Google reaches milestone in making quantum computing usable
(ORDO NEWS) — Google scientists said Wednesday that they have crossed a major milestone in their quest to develop efficient quantum computing: A new study shows they have reduced the bugs that have long been an obstacle to the much-touted technology.
Quantum computing is touted as a revolutionary achievement that uses our growing scientific understanding of the subatomic world to create a machine with capabilities far beyond those of today’s conventional computers.
However, this technology remains largely theoretical, with many difficult problems still standing in the way, including a persistently high error rate.
Google’s Quantum AI lab has described a system that can significantly reduce error rates.
This could give the American tech giant an edge over rivals like IBM, which is also working on superconducting quantum processors.
While traditional computers process information in bits, which can be represented by 0 or 1, quantum communication Computers use qubits, which can be a combination of both.
This property, known as superposition, means that a quantum computer can process a huge number of potential outcomes at the same time.
Computers exploit some of the most incredible aspects of quantum mechanics, including a phenomenon known as entanglement, where two members of a pair of bits can exist in the same state even when they are far apart.
But a problem called decoherence could cause qubits to lose their information when they leave their quantum state and come into contact with the outside world.
This fragility causes a high error rate, which also increases with the number of qubits, frustrating scientists who want to speed up their experiments.
However, the Google team said it had demonstrated for the first time in practice that a system that uses errors – corrective code can detect and correct errors without affecting the information.
The system was first, or however, in the 1990s, previous attempts resulted in more bugs, not fewer, says Google’s Hartmut Neven, co-author of the study.
“But if all the components of your system have low enough error rates, then the magic of quantum error correction begins,” Neven said at a press conference.
Julian Kelly, another co-author of the study, called the development “a key scientific milestone”, saying that “Quantum error correction is the single most important technology for the future of quantum computing.”
Neven said the result is still “not good enough, we need to achieve absolutely low error rates.”
He added that “there are still many steps to be taken” to realize the dream of a usable quantum computer.
In 2019, Google announced that it had crossed a milestone known as “quantum supremacy”. The tech giant said its Sycamore machine completed calculations in 200 seconds that would take a conventional supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.
However, the achievement has since been disputed, and last year Chinese researchers said that a supercomputer could surpass Sycamore’s time.
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