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Quantum supremacy

Quantum supremacy

Tag: GS3 || Science and technology || Information and communication

Why in news?

  • Recently, Google’s quantum computer, named Sycamore, claimed “quantum supremacy”, as it reportedly did the task in 200 seconds that would have apparently taken a supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

What is quantum supremacy?

  • It means only that researchers have been able to use a quantum computer to perform a single calculation that no conventional computer, even the biggest supercomputer, can perform in a reasonable amount of time.

The case of Google:

  • This calculation involved checking whether the output of an algorithm for generating random numbers was truly random.
  • The researchers were able to use a quantum computer to perform this complex mathematical calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds, according to the paper.
  • They say it would have taken Summit 3—an IBM-built machine that is the world’s most powerful commercially-available conventional computer—about 10,000 years to perform the same task.

How do quantum computers work?

  • Quantum computers work by harnessing the properties of quantum mechanics.
  • Quantum computers use logical units called quantum bits, or qubits for short, that can be put into a quantum state where they can simultaneously represent both 0 and 1.

Difference between classical and quantum computers?

  • Classical computers process information in a binary format, called bits, which can represent either a 0 or 1.
  • While the bits in a classical computer all operate independently from one another, in a quantum computer, the status of one qubit effects the status of all the other qubits in the system, so they can all work together to achieve a solution.