Google's super computer achieves 'quantum supremacy'
Google says it used its Sycamore quantum processor to perform a target computation in 200 seconds.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA — New research by Google has shown that its Sycamore quantum processor was able to perform a target computation in 200 seconds.
In a blogpost, Google explained that the same experiment would take the world's fastest supercomputer approximately 10,000 years to produce a similar result.
Classical computers process data as individual bits, with each bit labelled 1 or a 0.
Quantum computers use qubits. Each qubit is capable of storing 1 and 0 at the same time. This is known as superposition.
Qubits are also able to bind to one another and work together in a process called entanglement. This allows the quantum computer to simultaneously calculate various solutions to one single problem at the same time.
For the experiment, Google developed a 54-qubit computing chip called "Sycamore" for its quantum computer, though only 53 were used because one qubit was inoperable.
Sycamore is comprised of a two-dimensional grid in which each qubit is attached to four other qubits.
The quantum computer was able to sample around one million random strings of numbers in approximately three minutes, according to the study.
According to Google's blog post, the company plans to make the Sycamore processor available for academic researchers, collaborators and companies interested in developing algorithms for the technology.
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