Google affirms ‘quantum supremacy’ for computer

Owning to the latest announcement by Google, an advanced computer has achieved “quantum supremacy” by surpassing the performance of conventional devices. The technology giant- Sycamore quantum processor could perform a specific task in 200 seconds, which would usually take 10,000 years to complete for world’s best supercomputers.

According to sources, scientists have worked on quantum computers since decades as they also promise faster speeds. The result has appeared in Nature Journal.

The unit of information known as ‘bit’ in classical computers have a value of either 1 or 0. This is however equivalent in a quantum system. Sources reveal the qubit (quantum bit) can be both 1 and 0 at the same time.

This phenomenon has paved way for multiple calculations that are carried out simultaneously. The qubits however need to be in sync through a quantum effect known as entanglement. This was termed as “spooky action at a distance” by Albert Einstein.

Scientists have tried to build working devices with enough qubits in the past in order to make them competitive through conventional types of computer. Sycamore has 54 qubits. Reports allege, since one of them did not work, the device ran on 53 qubits.

John Martinis of Google along with his colleagues set a random sampling task to the processor as it produced a set of numbers which has a truly random distribution.

Sycamore could complete the task within three minutes and 20 seconds. As opposed to that the researchers determine in their paper that Summit, which is the world’s best supercomputer would otherwise take 10,000 years to complete the task.

“It’s an impressive device and certainly an impressive milestone. We’re still decades away from an actual quantum computer that would be able to solve problems we’re interested in,” commented Prof Jonathan Oppenheim, from UCL. He was not involved with the latest study.

“It’s an interesting test, it shows they have a lot of control over their device, it shows that they have low error rates. But it’s nowhere near the kind of precision we would need to have a full-scale quantum computer.”

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