he says.

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Cloud ERP: The rising alternative to hosting your own – Networks Asia

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Scientists Propose a New Kind of Quantum Computer, But What … – Gizmodo

There are weeks where it seems like every piece of physics news mentions quantum computingbut we are nowhere near a quantum iPhone. You probably remember that computers can consist of billions of nanometer-scale transistors etched into silicon. Those chips used to be enormous, room-sized setups where instead of transistors, there were tubes the size of light bulbs. Physicists in the quantum computing world are still trying to pick out the best vacuum tubes.

Headlines emerged today mentioning a new kind of qubit that could make quantum computers more easily. But it would help to first understand where quantum computing is overall.

Heres a quick quantum computing recap. Regular computer bits store information with a binary yes-no system, like a wire with or without a current. A quantum bit, or qubit, instead relies on the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics: instead of yes and no, theres a pair of options with an associated probability for each. There are algorithms in science and artificial intelligence that could run more quickly or efficiently with such a computing system. There are some mechanical systems that store qubits, but theyve proven expensive, bulky, or difficult to keep in that fragile quantum state without collapsing into a classical bitwith a probability of 100 percent yes or no.

A team of researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia and Purdue University in the US now have a blueprint for a new kind of qubit and therefore a new kind of quantum computing system, one built into silicon just like the parts of a regular computer. Such a system could potentially be important as a scaleable, space-saving qubit that stays quantum. But whether it will work remains to be seen; someone actually needs to build a computer based on it.

This design provides a realizable blueprint for scalable spin-based quantum computers in silicon, the authors write in the paper, published today in the journal Nature Communications.

The paper builds on Bruce Kanes well-known 1998 quantum computer proposal in Nature, where qubits are stored as properties of atoms, and performing computer operations is done by applying an electric field. The team proposes what they call flip-flop qubits, where a phosphorous atom sits in a silicon semiconductor. The electron and the nucleus both contain intrinsic properties called spin that can assume values called up and down (spin is a property built into particles like magnetism is built into fridge magnets). The flip-flop qubits ones and zeroes become stored when an electric field causes the electron and nucleus spins to snap into opposite states, one up and the other down, or vice versa.

These qubits would have a few benefits, say the researchers: Theyd have very low error rates, for example. Qubits are fragile things, so any real-world quantum computer must still work regardless of whether some of its qubits fall apart, and errors should be as infrequent as possible. These qubits are also built into silicon and controlled by electric fields, meaning they could potentially be integrated into silicon chips. The qubits can interact with one another over large distances, which leaves room for other non-quantum pieces of the quantum computer. But the authors point out that some challenges do exist, including the handling of noise and phonons (tiny vibrations).

This is just one of several ideas researchers have for qubits. Companies are already plowing ahead building quantum computersyou may have heard of the controversial D-Wave computer with two thousand qubits (this is far less powerful than scientists would want, and theres debate over whether it can outperform any classical computers). The D-Wave relies on superconductors to create its qubits, materials with no electronic resistance that show quantum mechanical effects on macroscopic scales. There are also existing ion traps, where atoms on some surface are trapped by electric fields, and optics solutions where qubit information gets stored on light particles or photons.

As far as this latest idea goes, its potentially a big advance, Na Young Kim, Associate Professor at the University of Waterloos Institute for Quantum Computing told Gizmodo in an email. At the moment, ion traps and superconducting systems seem to stand in the front line, but there are big hurdles to overcome. Silicon systems may have a great potential to scale up if a robust design is solidified, and translated to present silicon technologies, she said. In that sense, this work certainly pushes silicon systems closer to the next phase of quantum computing development.

Its important to stay realistic with all of this though. Martin LaForest, senior manager of scientific outreach also at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo recently told me that were now at the junction where physical quantum computer blueprints are beginning to meet theoretical demand required to reap quantum computings benefits. But were still a ways off from a computer that scientists actually use. Chris Wilson (again from the IQC) recently told me that a quantum computer that works the way you think when you hear computer would require possibly a hundred thousand physical qubits. Youre talking about a machine that looks like a modern supercomputer, something that fills a warehouse, he said.

Ultimately, this latest advance is a blueprint for what could potentially be some important quantum computer hardware. Even still, dont expect to see a quantum computer in your office any time soon (you know, unless you work at IBM or Google).

[Nature Communications]

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Quantum detectives in the hunt for the world’s first quantum computer – Phys.Org

Launch of the University of Sydney partnership with Microsoft.Front row: Ph.D. candidate Alice Mahoney with Microsoft’s David Pritchard. Back row (R-L): Station Q Sydney director Professor David Reilly; Microsoft’s Douglas Carmean; Station Q Sydney senior research scientist Dr. Maja Cassidy; University of Sydney Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson, postdoctoral researcher Dr. John Hornibrook and University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr. Michael Spence. Credit: Jayne Ion/University of Sydney

Scientists at the University of Sydney are entering a new phase of development to scale up the next generation of quantum-engineered devices.

