Monday, September 19, 2011

No. 313: Calculation principle to realize a supercomputer as small as a palm (September 20, 2011)

A research team led by Professor YoshihisaYamamoto of National Institute of Informatics developed the calculation principle to realize a new and ultracompact supercomputer. The idea is a kind of the quantum computer that calculates using light. It shortens the calculation time besides opening up the road to a palm supercomputer. It can finish the calculation that the current supercomputer needs a year within a second. The research team plans to build a trial model in five years in alliance with public companies. The mechanism utilizes laser light from for the input of problems and the output of solutions. A problem is incorporated into the optical circuit, and laser light is applied. The laser light is modified to agree with the optical circuit to work out a solution.

The source and detector of laser light used in the new principle are already on the market. As the principle uses only those operable at normal temperature, cooling is not necessary. Made up of small components, it can realize an ultracompact supercomputer put on a palm. The existing supercomputers need a tremendous amount of time for calculations because they compare all possible solutions under lots of conditions provided to find the optimal solution. Accordingly, it is expected to be helpful for efficient solution of the NP-complete problem. The quantum computer is position as the next-generation computer, and basic research is accelerating worldwide.     

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