Thursday, January 11, 2018

Intel claims 49-qubit computer

Here is news from the big Consumer Electronics Show:
Intel announced it has built a 49-qubit processor, suggesting it is on par with the quantum computing efforts at IBM and Google.

The announcement of the chip, code-named “Tangle Lake,” came during a pre-show keynote address by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. “This 49-qubit chip pushes beyond our ability to simulate and is a step toward quantum supremacy, a point at which quantum computers far and away surpass the world’s best supercomputers,” said Krzanich. The chief exec went on to say that he expects quantum computing will have a profound impact in areas like material science and pharmaceuticals, among others. ...

In November 2017, IBM did announce it had constructed a 50-qubit prototype in the lab, while Google’s prediction of delivering a 49-qubit processor before the end of last year apparently did not pan out. As we’ve noted before, the mere presence of lots of qubits says little about the quality of the device. Attributes like coherence times and fault tolerance are at least as critical as size when it comes to quantum fiddling.

Details like that have not been made public for Tangle Lake, which Intel has characterized a “test chip.” Nevertheless, Intel’s ability to advance its technology so quickly seems to indicate the company will be able to compete with quantum computers being developed by Google, IBM, and a handful of quantum computing startups that have entered the space.
Until recently, the physics professors were saying that we needed 50 qubits to get quantum supremacy. Now these companies are claiming 49 qubits or barely 50 qubits, but they are not claiming quantum supremacy.

They don't really have 49 qubits. They are just saying that because it is the strongest claim that they can make, without someone calling their bluff and demanding proof of the quantum supremacy.
“In the quest to deliver a commercially viable quantum computing system, it’s anyone’s game,” said Mike Mayberry, corporate vice president and managing director of Intel Labs. “We expect it will be five to seven years before the industry gets to tackling engineering-scale problems, and it will likely require 1 million or more qubits to achieve commercial relevance.”
A million qubits? Each one has to be put in a Schrodinger cat state where it is 0 and 1 at the same time, pending an observation, and all million qubits have to be simultaneously entangled with each other.

This cannot happen in 5-7 years. This will never achieve commercial relevance.


  1. Isn't it the normal protocol to accompany big scientific achievements with scientific papers backing them up?

  2. I guess they will compete for the least broken prize.