Leaked Google computer took about 3 minutes to solve a problem it would take modern supercomputers 10,000 years to solve

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Leaked Google computer took about 3 minutes to solve a problem it would take modern supercomputers 10,000 years to solve Empty Leaked Google computer took about 3 minutes to solve a problem it would take modern supercomputers 10,000 years to solve

Post by Ben Reilly on Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:37 pm

Scientific breakthroughs don’t always go exactly to plan. On Friday, a draft research paper erroneously uploaded to Nasa’s website accidentally tipped the world off that Google had reached a quantum computing milestone: quantum supremacy.

It’s a goal that Google – and its competitors – had in their sights for years. In 2017, the firm predicted it’d reach quantum supremacy by the end of that year, but that deadline came and went without any breakthrough. In the intervening years IBM and Intel nipped at Google’s heels, testing quantum computers with ever increasing numbers of qubits – the units of information that are the reason that quantum computers are so potentially powerful.

Now it appears that Google has reached this particular milestone ahead of its competitors. The draft paper details how Google researchers used a quantum processor called Sycamore containing 53 functioning qubits to solve a random sampling problem that would have taken the world’s best supercomputers 10,000 years to work out. It took Sycamore just three minute and 20 seconds. Google, which partnered with Nasa for this project, did not respond to requests for comment.

But this breakthrough doesn’t mean that useful quantum computers are just around the corner. Not by a long shot.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/google-quantum-computers-supremacy

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Ben Reilly
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