In what could be a great computing milestone, Google this week claimed to have built the first quantum computer capable of calculating beyond the capabilities of today’s most powerful supercomputers. The advance was announced in a report by company researchers published on the NASA website, which was later removed.
The document, consulted by the Financial Times, argued that the processor was able to perform in three minutes and 20 seconds a calculation that would take about 10,000 years to the most advanced conventional computer to date, known as Summit.
“A milestone towards large-scale quantum computing”
The researchers announced that they had thus achieved the ‘quantum supremacy’ when quantum computers performed previously impossible calculations and that the experiment was “the first calculation that can only be performed on a quantum processor.”
The authors point out that the system can only perform a single highly technical calculation, and that there are still years until the use of quantum machines to solve practical problems, but they still qualify the advance “a milestone towards large-scale quantum computing”.
It is unknown why the report was removed from the web, but a Google source familiar with the situation suggested in remarks to Fortune that NASA accidentally published the document, before the team’s claims could be exhaustively examined through a review. peer scientist.
Although quantum computers already exist today, they need very particular environments such as specialized laboratories to function properly and their practical use is limited.
New possibilities and new challenges
Unlike conventional computers, which manipulate the basic binary elements ‘bits’, with the values 0 1, the ‘cbits’ (quantum bits) can be in both states simultaneously, making it possible to calculate millions of possibilities instantly.
A 2018 Boston Consulting Group report anticipated that quantum computers could dramatically change fields such as cryptography and chemistry and hence materials science, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals “not to mention artificial intelligence and machine learning “as well as” logistics, manufacturing, finance and energy. “
On the other hand, several scientists warn that the great potential sponsored by quantum computing is associated with new risks. In particular, they argue that, thanks to its high processing capacity, this technology could be used to ‘hack’ the best cyber security that we have today, breaking in a few hours an encryption that will be practically impossible to defeat using the best computer. conventional available today. For that reason, they urge work on developing quantum cryptographic security measures that replace existing computing standards to protect the transmission of information. Source: RT