This brings us to the quantum computing supremacy limit, which talks about the ability of a quantum machine to solve the problems that existing classical computers cannot. This landmark is believed to be limited at about 49 qubits due to memory limitations. It’s also worth noting that earlier this year in April, Google revealed its plans to achieve quantum supremacy by the end of 2017 with a new 50 qubit chip.
In the latest development, it seems that IBM has beaten Google and simulated a quantum computer with 56 qubits on a classical computer. In the past, the 49-qubit limit was challenged by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, which created a 45-qubit simulation that needed 500TB memory. IBM’s new 56-qubit simulation needs just 4.5TB memory, according to New Scientist.
This milestone was achieved by dividing the simulation task into parallel chunks, which allowed the IBM researchers to use multiple processors of a supercomputer simultaneously. However, Bob Wisneiff of IBM, says that the current simulation runs about “a billion times slower” than an actual 56-qubit quantum computer.
The tech giant wishes to create a quantum computer that can explore practical problems like quantum chemistry. The company also wishes to verify the accuracy of quantum computers against their simulations before using actual computers for solving problems.
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