Quantum computers, unlike classical ones, perform parallel computations of all possibilities in qubits. Processing such data is much more complex, faster, and significantly more efficient. In this context, you have surely heard about Google announcing its supercomputer a few years ago.
The Future of Supercomputing
It featured its own processor called Sycamore with 53 qubits, which, according to the American brand, represented a breakthrough in quantum computing. Of course, this was demonstrated with a specific example. Google claimed that what Sycamore achieved in just two seconds would take the fastest PC approximately 10,000 years.
This result was hailed as the beginning of quantum supremacy. However, the competition swiftly responded. For instance, IBM considered the claim of 10,000 years scandalous, as a “regular device” would take about 2.5 days to solve the task. So, while the speed advantage is undeniably significant, it was deemed unnecessarily exaggerated.
Google declares quantum supremacy
“Even the current fastest classical computers, like the Frontier supercomputer in Tennessee, cannot compete with the potential of quantum computers. These traditional machines operate on the binary code, limited to ones and zeros. However, the quantum paradigm surpasses this limitation.”
Nonetheless, Google didn’t rest and increased its already unprecedented power to an impressive 70 qubits, as reported by Earth.com. In an experiment, their team compared it to Frontier, currently the fastest computer globally, which surpassed the one exaFLOPS mark. From the subsequent statement, it is evident that to solve a task that Sycamore computes in a few seconds, Frontier would need a staggering 47 years.
Quantum computations represent a remarkable leap in technological progress for humanity
They have the potential to significantly redefine our computational capabilities, leveraging the laws of quantum physics to overcome the limitations of current devices.
Traditional computers operate based on bits, which can be in a state of 0 or 1
On the other hand, quantum computers work with quantum bits, known as qubits. Unlike traditional bits, a qubit can exist in both states simultaneously (the principle of superposition).
Superposition exponentially increases the computational power of a quantum computer. For example, two qubits can exist in four states simultaneously (00, 01, 10, 11), three qubits in eight states, and so on. This allows quantum computers to process a vast amount of data at once.
Practical Applications of Quantum Computers The unique properties of quantum computation provide an ideal way to solve complex problems that classical computers struggle with. The ability to rapidly factorize large numbers poses a threat not only to current encryption systems but also opens doors for the development of significantly more secure methods in the field of quantum cryptography.
In the field of medicine, quantum computations could enable modeling of complex molecular structures, potentially accelerating the development of more effective drugs, for example.