Chinese scientists put Google’s quantum supremacy on the ropes

Chinese scientists put Google’s quantum supremacy on the ropes

Although it does not have much media coverage, quantum computing is an area in which the technology giants compete fiercely. Google announced in 2019 that it had reached the quantum supremacy with your Sycamore computerbut IBM rejected that claim. shortly after saying that its advantage over classical computing was not what it claimed.

Quantum computing researchers at Google managed to run the complex calculation in about 200 seconds, a feat that, according to his version, with the most powerful “classical” supercomputer of the moment would take 10,000 years to complete. That led the browser giant to proclaim its quantum supremacy, which is defined as the point at which a quantum device is capable of solving things that would not be possible with traditional silicon machines.

However, IBM researchers rejected Google’s claim saying that, with the technology available at the time, it was possible to accomplish the same task in a matter of days. The question was not whether Google was completely lying or not, but whether such superiority was real or not.

Three years later, chinese scientists they have proved IBM right by achieving run the same calculation in just a few hours Employing 512 graphics processors (GPU) and advanced algorithms. Although the amount of time is considerably greater than the 200 seconds announced by Google, the achievement of Chinese scientists leaves the door open for a traditional supercomputer based on the binary system to rival Sycamore. In short, the search engine giant never had the huge advantage it announced in 2019.

To summarize the panorama very much, traditional computing, the one that has been with us for decades and that embodies devices such as servers, smartphones and personal computers, handle bits, which can have a value of zero or one. Consequently, everything the user sees on the screen is the result of processing sets of zeros and ones.

For its part, quantum computing is based on quantum bits or qubits. Qubits can also have 0 or 1 as their value, but with the peculiarity that they can have both values ​​simultaneously. and not necessarily one of the two. This opens the door to a very notable increase in computing power, but the results obtained by Google in 2019, although they have their merit, have been far from being something that is difficult to match with traditional computing.

Sycamore, at least when it was announced in 2019, was a 53-qubit processor. IBM, which is still a top tier tech giant Despite not having a leading role in the consumer market, it responded in 2021 with Eagel, a 127-qubit processor. The blue giant seems to have it sworn to Google, since it hopes to overcome the 1,000 qubit barrier at some point in the year 2023.

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