These devices will form the heart of the first practical topological quantum computers.

A study released today in Nature Communications confirms one of the prerequisites for building these devices.

An author of that paper, Dr Maja Cassidy, said: “Here at Station Q Sydney we are building the next generation of devices that will use quasiparticles known as Majorana fermions as the basis for quantum computers.”

Dr Cassidy said the $150 million Sydney Nanoscience Hub provides a world-class environment in which to build the next generation of devices.

Microsoft’s Station Q will move scientific equipment into the Nanoscience Hub’s clean rooms – controlled environments with low levels of pollutants and steady temperatures – over the next few months as it increases capacity to develop quantum machines.

Detective hunt

Dr Cassidy said that building these quantum devices is a “bit like going on a detective hunt”.

“When Majorana fermions were first shown to exist in 2012, there were many who said there could be other explanations for the findings,” she said.

A challenge to show the findings were caused by Majoranas was put to the research team led by Professor Leo Kouwenhoven, who now leads Microsoft’s Station Q in the Netherlands.

The paper published today meets an essential part of that challenge.

In essence, it proves that electrons on a one-dimensional semiconducting nanowire will have a quantum spin opposite to its momentum in a finite magnetic field.

“This information is consistent with previous reports observing Majorana fermions in these nanowires,” Dr Cassidy said.

She said the findings are not just applicable to quantum computers but will be useful in spintronic systems, where the quantum spin and not the charge is used for information in classical systems.

Dr Cassidy conducted the research while at the Technical University Delft in the Netherlands, where she held a post-doctorate position. She has since returned to Australia and is based at the University of Sydney Station Q partnership with Microsoft.

University of Sydney Professor David Reilly is the director of Station Q Sydney.

“This is practical science at the cutting-edge,” Professor Reilly said. “We have hired Dr Cassidy because her ability to fabricate next-generation quantum devices is second to none.”

He said Dr Cassidy was one of many great minds attracted to work at Station Q Sydney already this year. “And there are more people joining us soon at Sydney as we build our capacity.”

Professor Reilly last week won the Australian Financial Review award for Emerging Leadership in Higher Education.

Explore further: Majorana highway on a chip

More information: J. Kammhuber et al, Conductance through a helical state in an Indium antimonide nanowire, Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00315-y

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Quantum detectives in the hunt for the world’s first quantum computer – Phys.Org

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Quantum computer a possibility in 10 years – –

It looks like a prop from Doctor Who or Hollywood’s idea of a mad professor’s crazy invention.

But the glittering lump of steel sprouting foil-wrapped pipes balanced on a stack of books and magazines represents a revolution in computing that could change the world.

The 60cm tall machine housed in a cramped laboratory at the University of Sussex is a prototype ion qubit quantum computer.

Still a work in progress, it is designed to demonstrate technology that marks a leap forward in attempts to build unimaginably powerful computers based on the weird principles of quantum physics.

Scientists hope that in as little as 10 years they will be able to scale up the device to produce the first commercially available universal quantum computer capable of solving myriad different problems.

Quantum computers are the ultimate multi-taskers, carrying out many operations at once to work millions of times faster than conventional computers.

They could theoretically unravel incredibly complex problems in days that would take a modern supercomputer billions of years to solve, and transform fields such as finance, drug discovery, biochemistry, materials science and encryption.

A conventional computer stores “bits” of information as binary code sequences of zeroes and ones, but a quantum computer “qubit” can be a zero, a one, both a zero and a one, or an infinite number of values in between.

That is due to the strange ability of subatomic particles to be in more than one state at the same time, until they are observed or interfered with. Only then does one or other value materialise. In a similar way, a spinning coin hides its identity until a hand stops it to reveal a face that is heads or tails.

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Brighton, Professor Winfried Hensinger, who heads the university’s quantum technology lab, says even Albert Einstein was “freaked out” by quantum effects and called them “spooky”.

Then 10 to 20 years ago physicists started asked themselves whether it might be possible to build a quantum device that could perform certain computations “unbelievably fast”.

“What does unbelievably fast mean?” said Hensinger “Unbelievably fast means that it could calculate something that even the fastest supercomputer in the world would take billions of years to calculate in minutes, days or weeks.

“It means quantum computers can solve problems you couldn’t even dream about solving before.”

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Quantum computer a possibility in 10 years – –

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