Prepare for cybersecurity impact! IT services corporation Atos has launched the “world’s first commercially available” machine-system capable of simulating up to 40 quantum bits (Qubits).

The simulator, named Atos Quantum Learning Machine (Atos QLM), is powered by an ultra-compact supercomputer and a universal programming language.

Its uses naturally extend far beyond fintech, such as for scientific development, but Thierry Breton, chairman and CEO of Atos, says quantum physics “will lead to profound changes notably in cybersecurity, one of the key strategic priorities of businesses”.

The company adds that in the coming years, quantum computing “should be able to tackle the explosion of data brought about by big data and the internet of things (IoT)”.

The machine is available in five power configurations (30 to 40 Qubits) and enables researchers, students and engineers to develop and test quantum applications and algorithms.

It’s not alone, as in May, IBM built and tested its most powerful universal quantum computing processors.

At that time, Big Blue said this development opens up a range of possibilities within the fintech world. Namely, solutions to optimisation problems found in supply chains, modelling financial data, and risk analysis; making facets of artificial intelligence (AI) such as machine learning more powerful; or using the laws of quantum physics to enhance the security of private data in the cloud.

More with Moore

If you want more information, then Atos gets geeky with its explanations on how to overcome the physical boundaries of current computing.

The company says Moore’s Law, which governs the microprocessor industry and has structured computing for over 50 years, “will soon become obsolete” – and the quantum computer, based on the principles of quantum mechanics, is expected to overcome the physical boundaries of present-day computing, thus opening up new opportunities, particularly in intensive computing.

Amongst the calculating capabilities offered by quantum computing is quasi-instantaneous factorisation in prime numbers (Shor’s algorithm) which would make most of the current asymmetric encryption algorithms, such as RSA – the basis of all current internet security and banking systems – “vulnerable”. (RSA stands for Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman, who first publicly described it in 1978.)

It is for this reason that Atos states it is working to implement “quantum safe” security algorithms, the level of complexity of which would allow data to be protected from any unlawful decryption, including by a quantum computer.

Finally, in our Monday mindset on 5 June, Ray Kurzweil, Google’s illustrious chief futurist, talked about computing becoming very clever and omni-present.