Currently, the two most popular examples we have of a quantum computer are IBM’s 65-qubit system and Google’s 72-qubit Bristlecone system.
These systems use too much energy to be useful, they are incredibly error prone, and the only thing we can really expect them to do are experiments designed to demonstrate eventual future utility . Google has said that it is on the verge of conceiving a quantum computer that will overcome these pitfalls.
Science fiction (for now)
Google I / O (or simply I / O) is an annual developer conference held by Google in Mountain View, California. As part of the last one, held a few days ago, Google announced that it intends to build a new quantum artificial intelligence center in Santa Barbara, where the company says it will produce a quantum computer for practical purposes by 2029 . Are you being too optimistic?
Google is known to be a bit hyperbolic when it comes to quantum computing. In 2019, Google and NASA claimed that they had achieved ‘quantum supremacy’ by developing a quantum computing system that could solve a problem in a matter of minutes that would take a classical computer ‘10,000 years’ . However, a supercomputer could actually solve this problem in 48 hours .
To achieve this goal, we are on a journey to build 1,000,000 physical qubits that work in concert inside a room-sized error-correcting quantum computer. That’s a huge leap from today’s modest-sized systems of less than 100 qubits.
Perhaps we are facing another hyperbolic or exaggerated announcement. Maybe it’s just science fiction. If we are rigorous, it is very difficult to know if Google is only five years away from achieving such a feat, or perhaps it still has fifty more years to go. You will have to be attentive and control your enthusiasm .