It’s a tantalizing prospect for traders whose success often hinges on microseconds: a desktop PC algorithm that crunches market data faster than today’s most advanced supercomputers. Japan’s Toshiba says it has the technology to make such rapid-fire calculations a reality — not quite quantum computing, but perhaps the next best thing. From a report: The claim is being met with a mix of intrigue and skepticism at financial firms in Tokyo and around the world. Toshiba’s “Simulated Bifurcation Algorithm” is designed to harness the principles behind quantum computers without requiring the use of such machines, which currently have limited applications and can cost millions of dollars to build and keep near absolute zero temperature. Toshiba says its technology, which may also have uses outside finance, runs on PCs made from off-the-shelf components. “You can just plug it into a server and run it at room temperature,” Kosuke Tatsumura, a senior research scientist at Toshiba’s Computer & Network Systems Laboratory, said in an interview. The Tokyo-based conglomerate, while best known for its consumer electronics and nuclear reactors, has long conducted research into advanced technologies. Toshiba has said it needs a partner to adopt the algorithm for real-world use, and financial firms have taken notice as they grapple for an edge in markets increasingly dominated by machines. Banks, brokerages and asset managers have all been experimenting with quantum computing, although viable applications are generally considered to be some time away. Read more of this story at Slashdot.