Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Computing: Will Quantum Devices Outperform Classical Computers by Year-end 2017? (thus achieving 'quantum supremecy')

From Next Big Future, July 6:

Quantum Supremacy is Very Near

In 2016, IBM made a five-qubit quantum processor available to developers, researchers and programmers for experimentation via its cloud portal.

In May, 2017 IBM announced a 16 qubit processor for its cloud-based quantum computer and a more tightly engineered 17-qubit processor could be the basis for commercial systems. IBM is using wire-loop superconducting circuits. Google’s 20-qubit processor is also using wire loop superconducting circuits. Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab expects to achieve quantum supremacy (quantum computers with a 49-qubit chip) by the end of this year.

Superconducting circuits and trapped ions should both be able become larger than 50 qubits to become more powerful than any classical computer. Quantum volume measures the number and quality of calculations the machine can perform. Quantum volume includes additional factors such as how fast the qubits can perform the calculations and tolerant they are of errors. Adding more qubits can increase the rate of errors.

These IBM and Google quantum computers have universal qubits. Dwave has thousands of qubits for quantum annealing systems. Within a few years we should have universal quantum computers with thousands of qubits.

Quantum supremacy
A critical question for the field of quantum computing in the near future is whether quantum devices without error correction can perform a well-defined computational task beyond the capabilities of state-of-the-art classical computers, achieving so-called quantum supremacy....MORE