Is It Too Soon for a Moore’s Law for Quantum Computers?
(TheConversation) 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.
But can we 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?
Moore’s Law describes the way that the processing power of traditional digital computers has tended to double roughly every two years, creating what we call exponential growth. But quantum computers are designed in a very different way around the laws of quantum physics. And so Moore’s Law does not apply.
The reason for this doubly exponential growth is that Google scientists are getting better at decreasing the error rate of their quantum computer prototypes. This allows them to build more complex and more powerful systems with every iteration.
We need to exercise some caution. 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.