The 100-qubit quantum computer will not change the world right away

5 Jan 2018 Mountain View - Quantum computing has attracted a lot of attention in 2017. And some expect they will be the new supercomputers very soon. John Preskill puts some realistic expectations in the quantum computing debate in a nice 22-page overview article published on arXiv. "In any case, we should recognize that the power of classical computers will continue to increase, with exascale systems (surpassing 10**18 FLOPS) expected to be available in a few years. Quantum computers are striving to catch up with a moving target, as both classical hardware and classical algorithms continually improve", he writes.

According to Preskill: "Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) technology will be available in the near future. Quantum computers with 50-100 qubits may be able to perform tasks which surpass the capabilities of today's classical digital computers, but noise in quantum gates will limit the size of quantum circuits that can be executed reliably."

A 100-qubit quantum computer will not change the world right away - we should regard it as a significant step toward the more powerful quantum technologies of the future, he thinks. Quantum technologists should continue to strive for more accurate quantum gates and, eventually, fully fault-tolerant quantum computing.

Do not like reading? The recording of his presentation which is at the basis of his article is also available.

Ad Emmen