San Francisco, August 7 (Eance): After Google said they achieved what quantum computing researchers have sought for years, a team of Chinese researchers has now claimed to have replicated the performance of Google’s Sycamore quantum computer using traditional hardware.
In 2019, Google researchers claimed to have passed a milestone known as quantum supremacy when the Sycamore quantum computer performed in 200 seconds an enigmatic calculation that they said would connect a supercomputer for 10,000 years.
Now, scientists in China have performed the computation in a few hours using regular processors. They say that a supercomputer can completely beat the sycamore.
“I think they’re right that if they get access to a big enough supercomputer, they can simulate the task in a matter of seconds,” said researcher Scott Aaronson, a computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin.
The team used a system of 512 GPUs to complete the same calculation that Google developed to prove it passed quantum supremacy in 2019.
The progress removes some of the brilliance from Google’s claims, said Greg Cooperberg, a mathematician at the University of California, Davis.
However, the team said the prospects for quantum computing remain uncompromised.
Sergio Boixo, principal scientist at Google Quantum AI, said in an email that the Google team knows its feature may not hold for long.
“In our 2019 paper, we said that classical algorithms would improve,” he said. But, “we don’t think this classical approach can keep up with quantum circuits in 2022 and beyond.”
The solved “problem” of sycamore is designed to be difficult for a conventional computer, but as easy as possible for a quantum computer, which deals with qubits that can be set to 0 or 1, or any combination of 0 and 1 at the same time.
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