Friday, June 10, 2016

Google seeking universal quantum computer

Nature mag reports:
Google moves closer to a universal quantum computer

Combining the best of analog and digital approaches could yield a full-scale multipurpose quantum computer.

For 30 years, researchers have pursued the universal quantum computer, a device that could solve any computational problem, with varying degrees of success. ...

This new approach should enable a computer with quantum error correction, says Lidar. Although the researchers did not demonstrate that here, the team has previously shown how that might be achieved on its nine-qubit device2.

“With error correction, our approach becomes a general-purpose algorithm that is, in principle, scalable to an arbitrarily large quantum computer,” says Alireza Shabani, another member of the Google team.

The Google device is still very much a prototype. But Lidar says that in a couple of years, devices with more than 40 qubits could become a reality.

“At that point,” he says, “it will become possible to simulate quantum dynamics that is inaccessible on classical hardware, which will mark the advent of ‘quantum supremacy’.”
I post this for the benefit of those who think that quantum computers have already been built. As you can see, Google is really itching to claim the first quantum computer, and it hopes to do so in the next couple of years.

I doubt it, but we shall see. Google has done better with artificial intelligence than I expected, but worse in robotics. I am predicting that it does not demonstrate quantum supremacy.


  1. I'm not sure Google can claim any special status for AI. All they released for machine learning is the gimmick TensorFlow library. Even IBM is more innovative in this field. Google likes to buy technology but isn't that great at creating it. All these tech companies basically bought or insourced their voice recognition technology. Driverless cars have been worked on by many companies before Google and its virtual reality equipment is a piece of cardboard. Zuckerberg (psychology major) is even ahead of them. They just produce office software in the browser and think they are really smart people.

  2. I agree with Matt. IBM and Facebook open sourced part of their AI libraries 6 months to a year before Google released Tensorflow. So Tensorflow was an attempt to catchup with the other big boys.

    It's quite possible that Google's new chimera quantum computer, an error corrected analog machine, will turn out to be an evolutionary dead end. Martinis initially wanted to build a gate model machine, but Hartmut Neven persuaded him to build this hybrid. But Martinis still claims his ultimate goal is an error corrected gate model device.

    1. They could go into business with Texas Instruments! ROFL!

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  4. I could be wrong, but I think that Google will soon conquer the world and change it for the better!
    For Quantum Computers must be a very strong system of servers, and most importantly record and preserve all the intellectual data. I do not devious if the computer will be available in the work through the cloud server vdr data room