(QuantumMagazine.org) Neven’s Law is a “new law” that states that quantum computers are improving at a “doubly exponential” rate. If it holds, quantum supremacy is around the corner.
The “law’s” namesake is Hartmut Neven, the director of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence lab. In late 2018, scientists at Google AI ran a calculation on Google’s best quantum processor. They were able to reproduce the computation using a regular laptop. Then in January, they ran the same test on an improved version of the quantum chip. This time they had to use a powerful desktop computer to simulate the result.
That rapid improvement has led to what’s being called “Neven’s law,” a new kind of rule to describe how quickly quantum computers are gaining on classical ones. The rule began as an in-house observation before Neven mentioned it in May. With double exponential growth, “it looks like nothing is happening, nothing is happening, and then whoops, suddenly you’re in a different world,” Neven said. “That’s what we’re experiencing here.”
While the exact rate at which quantum computers are closing in on classical ones might be debatable, there’s no doubt quantum technology is improving, and fast. “When looking at all the moving parts, including improvements on the classical and quantum sides, it’s hard for me to say it’s doubly exponential,” said Andrew Childs, the co-director of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science at the University of Maryland.