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Google moves toward quantum supremacy with 72-qubit computer

IBM and Intel recently debuted similarly sized chips

By
5:17pm, March 5, 2018
72-cubit chip

QUANTUM UPGRADE  Google’s 72-qubit quantum chip (shown) could become the first to perform a calculation impossible for traditional computers.

LOS ANGELES — Quantum computers are bulking up.

Researchers from Google are testing a quantum computer with 72 quantum bits, or qubits, scientists reported March 5 at a meeting of the American Physical Society — a big step up from the company’s previous nine-qubit chip.

The team hopes to use the larger quantum chip to demonstrate quantum supremacy for the first time, performing a calculation that is impossible with traditional computers (SN: 7/8/17, p. 28), Google physicist Julian Kelly reported.

Achieving quantum supremacy requires a computer of more than 50 qubits, but scientists are still struggling to control so many finicky quantum entities at once. Unlike standard bits that take on a value of 0 or 1, a qubit can be 0, 1 or a mashup of the two, thanks to a quantum

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