Google claims quantum computing breakthrough

Google claims quantum computing breakthrough
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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

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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.