In a recent paper posted on arXiv, a group of well-known individuals within the quantum community wrote about the dynamics that are occurring in quantum computing as well as a discussion of the resource requirements to perform commercially interesting use cases. The paper points out four key trends that may enable a quantum computer to provide value in the near future. These include:

  • Variational Algorithms
  • Error Mitigation
  • Circuit Knitting
  • Commercial Exploration and Adoption of Quantum Computers

The paper goes on to describe the public key cryptography issues and reviews many of the published papers on what resources would be needed to run Shor’s algorithm to decrypt a public key. They point out that those resources are very significant and is is unlikely that a quantum computer will be able to achieve this for a long time.

So their bottom line conclusion is:

There is a credible expectation that quantum computers will be capable of performing computations which are economically-impactful before they will be capable of performing ones which are cryptographically-relevant.

Also includes a large amount of material covering resource requirements that are needed to run many different quantum algorithms. Of particular note is Appendix A which runs through 66 different algorithms for a wide variety of applications and provides estimates of the number of logical qubits and T or Toffoli gates needed to run the algorithm.

The paper, titled Assessing the Benefits and Risks of Quantum Computers is interesting reading and you view it on the arXiv here.

February 3, 2024