Quantum Computing – Does it have anything to offer?

lokakuu 5, 2020

Quantum computing sounds like science fiction and has nothing to do with our daily lives. 70 years ago, when the first transistor computer experiments were done, I’m pretty sure that people had similar thoughts¹. “Everything can be calculated with pen and paper, why do we need computers to do the job?” After a while, the benefits of computers and IT-systems were noticed. Nowadays we would be helpless without an embedded system in our pockets.

Smaller isn’t always better

The same will probably happen to quantum computers during the next 70 years. As we are demanding more and more from the traditional binary computing, the physical limit of transistor size is getting closer². The past five decades or so, electronics have obeyed “Moore’s law”. It says that computers double in speed every two years, which has been correct at least for now³.

Photons or qubits to the rescue?

As transistors are getting smaller, electrons have trouble getting through the smallest components. We could replace the electrons with significantly faster photons. But it doesn’t solve the issue limiting us from making “infinitely” fast computers. Photon chips would still use a binary system, which is limited to 0 and 1. 

With quantum computers using qubits instead of bits, the state can be in principle both 0 and 1 at the same time, in superpositionWithout getting deeper into the details, this allows fast computing. For example, Google made an experiment with their 53-qubit system. They solved a numeric problem in 200 seconds that would have taken 10 000 years from the fastest supercomputer.

Enabling scientific breakthroughs

The result itself didn’t have much use, but it demonstrated the power of quantum computing. As a species, we are comfort-seeking and therefore we use brute force to solve the most complicated scientific issues. Faster computers would thus allow us all sorts of scientific discoveries. Ranging from vaccines, antibiotics, AI, weather and climate models to cosmological findings.

Enjoy the ride

It takes years before quantum computers are practical. And they’ll probably never be on our desktops due to technical issues such as cooling. But as we have enjoyed the progress of binary computing, we can enjoy the progress of quantum computing too. In the future we may not have to worry about global pandemics due to more efficient vaccine development. Or to carry an umbrella just in case because weather forecasts are 99,9 % correct.  

In the meantime, we could start to organize chaos due to the randomness of quantum behavior. Thanks to global co-operation we at TT Gaskets are becoming experts at organizing chaos and coping with difficult circumstances. Therefore, we are pioneers of quantum systems and still providing you Smarter Seals for a Safer Future.

Sustainability – Has the pandemic taught us anything?

syyskuu 4, 2020

Among all this hassle with the pandemic, we have had time to think about what’s important and what could be done differently. Reduced need for commuting and working remotely has given us more free time ¹. Facilities and businesses around the world have been closed due to health reasons ². Radical decline in air traffic has caused the popular tourist attractions to be abandoned ³. And the list goes on.

Fragile economy and reduced emissions

Of course, this has not been a good thing for individuals who have lost their jobs (or lives/health for that matter) or for companies who have gone bankrupt. But in a larger scale, this has shown the fragility of our economy and that our actions can make a difference in a global scale. During the peak lockdown a couple of months ago, the daily global CO₂ emissions were reduced by 17 % . Although this change was not permanent, and the emissions are likely to grow back, it showed us how large an impact we have on our planet. 

Magical resources

And to go even further, this lockdown leads us to think how we can ensure resources for our local economy in the future, if our global suppliers are out of the equation. Before the lockdown we were nearly blind to the fact that stuff doesn’t just magically appear in our warehouses. Someone actually manufactures it, and it requires resources such as energy, raw materials and elbow grease. If these aren’t available, stuff can’t be done, no matter how many emails we send to them.

Closing the loop

One essential way to ensure resources for the future is to take care of materials we have available, not to consider them as junk after a while. Recycling is important of course, but things should be stepped up to create a circular economy model, where materials cycle in a closed loop as long as possible. Instead of our current linear model, where products are mostly landfilled after use, the products are either renewed or recycled to create new products.

Giving example

Doing a major change like this isn’t easy but taking small steps towards the goal of a more sustainable and stable future is beneficial. We at TT Gaskets are also concerned of the environment and are planning to start a sustainable development program that can be taken into action in other companies as well. The actions include for example investing in solar energy, enhancing material use and recycling as well as finding biobased alternatives for fossil materials. First steps towards a greener, smarter and safer future has already been taken, and we hope that you join us in this journey.

solar, energy, sustainability, green, economy
Solar energy is key in our sustainability program.

Sensors – Trouble or Peacemakers?

elokuu 4, 2020

You have probably come across with sensors at some point in life. At least if you are reading this, I’m pretty sure that you have, knowingly or not. Car owners, especially the ones that own a car manufactured in Southern Europe, probably know the trouble sensor issues can cause. Particularly, when you are in a hurry and your car won’t start.

Crank windows and a hammer

Whether we liked it or not, sensors are a fundamental part of modern technology ¹. And automobiles are not an exception to this ². Personally, I don’t remember the times when you could repair all cars with a hammer and a wrench, but some say that those were the days. Manually choking the carburetor and using crank windows as air conditioning had character. No sensors at sight to ruin the genuine automotive experience. 

But very few of us are actually willing to drive a car without functions that were considered luxury a few decades ago. The same goes with another devices. Who would want to have a smart phone that does not automatically switch between portrait and landscape view? Or use a paper map instead of GPS while driving?

Or elegant but simple technology?

Dozens of incomprehensibly small sensors make our lives easier on a daily basis. And the number of sensors in devices is certainly not decreasing as we are moving towards IoT environments ³

And even though the size of sensors may be difficult to perceive, the functioning of them is not that complex. They are simply components that sense physical phenomena and transmit the information forward ¹. If you know how to wash your hands, which is especially important nowadays, you know how sensor circuits function. If the water is too hot, the “sensors” in your hands tell us so and we adjust the temperature from the tap. 

So, remember to wash your hands thoroughly and think about sensors when the water temperature feels pleasant. We at TT Gaskets are also doing so to stay safe and provide Smarter Sealing for a Safer Future with sensors. 

Small sensors make our life easier and create endless possibilities
Surface mounted resistors (brown rectangles) are large compared to modern sensors.