Google has officially announced last week that they have achieved a breakthrough of “quantum supremacy.” Physicist John Preskill coined this phrase in 2012. It refers to a quantum computer first use, so that it can make calculations at a very high speed than we know how to do it even with very high tech supercomputers available to us.
This milestone is achieved by a team of researchers from the University of science and technology of China. The calculations that are made don’t need to be serviceable, like Enrico Fermi’s nuclear chain reaction in 1942. It just has to prove a point.
What is Quantum supremacy?
A lot of people wouldn’t understand what actually quantum supremacy is. This process is accomplished when a quantum device is able to do a task that normal or classic computers would find impossible to do or will take a very long time to finish the task.
How the team achieved quantum supremacy?
The Chinese team performed a quantum computation, which was called “Gaussian boson sampling.” This computation has been found to be very hard to control for classic computers.
Jiuzhang achieved this computation in just 200 seconds. After that, the researchers evaluated that the world’s fastest supercomputer, Fugaku, would have taken 600 million years to complete the same calculation.
Google researchers also claimed quantum supremacy last year. They said that their 54 qubit processor could complete a test computation in 200 seconds. This calculation would have been done by the world’s biggest supercomputer in 10,000 years.
Google’s QUBIT technology VS Jiuzhang’s set up.
Google’s qubit technology requires enough qubits to make a quantum computer efficient, and there can be different ideas to do that. The quantum set up that is developed by Google is very different from that of Jiuzhangs’s setup.
As per Google technology, they have to make superconducting qubits to remain in control. They have to be stored in a very cold place. As easy as it sounds, practically storing these qubits can still be a barrier. They are extremely sensitive to their external environment. Therefore it can be very difficult to ramp up the devices.
Instead of using metal particles for quantum computation, Jiuzhang has tried to operate photons. This device was specially made to complete the quantum task. as told, Gaussian boson sampling consists of simulating and predicting the erratic behavior of photons.
CLASSIC COMPUTERS VS JIUZHANG
Photons detections and identification of their pattern can be very difficult to manage for a classic computer. The difficulty increases more and more as more photons are added to it. Solving the Gaussian boson sampling is very great, but it has limited usefulness. For now, Jiuzhang is very much better than a classic computer to solve a specific task.
The breakthrough in quantum by the University of science and technology of China is likely to bring a great race in ongoing quantum technologies development. These large-scale quantum computers will further be modified to solve real-life problems.