Quantum Supremacy Achieved, Says Google; IBM Pushes Back

Google Claims'Quantum Supremacy’ With New Processor That Could Change Computing Forever

Research Scientist and Lead Production Quantum Hardware Sycamore processor

Thus Google reckons its Sycamore based system met the criteria for quantum supremacy - namely that it can complete calculations that a classical computer cannot feasibly complete.

However, technology is still way too fragile for commercialization, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Quantum computers are a new kind of computing device that could one day be capable of solving problems that classical computers can't. The recent advancements that have been made could have huge implication for future technology, but you probably shouldn't expect to find a quantum chip in your net laptop or desktop computer. The headlines about Google's super-powerful juggernaut has made many wonder whether Bitcoin, whose value derives from the immutability of its Blockchain, is in danger.

This is a task that - as more quantum bits are used to build the circuit -becomes increasingly taxing for classical computers to simulate.

The calculation employed by Google has little practical use, Preskill noted, other than to test how well the processor works. Rather than analyzing things one at a time, a quantum computer can multitask-and every additional qubit increases its processing power exponentially.

Google's findings, however, faced pushback from other industry researchers. They claimed that, according to their measurements, it would take the world's fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to produce a similar output. One feared outcome of quantum computing - though experts say it's likely still decades away - is a computer powerful enough to break today's best cryptography.

This weird saga began with the publishing of a new research paper in Nature where Google engineers claimed to have achieved the feat of quantum supremacy using the company's 53-qubit Sycamore processor.Quantum supremacy refers to the goal of building a quantum computer capable of performing a practical task that even the fastest classical processors would struggle with.

On Oct. 23, Google published the results of its quantum supremacy experiment, which Aaronson peer-reviewed.

Whether or not Google achieved "quantum supremacy", the research suggests the field is maturing.

Google announced on Wednesday the development of a quantum computer that was able to perform a task in 200 seconds that the world's fastest supercomputer would take 10,000 years to compute. In a blog post published just a couple of days before (on the basis of the leak), IBM says that the same calculation could be done in 2.5 days.

Google says the 53-bit quantum Sycamore can pave the way for an untold number of new technologies. Both of those arguments were addressed by John Preskill, the scientist who coined the phrase in 2012, in a recent article where he concluded that Google's breakthrough is nonetheless very significant.

To test their "Sycamore" processor, Google designed a random-number sampling task specifically to put the quantum computer through its paces.

As quantum computing remains very much in its infancy, it's hard to imagine how and in what ways it might impact human society, though no-one disputes its potential to impact just about everything.

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