Google and NASA Achieve Quantum Supremacy

Banner image: The Pleiades supercomputer at NASA Ames is one of the many supercomputers used to find the limit of quantum supremacy. Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/Dominic Hart

Google, in partnership with NASA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has demonstrated the ability to compute in seconds what would take even the largest and most advanced supercomputers thousands of years, achieving a milestone known as quantum supremacy.

Google’s quantum computer was able to take these random circuits and get results, reaching this benchmark. But how was anyone to know if this output was correct, and if quantum supremacy really had been achieved? It’s impossible to use a traditional supercomputer to check the math – the whole point of this milestone is that a quantum processor has done something no other machine can do.

To ensure this milestone had indeed been met, NASA and Google turned to Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, home to Summit – the most powerful supercomputer in the world. There, they tested whether the quantum computer’s results matched with Summit’s all the way up to the quantum supremacy limit – and found that they did.

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