Google today announced a major milestone in quantum computing research. Google claimed that they have achieved “quantum supremacy” using their Sycamore chip. Google’s Google’s quantum computer with Sycamore 53-qubit processor performed a computation in 200 seconds that would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years. Google mentioned that they were able to achieve this because of the quality of control they have over the qubits.
IBM is also developing a 53-qubit processor for quantum computers and it dismissed the results published by Google. IBM argued that an ideal simulation of the task performed by Google can be performed on a classical supercomputer in 2.5 days and with far greater fidelity. IBM also mentioned that it can be further reduced.
IBM also pointed out that Google’s understanding of “quantum supremacy” is wrong. According to John Preskill who coined this word, “quantum supremacy” is used to describe the point where quantum computers can do things that classical computers can’t. Clearly, Google’s quantum computer did not meet this threshold. You can read IBM’s full explanation from the source link mentioned at the end of this post.
Microsoft is also involved in quantum computing research. Microsoft’s general manger of quantum software, Krysta Svore, said that Google’s result is “an exciting academic achievement, another step on a long journey.”
It is important to note that Google and Microsoft differ in their approach to quantum computing. While Google achieved these results with superconducting quantum bits, Microsoft is betting on so-called topological qubits.
“We continue to believe in order to scale you will need a revolutionary approach,” Krysta Svore said pointing to Microsoft’s quantum research efforts.