In Brief A team of physicists have just demonstrated a proof-of-principle for a quantum system, showing that its supported qubits reliably represented 512 numbers at once.
This breakthrough may mean quantum supremacy is months away.
Surpassing the limits set by conventional computing, known as achieving quantum supremacy, has been a difficult road. Now, a team of physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara and Google have demonstrated a proof-of-principle for a quantum computer that may mean quantum supremacy is only months away.
Quantum states are difficult to isolate and sustain, so the practical task of isolating quantum processing machinery from outside interference has proved to be the sticking point in pushing quantum supremacy out of reach.
To demonstrate quantum supremacy, a computer system doesn’t need to be an all-purpose quantum dynamo; it just needs to show one quantum capability that is beyond the capacity of conventional systems.
If the team is right, they may achieve quantum supremacy in a matter of months.
In other words, the idea that quantum supremacy will change everything isn’t just hype.