Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Google

Google says it's achieved quantum supremacy

But it's not particularly useful... yet.
11477 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Google

Google is standing by its claim that it's achieved quantum supremacy -- marking a major milestone in computing research. The company first made the claim back in September, and while disputed by competitors, Google's research paper has now been published in the scientific journal Nature.

Quantum supremacy is a big deal, because it encapsulates the ability of quantum computers to solve problems that current technology couldn't even begin to attempt. Google's paper explains how its 53-bit quantum computer -- named Sycamore -- took just 200 seconds to perform a calculation that would have taken the world's fastest supercomputer 10,000 years.

In theory, this capability opens a lot of doors to future technologies, such as designing better batteries and medicine, or minimizing emissions from farming chemicals. It could also help to advance existing technologies such as machine learning. However, Sycamore's feat has almost no practical use at this stage -- it was designed simply to show that a quantum computer could perform as expected.

Nonetheless, it's an important first step towards a technology that could have a major impact on our lives -- even if that's still some years away. In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Google CEO Sundar Pichai likened the experiment to the first flight by the Wright Brothers. "The first plane flew only for 12 seconds, and so there is no practical application of that," he said. "But it showed the possibility that a plane could fly."

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
11477 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Facebook is fixing a bug that turned on phone cameras

Facebook is fixing a bug that turned on phone cameras

View
Iowa asked researchers to break into a courthouse, then it arrested them

Iowa asked researchers to break into a courthouse, then it arrested them

View
'Star Wars' and 'The Mandalorian' make Disney+ worth it

'Star Wars' and 'The Mandalorian' make Disney+ worth it

View
'Star Wars' on Disney+ reignites the Han-Greedo fan drama

'Star Wars' on Disney+ reignites the Han-Greedo fan drama

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr