Disagreement between Google and IBM about “quantum supremacy” Experts explain what that really means.
Google claims to have demonstrated what is called “quantum supremacy” in a research paper published in Nature. This marks an important milestone in the development of a new type of computer, called a quantum computer, which can perform extremely difficult calculations much faster than is possible with traditional “classic” computers.
However, the IBM team has published its own paper claiming that current supercomputers can reproduce Google’s results.
Google versus IBM might tell a good story, but this row between the world’s two largest tech companies completely distracts from the actual technological developments behind the work of the two teams.
It might sound like it, but crossing a quantum master doesn’t mean a quantum computer will take over. On the other hand, just getting close to this point will have an exciting effect on the future of technology.
Quantum computers represent a new way of manipulating data. Quantum computers use principles of quantum physics to be in states 0 and 1 simultaneously, rather than storing information in “bits” such as 0 or 1 as in classical computers. The information is stored in. In theory, this allows quantum machines to perform certain computations much faster than traditional computers.
In 2012, Professor John Preskell coined the term “quantum supremacy” to explain when quantum computers became powerful enough to perform computational tasks that conventional computers could not do in a reasonable time frame. Act. He intentionally did not have the mathematical task to be useful.
Quantum supremacy is an intermediate landmark and aims long before it becomes possible to build large quantum computers for general purposes
What GOOGLE and IBM say on quantum supremacy?
In the quantum overrun experiment, the Google team performed one of these difficult but futile computations and sampled the output of a randomly selected quantum circuit. They also conducted calculations at Summit, the most powerful classic supercomputer in the world, and estimated that it would take 10,000 years to fully simulate this quantum calculation.
The IBM team suggested a way to simulate Google’s experiences on top-of-the-line computers. We estimate that it will only take two days instead of 10,000 years.
There are no known practical uses for random circuit sampling, but there are very good mathematical and experimental reasons to believe that it is very difficult to replicate on a classic computer. More precisely, for every extra bit that a quantum computer uses to perform a calculation, a classic computer must double its computation time to do the same.
IBM’s paper does not challenge this exponential growth. What the IBM team has done is to find a way to reduce computation time versus increase memory usage.
They used it to show how it would be possible to drive simulating Google Experiences to the Summit supercomputer while making use of the device’s vast memory resources. (They estimate that simulating Google Experiences would require memory equivalent to a regular hard drive of about 10 meters.)
But Google’s work is an important achievement. When quantum devices reach the limits of what is a classical match, it opens up an interesting possibility that these devices (or slightly larger devices) may have practical applications that cannot be run on a classic supercomputer. Will be
On the other hand, even for devices with hundreds of bits, none of these are yet known. It is a very interesting and challenging scientific problem and a very active field of study.
So Google’s results are a great part of experimental science. It doesn’t mean that quantum computers are on the verge of revolutionizing computing overnight (and Google Paper has never claimed that). Also, these useless results bring nothing new (and IBM’s paper does not claim this).
The truth lies in the middle. These new discoveries are undoubtedly advancing technology, as they have made steady progress over the last two decades.
As quantum computing technology evolves, we are also driving the design of new classical algorithms to simulate larger quantum systems than were previously possible. The IBM paper is one example. This is also a useful science.
Not only does it ensure that advances in quantum computing are consistently and to some extent evaluated against the best of classical technology, but because the simulation of quantum systems itself is an important application of scientific computing. is.
This is the progress of science and technology. Throughout a series of small breakthroughs, rather than a single dramatic and revolutionary breakthrough, academia carefully examines, criticizes, and refines every step in the process.
Only a small part of these developments and discussions became a topic. Reality is less exciting and more interesting