[Cryptography] Quantum computers and the Government

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Thu Sep 2 16:26:20 EDT 2021

+1 John

Back in the day, I was doing my doctorate in computer science in a Nuclear
Physics lab. As a result, I know a physics experiment when I see one.

Why has VLSI scaled so far? Because halving the minimum feature size
doubles the cost of the fab but increases performance by a factor of 8
(unless heat is an issue and you have to lower the supply voltages and make
do with 4).

Are any of the existing Quantum Computing schemes scalable? Only trapped
ion which doesn't actually work yet. The Josephson Junction computers are
cool but not quite cool enough to produce a result. Doubling the
capabilities of those machines requires much more than double the cost.

Sure, IBM/Google can put 50 Qbits on a chip, but they can't do a real
computation with them before everything collapses.

I think it is highly unlikely that this is a problem that can be solved
simply by throwing money at it. It is therefore highly unlikely that the
NSA are significantly ahead of industry and even less likely that any
dictatorial regime is able to do it.

It is very important to consider the possibility of a QC breakthrough and I
have considered that in part for the Mesh but I am in no hurry to write
code for that.
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