It has now become a regular event in the world of quantum computing: a new announcement of a computer having reached "quantum supremacy" has just been made.
This time IBM claims to have accomplished this feat with its “Eagle” quantum computer.
Quantum supremacy is a very buzzing marketing term for the "time" when quantum computers can solve problems hitherto impossible for classical computers in a time frame that is not decades or centuries.
Still a long way to go
Already in 2019, Google announced that it had reached quantum supremacy.
More recently, in July 2021, Chinese researchers claimed to have achieved this goal with their new quantum supercomputer.
In reality, we are still a long way from true quantum supremacy, and current examples only apply to very specific cases.
IBM has also challenged the results of Google, indicating that a traditional supercomputer could have solved the problem in two and a half days.
There is therefore still some way to go to achieve quantum supremacy, but the research is nevertheless very encouraging.
A 127 qubit processor
Either way, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna told the Axios news site that their Eagle processor was "capable of doing things that no supercomputer can do." He added that there was no other system on the planet, classical or quantum, that could do what Eagle can do: “It is impossible to simulate it on anything else, which implies that it is more. powerful than anything else ”.
The CEO said this new Eagle processor can handle 127 qubits, the measure of quantum computing power.
By exceeding 100 qubits, IBM claims to have taken an important step in the capabilities of quantum computers against traditional computers.
At this time, however, we don't know what Eagle is capable of.
It is not known, for example, if it can perform different tasks or if it only works on a single task.
Although this is still in the hypothesis stage, the researchers estimate that it will take several thousand qubits to achieve real breakthroughs with quantum computing.
There is therefore still a long way to go.
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