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Secrets of the superfast computers of tomorrow

Tomorrow's computers: Unimaginable speed

Supercomputers can calculate several quadrillion operations per second. But even the fastest computers will almost certainly be dwarfed by the performance of tomorrow's machines. Exactly how powerful will they be? Let's see if you can keep up.

One of the most exciting possibilities is quantum computers, which, instead of performing calculations through binary digits that are either 1 or 0 (on or off), use quantum bits (or qubits), visualized in this conceptual illustration.

SEE: Photos of 10 supercomputers that are leading innovation around the world

Image: Jon Heras/Corbis