(Science.Alert) the director of Google’s Quantum AI Labs, Hartmut Neven, has proposed a new rule similar to the Moore’s Law that has measured the progress of computers for more than 50 years. Authors Alessandro Rossi & M. & M. Fernando Gonzalez-Zalbaba ask if we can trust “Neven’s Law” as a true representation of what is happening in quantum computing and, most importantly, what is to come in the future? Or is it simply too early on in the race to come up with this type of judgement?
Neven maintains that the current progress in quantum computing is exponential, much like Moore’s Law. But a quantum processor is inherently and exponentially better than a classical one of equal size. The authors urge caution because Neven’s conclusion seems to be based on a handful of prototypes and progress measured over a relatively short timeframe (a year or less). So few data points could easily be made to fit many other patterns of extrapolated growth.
Also, as quantum processors become increasingly complex and powerful, technical problems that are minor now could become much more important. For example, the presence of even modest electrical noise in a quantum system could lead to computational errors that become more and more frequent as the processor complexity grows.
At this stage, nobody knows whether quantum computers will become widely commercialised or remain the toys of specialised users. But if Neven’s Law holds true, it won’t be long until we find out.The Conversation