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Google Claims Quantum Supremacy, IBM Disagrees

Google says it has achieved Quantum computer supremacy, but IBM says the company does not understand what that means.


Tech giants are racing to lead the way in terms of development. says it has reached a major milestone in its research. Mountain View says its Sycamore processor has helped it achieve “quantum” supremacy.

That is quite a boast and it has been rejected by rival quantum developer IBM.

According to Google, its quantum computing solution powered by the Sycamore 53-qubit CPU managed a computation task in 200 seconds. For comparison, the world's fastest supercomputer would have taken 10,000 years to complete the same computation.

IBM is also developing a 53-quibit quantum computing processor and says Google's data is inaccurate. Indeed, the company goes as far as to say Google's understanding of quantum supremacy is not right. IBM says the task Google run would take a supercomputer 2.5 days to complete and could be reduced more.

John Preskill is the man who first used the term “quantum supremacy”. He says it is used as the point where quantum computer tech can outmatch normal computers. Under this definition, IBM argues Google's test did not meet the criteria.

Microsoft's Role

is also heavily invested in quantum technology. Earlier this year, the company opened its Quantum Lab Delft in the Netherlands.

In a blog post, Microsoft said this is the first step towards creating a quantum computer and is part of the company's ongoing collaboration with QuTech.

“With the opening of this Lab, we see what is possible when business, science, and the government unite. Together, we have built a world-class laboratory in Delft which will enable us to expedite development of a revolutionary quantum computer. The Netherlands now has the necessary ingredients to develop the type of compute power that could drastically change humankind's daily lives – from personalised medication, to the development of new renewable energy sources.”

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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