Why is it important: In 2019, a leaked article claimed that physicists at Google used their Sycamore quantum computer to perform calculations that would surpass the world’s most powerful supercomputer. Recently, Chinese scientists disproved this claim by successfully performing identical calculations in a few hours using the processing power of modern GPUs. Their results prove that a supercomputer using modern technology can break the previous Sycamore record.
Google’s quantum computing researchers initially completed the complex calculation in 200 seconds (a little over three minutes), which they claim would allow the fastest supercomputer to live for over 10,000 years. Based on this result, the team stated that they have reached a milestone known as quantum supremacy. Quantum supremacy is the point at which a quantum device can solve problems that cannot otherwise be solved by classical technology in any reasonable amount of time.
Not everyone believed in Google’s self-proclaimed superiority in 2019. Another major player in quantum computing, IBM, disputed Google’s claims from the start. Researchers out there argued the same task can be completed in a few days with just the right amount of available resources, invalidating Google’s claim of quantum supremacy.
Chinese scientists have successfully confirmed IBM’s point by solving the original problem, using advanced algorithms and the processing power of modern GPUs to complete the calculations. According to the report science.orgthe work used 512 GPUs, a number that is far from incomprehensible when you consider how many units were used in the cryptocurrency. mining for the last few year s.
Chinese scientists have successfully confirmed IBM’s point by solving the original problem, using advanced algorithms and the processing power of modern GPUs to complete the calculations. Report in Science notes that the work used 512 GPUs – a number that is far from incomprehensible when you consider how many units of the cryptocurrency mining sometimes I use.
The processing power of the GPU, combined with advanced algorithms, made it possible to complete the same calculation in a few hours. The results, which were unthinkable, according to leaked 2019 study results, support claims that a large enough supercomputer can actually compete with Sycamore’s earlier achievement.
Conventional calculations are based on bits, the most basic units of information in computing. These bits can only exist as one of two values: 0 or 1.
quantum computing is based on quantum bits, or qubits, consisting of a superposition of 0 and 1. Like a bit, a qubit can be 0 or 1. However, it has the additional property of being 0 and 1 at the same time, which leads to a significant increase in computational potential.
This achievement does not invalidate Google’s previous quantum achievements, nor does it mean that standard computing hardware can “catch up” with quantum capabilities. Chief Scientist at Google Quantum AI, Sergio Boichustates that the original 2019 paper acknowledges a likely future improvement in classical algorithms, but does not believe that today’s approach to classical computing can keep pace with quantum technologies.
Boisho’s statement is accurate, given the rate of quantum growth since 2019. The original Google Sycamore processor was a 53 qubit processor. In 2021 IBM disclosed their 127 qubit eagle and their quantum road map hopes to break the 1,000 qubit barrier sometime in 2023.
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