Quantum Supremacy Is Here: The History Making Quantum Computing News We Have Been Anticipating Has Now Been Reported
Months ago we began to formulate an assessment that a history-making announcement in quantum computing was about to be made. For years the big players in quantum research, including IBM, Microsoft and Google, have been pursuing different methods of using quantum effects to do new calculations. Google had even made announcements indicating they thought they could achieve history-making results in the near term. Because of all that we had been producing a series of reports aimed at making you as informed as possible on what breakthrough announcements in quantum computing could mean for your business strategy.
Today the Financial Times issued a report based on a Google document that is 100% in keeping with what we anticipated. According to the Financial Times, the Google quantum team has had breakthroughs in performance and can now prove that their quantum computing approach has resulted in a computer that is more powerful than any of the world’s top supercomputers. Reports are that the processor in this computer uses quantum effects in a way that allows massive calculations that would take 10,000 years on the fastest IBM supercomputer to be performed in three minutes. This point, where quantum computers can be proven to outperform traditional computers, is known as quantum supremacy.
(Note: other reports are that the documents the Financial Times and others have based their stories on have now been pulled for review by Google to ensure all facts have been peer reviewed, will be good to get a look at the base document of course before we build a final conclusion on what this means).
Overall Assessment: Yes, history was made. There is now, for the first time in history, a quantum computer that can out perform the greatest supercomputers ever built. However, lets keep this in context. The problem that it performed on is not anything that approximates a working business challenge, it is a math formula designed to benchmark the processor. There is a great deal more work required before this type of computer can really deliver on business workloads. Regarding the oft mentioned ability of future quantum computers to break some types of asymmetric encryption, there is no need to panic. This new quantum computer cannot read your encrypted data since it cannot run those algorithms. It may take another 5 or 10 years of work before quantum computers can break asymmetric codes like these, and by then hopefully we will have all been using quantum safe encryption.
So, the bottom line for now is, this particular news is exciting, but it will not cause the instantaneous disruption of industries. There is plenty of time to take a deep breath and think about what this means for your business strategy.
To do so, start with our Executive’s Guide To Quantum Computing. This special report dives deep into what business decision-makers need to know now about quantum supremacy. This is a great starting point to update your business strategy to prepare for the near future of quantum. There are things you need to do, but you should do them out of a sense of being proactive, not out of panic.
Other key reports:
- The Quantum List: Companies leveraging quantum effects for real world functionality and security The principles at OODA have tracked the science and technology of quantum technologies for decades, including closely watching the emergence of commercial firms leveraging quantum effects for security, communications and sensing. We closely track the transition of R&D into real companies that can deliver solutions based on quantum effects and provide a short list of companies that do so on this page. The Quantum List those we believe are poised to have an impact on the economy, including firms that deliver capabilities in Quantum Computing, Quantum Security, Quantum Communications and Quantum Sensing.
- Is Quantum Computing Ushering in an Era of No More Secrets?: Context from OODA’s Matt Devost on the near future of quantum computing.
- What To Do About Quantum Uncertainty: Guess what, besides uncertainty at a quantum level there is great uncertainty among business and policy makers regarding Quantum Computing.
- AI, quantum computing and 5G could make criminals more dangerous than ever, warn police: Quantum is one of many emerging technologies that law enforcement professionals are tracking.
- Intel offers AI breakthrough in quantum computing: This article is more about quantum simulations for AI, but shows the ecosystem that is developing around the technology.
- Quantum Computing That Can Crack Modern Encryption More Than a Decade Away: When we see reports like this we wonder what qualifies the experts to say this. But in this case the experts are the National Academies of Sciences.
- Could quantum computers render current bitcoin and most blockchain cryptography powerless?: There is a worry that new algorithms that could run on quantum computing could attack blockchain and asymmetric encryption.
For more see OODA Loop Quantum Computing Reports