Google says its new quantum computer takes less than three-and-a-half minutes to solve a problem that would take a supercomputer about 10,000 years.
The results of an experiment performed on Google’s Sycamore quantum computer demonstrate that theoretical quantum computing designs can work as expected, the company announced today in a paper published in the journal Nature.
Formulating the problem was the first hurdle. The company’s research team eventually settled on comparing the Sycamore computer’s output to that of a modern, classical supercomputer in the task of reading the state of a pseudo-random quantum circuit. This results in a computational challenge that should be comparatively simple for Sycamore, but enormously difficult for a supercomputer equipped with traditional silicon.
“Because there is no structure in random circuits that classical algorithms can exploit, emulating such quantum circuits typically takes an enormous amount of classical supercomputer effort,” the heads of the research team, John Martinis and Sergio Boixo, said in an official blog post.