What does Google's Quantum Supremacy actually mean?

The fierce rivalry between the two has now further intensified following Google's claim of achieving a "quantum supremacy" breakthrough.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on October 23 hailed a report from Google that the company's Sycamore quantum computer has achieved "an experimental realization of quantum supremacy" for a specific computational task over the abilities of classical supercomputers, and thus "heralding a much-anticipated computing paradigm". But it's the possibilities promised by Google's breakthrough this week that is exciting.

IBM and Google have always been in the race to make a breakthrough in the nascent but exciting field of quantum computing. However, for the technology to be useful to customers it would need to make chips with thousands of qubits.

The quantum supremacy experiment was run on a fully programmable 54-qubit processor named.

"Second, we're investing in our team and technology to build a fault-tolerant quantum computer as quickly as possible".

Google has been among the beneficiaries of the American support.

The U.S. government's National Institute of Standards and Technology is working to standardize new "quantum-resistant" encryption methods.

"[Feynman] noted the fact that using classical computers to predict the behavior of ideal quantum systems appeared to be a hard problem", applied physics professor Hideo Mabuchi told The Daily.

"But it should not be viewed as proof that quantum computers are "supreme" over classical computers".

But there is a catch: Quantum researchers need to cool qubits to about absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius or -460 degrees Fahrenheit) to limit vibration - or "noise" - that causes errors in calculations. In combination, bits can be used to handle logical tasks.

Sycamore, measuring about 10 mm (0.39 inch) across, is made using aluminium and indium parts sandwiched between two silicon wafers. The search giant underlined the achievement by further claiming that the same calculation would have cost even the most advanced supercomputer in the world somewhere around 10,000 years. Well, a quantum computer has the potential to be ridiculously more powerful than classic computers and even the best supercomputers in the world (I'm looking at you Watson). This is the hello world moment for quantum computing that many of us have been waiting for, at the same time, we know that we are still in early days, we are still likely years away from a lot of the practical applications we do with Quantum computing.

While the peer-reviewed research has drawn plaudits, with MIT's William D. Oliver comparing it to the Wright brothers' first flights, sceptics say Google is over-selling its achievement.

"We're proud to have contributed to this major milestone, ushering in the next gen of quantum tech in the United States of America!", she wrote, noting how Trump "signed the National Quantum Initiative Act into law, supporting robust quantum R&D". It also said Google risked misleading the public by implying the new-style computers would replace existing ones.

NASA and other big institutions use multiple supercomputers to achieve a high level of complexed calculations.

"But before quantum computers can break codes, security experts have plenty of time to adapt, " Martinis said.