25 Oct, 2019 | BANKSY
Google has announced that has achieved quantum computer supremacy in an article released by the scientific journal Nature. This news comes one month after it leaked, due to an apparent accidental paper released too early.
Google claims that its 54-qubit Sycamore processor is capable to perform a calculation in 200 seconds that would have taken the most powerful computer around 10,000 years to complete. That also means that the calculation, which involved random numbers, is impossible to be achieved on a traditional, non-quantum machine.
IBM, the company that owns the supercomputer that Google claims to have surpassed, is challenging Google’s claims. In a blog post published, IBM claims that the same exact task could be completed on a classical system in just 2.5 days, contrary to 10,000 years. IBM also said that Google “failed to fully account for plentiful disk storage” when calculating how long its traditional supercomputer would take to perform the calculation. Despite IBM’s attempts to devalue Google’s achievement, many in the research community welcomed the news, with scientists quoted by The New York Times likening Google’s milestone to the Wright brothers’ first plane flight in 1903. We may still be far away from having quantum computers, but Google’s achievements could at last give hope and solid proof that such a future is now a matter of time.