Photo credit: Forest Stearns, Google AI Quantum Artist in Residence | Erik Lucero, Research Scientist and Lead Production Quantum Hardware
Google’s 54-qubit Sycamore processor managed to perform a truly random number generation in a mere 200-seconds, a task that would have taken about 10,000 years for a modern supercomputer to execute. This test involved running random quantum circuits on quantum processors as well as traditional supercomputers and getting results from a random quantum circuit is nearly impossible without a quantum processor. Read more for a video and additional information.
Both quantum processor and supercomputer were tasked with increasingly complex and random circuits to compute until the latter wasn’t able to process them. To reach this limit, researchers developed advanced techniques for simulating these random quantum circuit computations using NASA’s supercomputing facilities. It eventually reached a point where this simulated “computer within a computer” wasn’t able to handle the random circuits given to it, thus setting the bar set for Google’s quantum computer to beat.
Achieving quantum supremacy means we’ve been able to do one thing faster, not everything faster. And even though that one thing isn’t terribly useful, that it has been done at all is groundbreaking,” said Eleanor Rieffel, co-author on the paper on this result, published today in Nature, and the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Lead at Ames.