(IT.Toolbox) There are no full-on quantum computers–just lots of ideas and test beds for them. That makes evaluating them quite tricky!! However, people are trying. Recently, at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture in Phoenix, Margaret Martonosi, a computer scientist at Princeton University, and colleagues presented a head-to-head comparison of existing quantum computers from IBM, Rigetti Computing in Berkeley in California, and the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park. Note, they didn’t include Google’s or Microsoft’s machines.
Every company that is working on quantum computing is using different metrics to show that theirs is the best. Google says it uses 72 qubits, IBM say 20 qubits, Rigetti Computing says 16. They are using supercomputing models. University of Maryland uses trapped ions and has 5 qubits. With all these differences, it’s necessary to use a standard set of algorithms to apply the same test to each machine. This standard set of algorithms for ordinary computers is called LINPACK. It tests how fast the machines solve problems with huge numbers of variables. For quantum computers, it was necessary to create a new set of benchmarking standard.
NOTE: This article includes a secondary theme, i.e., IBM’s recent collaboration with African universities.