Quantum computing promises to alleviate the data center's energy drain

Quantum computing promises to alleviate the data center's energy drain ...

According to Accenture, some of the world''s largest data centers will generate 200 million tons of CO2 annually and consume 2% of electricity worldwide, according to the Aspen Global Change Institute. It estimates that the total amount will exceed 8% by 2030.

More than a decade ago, the data center became a hot topic in IT and political circles. In 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a study on server and data center energy use, costs, and efficiency opportunities.

Eventually, a green data center movement erupted in Iceland, with Verne Global, which established a hydroelectric- and geothermal-powered data center. Several years later, Microsoft made a splash with an underwater data center that utilized seawater for cooling. Gleichzeitig, Highlander recently signed an agreement to construct a commercial underwater data center at Sanya, a coastal city in China.

While many green data centers are focused on generating energy-efficient data centers, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and other companies. In a world that continues to battle a global epidemic and has seen U.S. workers abandoning their jobs at an all-time low, sustainability isn''t particularly important as it previously has.

Climate change is the single greatest health danger to humanity, leading to extreme weather events, extreme disruption of food systems, and the spread of diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Quant computing can also help address this need.

Quantum computing can assist in power carbon fixation, and in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by converting it into other beneficial substances. Plants do this naturally, but quantum computers can assist us in developing synthetic catalytic processes. Instead of challenging trial-and-error experiments, quantum computers can effectively simulate alternatives and identify effective methods to extract carbon dioxide and convert it into useful chemicals.

It''s also worth to consider how the choice of computing equipment today and in the future will influence energy usage. You might be surprised to learn that quantum computers can perform some calculations much faster using a fraction of the energy used by classical computers.

This is why a conventional data center computer may use billions of transistors. Unlike a quantum computer, you have hundreds or, eventually, millions of qubits (quantum bits). That means you only need sufficient energy to excite or move around millions of atoms instead of billions of transistors. And quantum computers can also analyse massive data sets in parallel; whereas classical computers must analyze them serially.

In certain computational challenges, I am not alone in the belief that quantum computers will be significantly more energy-efficient than supercomputers. A team of researchers from the Ames Research Center, Google, and the Oak Ridge National Lab have demonstrated this benefit. In their analysis, the quantum computer used 0.002% of the energy used by a classical computer to perform the same task.

At a time when the world''s need for solutions is bigger than ever before, Quantum computing will assist companies and researchers in addressing some of the world''s previously unsolvable challenges in a variety of areas, including drug discovery, electric vehicle battery innovation, and power grid optimization.

As a result of climate change, we all have to remember that we all were involved in this process, and we all must be aware of the potential consequences of quantum computing. The fact that quantum computers require far less energy than conventional computers makes them even more valuable.

Nir Minerbi is the co-founder and CEO of Classiq.

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