why does it matter: In 2019, a paper was leaked claiming that Google physicists used a quantum computer, Sycamore, to perform a calculation that would override the world’s most powerful supercomputer. Chinese scientists recently challenged this claim by successfully running mirror computation in a matter of hours using the computing power of existing GPUs. Their results prove that a supercomputer using today’s technology may beat Sycamore’s previous record.
Google’s quantum computing researchers originally performed the complex computation in 200 seconds (just over three minutes), a feat they claimed would have taken the fastest supercomputer up to 10,000 years. Based on this result, the team claimed that they had reached an important milestone known as Quantum supremacy. Quantum supremacy is the point at which a quantum device can solve problems that cannot be solved by classical technology in any reasonable amount of time.
Not everyone was a believer in Google’s self-proclaimed supremacy in 2019. Another major player in quantum computing, IBMHe defied Google’s claims from the start. researchers there claimed The same task can be done in a matter of days with the right amount of available resources, nullifying Google’s claim to quantitative supremacy.
Chinese scientists have succeeded in proving IBM’s point by attacking the original problem using advanced algorithms and computational power from existing GPUs to complete the computation. According to a report by science.orgThe voltage used 512 GPUs, a number that is far from comprehensible when looking at the number of units used in cryptocurrencies mining operations over the past several years.
Chinese scientists have succeeded in proving IBM’s point by attacking the original problem using advanced algorithms and computational power from existing GPUs to complete the computation. science report Notes That the effort used 512 graphics processing units (GPU) – a number that is far from unfathomable when looking at the number of cryptocurrency units mining operations Sometimes used.
See also: What is quantum computing?
The computing power of the GPU combined with advanced algorithms completed the same computation within several hours. The findings, which were unimaginable according to 2019 leaked research results, provide evidence to support claims that a large enough supercomputer could, in fact, rival Sycamore’s previous achievement.
Traditional computing is based on bits, which are the basic units of information in computing. These bits can exist as only one of two values, either 0 or 1.
Quantitative Statistics It is based on quantum bits, or qubits, which consist of a superposition of 0 and 1. Like a qubit, a qubit can be equal to 0 or 1. However, it has the additional property of being 0 and 1 simultaneously, greatly increasing computing potential .
The achievement does not invalidate Google’s previous quantum achievements, nor does it mean that standard processing machines can “catch up” with quantum capabilities. Principal scientist at Google Quantum AI, Sergio BoixoHe said that the original 2019 paper acknowledged the potential future improvement of classical algorithms but he does not believe that today’s classical computing approach can keep pace with quantum technologies.
Boixo’s statement is accurate considering the quantitative growth rate since 2019. Google’s original Sycamore processor was a 53-qubit processor. In 2021 IBM a statement Eagle 127 kbit, their quantities road map He is looking to break the 1,000-kilobit barrier sometime in 2023.
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