Even from Microsoft: Quantum supremacy’ computing feat earns respect for Google

Quantum Computer vs supercomputer

Quantum Computer vs supercomputer

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As engineers increase the number of qubits in a quantum computer, its processing power grows exponentially.

The Sycamore processor Google claims has helped it achieve "quantum supremacy".

So what problem was exactly solved? They claim that their 54-qubit quantum processor, known as Sycamore, was able to solve a random-number generation problem within 200 seconds, whereas a normal machine would have taken 10,000 years.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai alongside the company's supercomputer. In October 2018, a UC Berkley PHD student Urmila Mahadev presented a measurement protocol which would allow a classical computer to interactively verify the result of a quantum computation. Here's Gigabit's breakdown of the three applications for quantum computers that could have the biggest impact on everything from our day to day lives to the fate of hyperscale enterprises.

But not everyone is buying the hype.

Its closest rival in quantum IMB is reportedly disputing Google's claims, saying that the latter "failed to fully account for plentiful disk storage", reports The Verge. This is in fact a conservative, worst-case estimate, and we expect that with additional refinements the classical cost of the simulation can be further reduced.

Quantum computers are entirely different from traditional ones.

IBM researchers also pointed out that Google risks misleading public by suggesting that the new computers could replace the standard computers. Each bit can be either a zero or a one in the binary language of computing. Today's computers have millions of transistors.

A quantum computer, on the other hand, taps into a unusual, but fundamental phenomenon in quantum mechanics, where a subatomic particle can occupy several positions all at one time.

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While this may seem odd, it's down to the laws of quantum mechanics, which govern the behaviour of the particles which make up an atom. But its equivalent in a quantum system - the qubit (quantum bit) - can be both 1 and 0 at the same time.

"I suspect that the first claims of quantum supremacy will be followed by a lengthy period of contention, where scientists push the limits of conventional supercomputers to find a way to simulate these claimed demonstrations".

Rumours and hype have surrounded the Google quantum supremacy announcement since the team published a paper describing how they'd achieve the milestone on the arXiv physics preprint server in 2016. Quantum computers are theoretically capable of doing work vastly quicker than the computers we use today, and could fundamentally alter our understanding of the capability of machines, The Independent reported. First because ... by its strictest definition the goal has not been met. They estimated a traditional computer would have taken at least 10,000 years to complete the same problem.

Google says Sycamore can generate truly random numbers without utilizing pseudo-random formulas that classical computers use.

Sources allege, IBM which has been working on its own computers has however questioned some of the Google's figures.

It is important to note that Google and Microsoft differ in their approach to quantum computing.

IBM recently unveiled its quantum computer with 53 qubits.

The company has been working in the field of quantum computing for over a decade now.

"We can envision quantum computing helping to design new materials - lightweight batteries for cars and airplanes, new catalysts that can produce fertilizer more efficiently. and more effective medicines", Google's research team said about the possibilities this technology could bring.

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