Google Asserts’quantum supremacy’ for computer
Google claims an advanced computer has attained”quantum supremacy” for the first time, surpassing the performance of traditional devices.
The tech giant’s Sycamore quantum chip was able to carry out a particular job in 200 seconds that would take the world’s best supercomputers 10,000 years to complete.
Scientists have been working on quantum computers for decades since they promise much faster speeds.
The result appears in Nature journal.
In classical computers, the unit of data is called a”bit” and may have a value of either 0 or 1. However, its equivalent in a quantum system – the qubit (quantum bit) – can be both 0 and 1 at the same time.
This phenomenon opens the door for several calculations to be performed concurrently. But the qubits will need to be synchronized with a quantum effect called entanglement, which Albert Einstein termed”spooky action at a distance”.
But, scientists have struggled to build working devices with enough qubits to make them competitive with conventional kinds of computers.
Sycamore comprises 54 qubits, although one of them didn’t work, so the device ran on 53 qubits.
In their Nature paper, John Martinis of Google, in Mountain View, and colleagues put the chip a random sampling job – where it generates a set of numbers that has a really random distribution.
Sycamore was able to finish the job in three minutes and 20 minutes. By comparison, the researchers claim in their paper that Summit, the world’s greatest supercomputer, would take 10,000 years to complete the job.
But, IBM, which has been working on quantum computers of its own, questioned a few of Google’s figures.
“We assert that a Perfect simulation of the same task can be performed on a classical system in 2.5 days and with much greater fidelity,” IBM researchers Edwin Pednault, John Gunnels, and Jay Gambetta stated in a blog article
“This is actually a conservative, worst-case estimate, and we hope that with added refinements the classical price of this simulation can be further decreased.”
They also queried Google’s definition of quantum supremacy and said it had the capacity to mislead.
“First because… by its strictest definition that the goal hasn’t been met. But more basically, because quantum computers won’t ever predominate’supreme’ over classical computers, but will instead work in concert with them, because each has their specific strengths.”