Analogue Computers Computer Innovation Center Ulm
Contractor
Project partner

Objective

We are building a classic computer based on the paradigms of quantum-inspired classical computing and want to use analogy formation to demonstrate the superiority of analogue computing. Our objective includes the creation of a software ecosystem for controlling simulations and solving specific problems.

Analogue computers are a key technology for leveraging analogue electronics to support classic digital computing. This does not involve the explicit creation of a quantum computer, but rather a quantum-inspired analogue computer that operates according to classical principles. Unlike quantum computing, classic analogue computing is an established technology that will be ready for market in a few years, at low risk. The aim of the project is to build the largest analogue computer in the world and demonstrate the applicability of the computer, especially compared to quantum computers.

Motivation

Quantum computers are computing systems that are not based on the conventional algorithmic approach. Instead, an experiment is prepared in the form of circuits, the output of which corresponds to the solution of challenging computational problems. Most importantly, it promises greatly reduced solution times. Classic analogue computers work in a very similar way, but are not dependent on complex and expensive laboratory environments such as high vacuum or zero-point temperatures.

Although analogue computers cannot exploit quantum properties such as entanglement, they have no practical limits when it comes to their scalability to large systems. The analogue processor boards to be manufactured in the project use existing products from the semiconductor industry and can also be used in demanding environments such as embedded computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), where there is currently no prospect for quantum computers.

Challenge

An initial challenge to be tackled and solved within the framework of the project is the investigation of suitable connection topologies for large analogue computers. Innovative development is also underway in the field of programmable electronics, also known as software-defined electronics. This involves creating a software ecosystem that allows the programmable analogue computer to be used as a co-processor as transparently as possible. This includes the creation of a domain-specific programming language for the notation of analogue computing circuits and the compiler required to generate the configuration data. Numerical methods that can use an analogue co-processor directly are also being studied and developed as part of the project. Quantum simulation and problems in theoretical computer science that are thought to be solveable using quantum computers are also a central focus of the project.



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