Good read from John Timmer at arstechnica. In the piece he lays out the case for the GPU-based supercomputer that could outperform Sycamore. Recommend reading from the source, below. Because Quantum is Coming. Qubit

Math may have caught up with Google’s quantum-supremacy claims

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+  In 2019, word filtered out that a quantum computer built by Google had performed calculations that the company claimed would be effectively impossible to replicate on supercomputing hardware. That turned out to not be entirely correct, since Google had neglected to consider the storage available to supercomputers; if that were included, the quantum computer’s lead shrank to just a matter of days.

If this sort of thing sounds vaguely familiar, that may be because something similar happened with D-Wave’s quantum annealer. Early on in the company’s history, D-Wave would sometimes announce that its annealer had outperformed the best existing algorithms for a specific problem. But the computer science community often viewed this as a challenge, upped its game, and came away with a new algorithm that outperformed the quantum hardware. The company has since become more circumspect with its claims.


+  Adding just a handful of additional qubits, however, would re-establish the quantum computer’s vast lead. Recently, however, a draft manuscript was placed on the arXiv that points out a critical fact: Google’s claims relied on comparisons to a very specific approach to performing the calculation on standard computing hardware. There are other ways to perform the calculation, and the paper suggests one of those would allow a supercomputer to actually pull ahead of its quantum competitor.

+  At the same time, the manuscript was made somewhat out-of-date within weeks of its appearance, as IBM announced that it had a new quantum processor that was more than double the size of Google’s Sycamore. Even with a more computationally tractable algorithm, the behavior of IBM’s Eagle processor will be vastly more difficult to model. It’s fair to say that, should an equivalent calculation be performed on Eagle, the quantum hardware would almost certainly retake the lead.

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Source:  ars technica.  John Timmer,  Math may have caught up with Google’s quantum-supremacy claims…

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