Google has broken the record in quantum computing, with a first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor. So it states a recent report by the Financial Times, who claims it spotted a Google research paper posted then withdrawn on NASA’s website, Google’s technology partner.
The “mysterious” research paper stated it takes under 3.5 minutes for Google’s quantum processor to perform a specific calculation that would take a supercomputer some 10,000 years.
Quantum computing, where the states of qubits are harnessed to do calculations at an unprecedented rate, has had companies like IBM, Intel and Microsoft pouring funds into this type research for several years now.
IBM already has a portfolio of thirteen different quantum processors, and it soon plans to add its 14th – a 53-qubit model that will also be made available to industry.
Quantum computers operate very differently to classical computers that use silicon-based processors. Quantum phenomena – such as a quantum bit having more than one state (not just the mutually exclusive 1 or 0) and, even when split and at a distance is tied to its twin – are used for parallel calculations, making the whole process super-fast.
Quantum computers will be of tremendous help in handling enormous amounts of data in applications including artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, cryptography, medicine and more. Although many companies, blue chip and start-ups, are currently working on quantum computers, so far such machines have proven very expensive and complicated to build.
[Image credit: David Latorre Romero for Unsplash]