Inside Quantum Technology

What Is ‘Quantum Supremacy’?

(Fortune) Quantum supremacy means only that researchers have been able to use a quantum computer to perform a single calculation that no conventional computer, even the biggest supercomputer, can perform in a reasonable amount of time.
Google researchers claim to have achieved a major milestone in computer science known as “quantum supremacy.” Google scientists explain their breakthrough in a research paper, a copy of which was obtained by Fortune, that was briefly posted to a NASA website earlier this week before subsequently being taken down.In the case of Google, this calculation involved checking whether the output of an algorithm for generating random numbers was truly random.
The researchers were able to use a quantum computer to perform this complex mathematical calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds, according to the paper. They say it would have taken Summit 3—an IBM-built machine that is the world’s most powerful commercially-available conventional computer—about 10,000 years to perform the same task.

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