Back in September, Google announced to the world it had attained a level in quantum computing desired by many in computing research: the search engine had achieved Quantum Supremacy. The claim is significant and serves as major milestone for the company and its 53-bit quantum computer, codenamed “Sycamore”.
In a paper it published in the science journal, Nature, Google explains how Sycamore managed to perform an extremely complex calculation in just 200 seconds. A feat that it alleges would take the world’s fastest supercomputer – NVIDIA’s recently announced EGX supercomputer – approximately 10000 years to pull off.
For context, Quantum Supremacy is a state of computing whereby a quantum computer is capable of solving problems that neither conventional nor classical computers are unable to. Even at this current moment.
Theoretically, Sycamore’s computational power means that researchers, developers, and other technologically-driven companies would be able to drive yet-to-be-released technologies, such better battery designs, new cures and medical solutions in the field of medicine. As well as further advancing both deep learning and machine learning to even greater heights.
Having said that, Google still has some ways to go before it is even able to apply its Quantum Supremacy to said endeavours. As it stands, Sycamore’s breakneck calculations were simply a demonstration of what it can do and has no practical use in the real world at this stage.
“The first plane flew only for 12 seconds, and so there is no practical application of that,” Sundar Pichai, CEO at Google, said when speaking about Sycamore. “But it showed the possibility that a plane could fly.”