Google's Claim Of ‘Quantum Supremacy.’
Researchers at Google say they have built the first quantum computer that can perform a calculation far beyond the reach of even the most powerful machine built along with traditional computers, which is called ‘quantum supremacy' by Google. If the claim is true, it can be considered a major milestone in quantum computing. The news has been published top NASA’s official website but then was quickly taken down. According to the leaked paper, Google’s ‘quantum processor can complete a task in 200 seconds which would take a state-of-the-art supercomputer approximately 10,000 years to perform’.
What Are The Differences Between A Quantum Computer and A Classical Computer?
Technically, a classical computer stores information in the ‘bit’ form, which comprises a series of 0’s and 1’s. Numbers, pictures, texts, information are presented this way, acting as their own language of a classical computer. By way of illustration, traditional computers used bits to store electrical charges or to store music into CDs, DVDs. There are only two choices in a bit that we present them as 0 or 1.
Quantum computer, on the other hand, is very special and much more complicated. In quantum computers, bits are not used to store information. Instead, ‘qubits’ are used in these special intelligent computers, which can not only combine a series of 1 OR 0, but can also be a set of 1 AND 0.
We are used to sticking to one extreme of everything, right or left, up and down, black or white, right or wrong. Quantum computers use complex number and algorithm to gives out many probabilities. What does it mean?
Take a flipping or a spinning coin as an example. When a coin stops spinning, it can be either landed as head or tail. That is the common universal rule that we follow. By this, it means we only know if it is head or tail until it lands. But this rule is no longer exact when it comes to quantum mechanics, which refer as the coin is both head and tail at the same time when it is spinning. In another possibility, coins can bump into each other, resulting in other different orientations, changed the probability of the outcome when the coin lands. This can be referred to as interference behaviours.
“The idea with a quantum computer is that you take this phenomenon and exploit it on a massive scale. The idea is to choreograph a pattern of interference,” said Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin.
By choreographing the interferences, he meant to refer to how you want the coins to interfere in the air.
Who Has A Quantum Computer?
Quantum computer is very fragile so it is not easy to be set next to your table. Most industries, national labs, universities companies who are pursuing qubits set-up logics are Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft. And to keep the quantum computer stable, it needs to keep in very cold temperature, to the point of near absolute zero. In other words, the more thermal energy is removed from the system, the more rapidly the quantum computer can be processed, because in the ideal cold temperature, atoms and molecules simply move around less. Less movement means less energy is expelled, minimizing chances of incorrect qubits flipping in the quantum state. This can explain why quantum computer solves complex problems much more quickly than regular computers that typically require more resources and power, not to mention that it is usually based in an unideal temperature state.
Google’s Rivals Do Not Think So
However, not everyone agreed with Google’s announcement. Dario Gil, a representative of one of the main Google’s competitors, IBM said that Google claim was absolutely wrong. As head research at IBM, Dario believed that Google’s research was plainly solving a single problem based on specialized hardware within a specific experiment without practical applications. Hence, it seems that the company used the word ‘supremacy’ just to boost their brand name and boost Google’s arrogance’.
As for IBM, in January this year has announced their Q System One, the first integrated quantum computing system for commercial use only. It is still much experimental device and far from quantum computing, however, have marked the promising progress in quantum future.
Google did not respond.
How Can Quantum Computing Be Used In Business?
Quantum computers can save time to process, reducing complex tasks that can be taken from years to hours, and hours to minutes to solve. Since traditional computers are struggling with keeping up data and it can take ages to process, it is undoubted that quantum computing is a promising innovation crossing many industries. In reality, quantum technology was beginning to put into some certain devices.
There is a range of illustrations can be founded, but not everyone can easily notice. The evident examples are flash memories, memory sticks that can be founded in smartphones and digital camera. In the healthcare industry, quantum technology was used to improve MRI machines. As for the retail industry, the barcode scanners were supported by quantum technology scanner. Quantum has also been applied to protect data, assets as well as avoiding other cybersecurity risks. As for the finance industry, major banks such as JP Morgan & Chase, Barclays, NatWest started to experiment on quantum computers with IBM with their goals of optimizing risks analysis and market prediction and eliminating fraud.
Volkswagen, together with D-Wave, have made progress on quantum computers for transportation optimization purposes. Alibaba Group is now investigating in quantum technology to facilitate supply chain and operation-related problems. Blockchain refers to secure transactions, relying heavily on the cryptographic method, which can fall into cybersecurity traps. Accenture has also mentioned working with quantum, implying for the preparation of post-quantum cryptography and quantum blockchain in the future to eliminate cyber risks.
The race of the most powerful quantum computer system remains. Time will answer whether these developments can bring hope to lead ahead to solve current traditional computers’ issues. There are numerous implications for different industries that can be applied by quantum technology. Quantum computing is a big thing, and once it can reach its peak, it is believed that it can be one of the remarkable disruptions that can leverage every industry in the new chapter.