Quantum computing to push ternary computing

Posted on Saturday, Apr 12 2008 @ 13:16 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
DailyTech reports ternary computing might make its big debut with quantum computing. Today computers only use 0 and 1 but that may change due to advances in quantum computing:
Generations of computer scientists grew up under the notion that ternary computing was just around the corner. Modern computers store information in a binary system, a logical representation of true and false. Ternary computing, on the other hand, stores information as a representation of false, null and true; 0, 1, 2 or -1, 0 and 1.

Computer storage methods going back to punch cards made binary computing methods sensible. When storage moved to magnetic and transistor-based alternatives, the binary system continued to flourish -- and any reason to switch to a ternary system was nonessential with prolific and scalable storage.

But with the advent of quantum computing, ternary computing has a new cause. Universal quantum logic gates, the building blocks of infant quantum computing, require hundreds of gates in order to complete any useful work. D-Wave's quantum computer, announced last year, consists of only 16 qubits -- just enough for a controlled NOT gate.
More details over here.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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