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Martonosi Sketches a Path for a New Type of Computing


She said the concept of hybrid systems combining classical and quantum computing is "inevitable."

Princeton University computer science professor Margaret Martonosi observed that although quantum computers are fundamentally different than classical ones, both require an efficient chain of software to operate.

Credit: David Kelly Crow

In an interview, Princeton University professor Margaret Martonosi says both quantum and classical computers need an efficient chain of software to operate, and she notes quantum computing has reached an inflection point.

"The number of [quantum bits] that can be built will foreseeably soon be large enough that one actually needs to think practically about how to build systems to compute with them," says Martonosi, who shared the 2017 ACM SenSysTest of Time award with Steve Lyon, Pei Zhang, and Chris Sadler.

She has been co-developing quantum tool flows, or software that optimizes applications, as a way of performing evaluations for determining which algorithms benefit from which technological or organizational choices, as researchers build quantum computer hardware.

Another facet of the inflection point Martonosi cites is growing industry interest and funding for quantum computer development, which is adding credibility and accelerating research.

She also believes the integration of classical and quantum computing is inevitable, envisioning quantum systems with "a classical control sequencer that steps in through a set of physical manipulations."

From Princeton University
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