Tech giant Google announced Wednesday that it had reached a major breakthrough in quantum computing, saying that Sycamore, the company's experimental quantum processor, completed a computation that would've taken a traditional supercomputer thousands of years, in only minutes.
The findings were published in the scientific journal Nature on Wednesday, with the company asserting that it had achieved "quantum supremacy," according to the Associated Press.
, daughter of and senior White House advisor, tweeted about the breakthrough Wednesday.
It’s official! The US has achieved quantum supremacy!— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) October 23, 2019
In a collaboration between the Trump Admin, @Google and UC Santa Barbara, quantum computer Sycamore has completed a calculation in 3 min 20 sec that would take about 10,000 years for a classical comp. pic.twitter.com/YBv2TPCP1A
Quantum computing is the next step in information processing, although the technology itself is still developing.
Modern computing is based on endless series of zeroes and ones; Quantum computing reportedly utilizes quantum bits, also known as qubits, to process zeroes and ones simultaneously.
However, Google's self-proclaimed "quantum supremacy" has been disputed by industry counterparts who are also developing to the technology.
"Quantum supremacy" refers to when a quantum computer is able to perform a computation that a traditional computer couldn't complete within its lifetime.
IBM claims that its supercomputer, dubbed Summit, would not need thousands of years to complete the calculation, but rather, 2.5 days, the AP reports.
Caltech professor John Preskill, who originally created the term "quantum supremacy," says that while what Google did was an achievement, the computation itself has little practical value.
“The more interesting milestone will be a useful application,” Preskill told the AP.