(CNET) Quantum computers are getting a lot more real with a number of breakthrough developments in 2019. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Rigetti Computing and IBM all made important advances in 2019 in quantum computing.
Google’s declaration of quantum supremacy was the most headline-grabbing moment in the field. The achievement — more limited than the grand term might suggest — demonstrated that quantum computers could someday tackle computing problems beyond the reach of conventional “classical” computers.
Developments in 2019
*IBM fired up its biggest quantum computer, a model with 53 qubits.
*Amazon Web Services, the king of cloud computing infrastructure, added a researcher-focused quantum computing service called Braket.
*Rigetti Computing, whose quantum computers join those from IonQ and D-Wave in Amazon’s Braket service, unveiled a 32-qubit machine and plans a 128-qubit quantum computer, too.
*Microsoft said it’s almost ready to power up its quantum computing technology based on “topological” qubits, an approach it hopes will sidestep many of the problems caused by qubits’ error-inducing instability. It also launched its Azure Quantum cloud computing service.
*Intel announced a quantum computing controller chip called Horse Ridge designed to shrink and simplify the hardware needed to communicate with quantum processors.
*Google achieved quantum supremacy, taking 200 seconds to perform on a 53-qubit quantum computing chip a particular task that it calculated would take the fastest supercomputer 10,000 years.
*AT&T began researching quantum networking — an even more difficult technology than quantum computing.