A government-owned lab in Los Alamos claims it has been running a "quantum internet" for more than two years, MIT Technology Review reports. Researchers worked around the traditional difficulties of interlinking quantum-based networks by creating something of a classical-quantum network hybrid.
Quantum mechanics exposes the whacky underpinnings upon which our reality appears based. It's a seemingly unintuitive realm where sub-atomic particles behave like waves, particles simultaneously exist in two or more places and mutually exclusive outcomes can all be proven mathematically true.
Quantum computers have long-been heralded as the ultimate problem solver: a machine capable of solving problems by analyzing many, many, many possibilities at once. Even though quantum computing is likely a ways off, some quantum mechanical phenomena like quantum dots already have to be taken into account when designing a modern microprocessor.
When applied to networking though, quantum principles promise an inherently secure mode of communication, one which (theoretically) cannot be eavesdropped, tampered with or otherwise observed except by its target recipient. Quantum networks exploit naturally-occurring features seemingly baked into the fabric of our universe -- quantum entanglement, probability and observation principles -- to prevent tampering. Any attempts to alter or even observe transmissions sent over a quantum network should alter its contents, tipping off detection mechanisms attuned to such changes.
Above: Infamous double-slit experiment reveals the crazy nature of quantum mechanics
Although this innate inability to observe data during transmission is great in terms of security, it has proved challenging for researchers. Traditional routers must "observe" data packets in order to route the flow of traffic across networks. This act "dirties" the data, either scrambling it or making it insecure before it reaches its final destination.
To work around this issue, researchers developed a method of converting quantum data into classical data... and then back again into its quantum counterpart. By crafting a hub-and-spoke network model, the "spokes" transmit quantum information while a central hub receives it, converts it and re-transmits it once again as packets of the quantum-kind.
The upshot of Los Alamos' design is its relative simplicity. However, there are two glaring limitations.
First, the hub-and-spoke network model itself is a problem. This brand of network topology is not easily scaled, so deploying this solution as a global quantum Internet would be inefficient at best, intractable at worst.
The second shortcoming is diminished security. While the data packets traveling along the network's spokes are protected by the magic of quantum theory, data transcoded at the central hub is not. As a result, the hub's security determines the trustworthiness of the entire network. This detail defeats the "perfect" security promised by a purely quantum network.
The Google Nexus 7 is the first Google tablet and is manufactured in partnership with Asus. It features a 7-inch 1280 x 800 display and a Tegra 3 SoC which itself comprises a quad-core CPU and twelve-core GPU. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, also you get a front-facing camera and ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
The Nexus 10 is Google's rival of the full-size Apple's iPad. It is manufactured by Samsung and is powered by a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 chip, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2. The Nexus packs a 10" screen at 2560 x 1600 resolution (300ppi). Other features include microUSB, Micro HDMI and not one but two NFC chips.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
Downloads and Drivers
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Receive a weekly update of our best features and tech news you don't want to miss: