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Smartnership t1_j7bh8wu wrote


>The essential idea of these analog devices, Goldhaber-Gordon said, is to build a kind of hardware analogy to the problem you want to solve, rather than writing some computer code for a programmable digital computer.

>For example, say that you wanted to predict the motions of the planets in the night sky and the timing of eclipses. You could do that by constructing a mechanical model of the solar system, where someone turns a crank, and rotating interlocking gears represent the motion of the moon and planets.

[Analog - Antikythra Mechanism]

>In fact, such a mechanism was discovered in an ancient shipwreck off the coast of a Greek island dating back more than 2000 years. This device can be seen as a very early analog computer.

[Back to the Point]

>Not to be sniffed at, analog machines were used even into the late 20th century for mathematical calculations that were too hard for the most advanced digital computers at the time.

>But to solve quantum physics problems, the devices need to involve quantum components.

[Crux of the advance]

>The new Quantum Simulator architecture involves electronic circuits with nanoscale components whose properties are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Importantly, many such components can be fabricated, each one behaving essentially identically to the others.

>This is crucial for analog simulation of quantum materials, where each of the electronic components in the circuit is a proxy for an atom being simulated, and behaves like an 'artificial atom." Just as different atoms of the same type in a material behave identically, so too must the different electronic components of the analog computer.

[Why is it important?]

>The new design therefore offers a unique pathway for scaling up the technology from individual units to large networks capable of simulating bulk quantum matter. Furthermore, the researchers showed that new microscopic quantum interactions can be engineered in such devices. The work is a step towards developing a new generation of scalable solid-state analog quantum computers.


FNLN_taken t1_j7czqtl wrote

So, basically an FPGA with quantum components. The interesting part is the scalable solid-state quantum components, imo, which to my knowledge don't yet exist.