Google claims quantum computing breakthrough

Google claims quantum computing breakthrough
© Getty

Tech giant Google announced Wednesday that it had reached a major breakthrough in quantum computing, saying that Sycamore, the company's experimental quantum processor, completed a computation that would've taken a traditional supercomputer thousands of years in only minutes.

The findings were published in the scientific journal Nature on Wednesday, with the company asserting that it had achieved "quantum supremacy," according to The Associated Press

Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpMedicare administrator asked for reimbursement for stolen jewelry, clothing: report Tech finds surprise ally in Trump amid high-stakes tax fight White House, Congress near deal to give 12 weeks paid parental leave to all federal workers MORE, daughter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE and senior White House adviser, tweeted about the breakthrough Wednesday.


Quantum computing is the next step in information processing, although the technology itself is still developing.

Modern computing is based on endless series of zeroes and ones; quantum computing reportedly utilizes quantum bits, also known as qubits, to process zeroes and ones simultaneously.

However, Google's self-proclaimed quantum supremacy has been disputed by industry counterparts who are also developing to the technology.


Quantum supremacy refers to when a quantum computer is able to perform a computation that a traditional computer couldn't complete within its lifetime. 

IBM claims that its supercomputer, dubbed Summit, would not need thousands of years to complete the calculation, but rather 2 1/2 days, the AP reports.

California Institute of Technology professor John Preskill, who originally created the term "quantum supremacy," says that while what Google did was an achievement, the computation itself has little practical value.

“The more interesting milestone will be a useful application,” Preskill told the AP.