Google said that it had achieved a breakthrough in computer research by solving a complex problem in minutes using a quantum computer that might take today’s most powerful supercomputer thousands of years to crack. The breakthrough was reported in a paper published in Science Journal- Nature after weeks of controversy following the leak of a draft leaked over whether Google’s claim of “quantum supremacy” was valid.
“We’re hoping that when people start using this and looking at performance stability and cloud interface, they’ll get really excited about what we have to offer at Google,” said John Martinis, the company’s chief scientist for quantum hardware.
Computer scientists have made several attempts to harness the behavior of sub-atomic particles that can simultaneously exist in different states. Moreover, Quantum computing makes use of quantum bits or qubits that can be both one and zero at the same time. This property is called ‘superposition’ and multiplies exponentially as qubits become entangled with each other and therefore more qubits that can be strung together, the more powerful a quantum computer becomes.
“For those of us working in science and technology, it’s the ‘hello world’ moment we’ve been waiting for – the most meaningful milestone to date in the quest to date to make quantum computing a reality,” Mr. Pichai wrote in a blog.
Moreover, IBM said a supercomputer employing a different set-up could solve the same challenge in under three days. Google defended its place by saying that it has manufactured a handful of chips with 54 qubits that are more powerful than the standard 64-bit chip in many consumer devices.
Further, Torsten Siebert, manager of the quantum computing research program at Germany’s Fraunhofer Society said Google had achieved impressive fidelity in its experiment involving a large number of qubits.