Google claims to have reached quantum supremacy
Researchers say their quantum computer has calculated an impossible problem for ordinary machines
Madhumita Murgia and Richard Waters September 20, 2019
Google claims to have built the first quantum computer that can carry out calculations beyond the ability of today’s most powerful supercomputers, a landmark moment that has been hotly anticipated by researchers.
A paper by Google’s researchers seen by the FT, that was briefly posted earlier this week on a Nasa website before being removed, claimed that their processor was able to perform a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds that would take today’s most advanced classical computer, known as Summit, approximately 10,000 years.
The researchers said this meant the “quantum supremacy”, when quantum computers carry out calculations that had previously been impossible, had been achieved.
“This dramatic speed-up relative to all known classical algorithms provides an experimental realisation of quantum supremacy on a computational task and heralds the advent of a much-anticipated computing paradigm,” the authors wrote.
“To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor.”