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Google ups quantum computing war

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/welcomia)

The race for quantum computing is gaining momentum (opens in new tab) and now Google is joining the fray with the announcement that it is developing a 72-qubit processor. 

The company's new processor stands out because it shows how close we are to quantum supremacy or the point where a quantum computer would be able to outperform its classic counterparts without being subject to the performance costs of correcting errors. 

Google (opens in new tab) previously revealed a nine-qubit design back in 2014 and its new 72-qubit design called Bristlecone will try to “preserve the underlying physics” of the original processor though it will scale up “the same scheme used for coupling, control and readout.” 

Though the new processor may be close to achieving quantum supremacy, it has been designed more as a testbed to research error rates and scalability but it still might be the first platform that is able to outperform a classical computer. 

Research scientist at Google's Quantum AI Lab, Julian Kelly (opens in new tab) explained how Bristlecone could influence the development of other quantum computers, saying:

“We are looking to achieve similar performance to the best error rates of the 9-qubit device, but now across all 72 qubits of Bristlecone. We believe Bristlecone would then be a compelling proof-of-principle for building larger scale quantum computers. Operating a device such as Bristlecone at low system error requires harmony between a full stack of technology ranging from software and control electronics to the processor itself. Getting this right requires careful systems engineering over several iterations.” 

Image Credit: Welcomia / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.