Google says 'quantum supremacy' achieved in new age super computer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google says it has achieved a breakthrough in quantum computing research.

Continue Reading Below

It says an experimental quantum processor has completed a calculation in just a few minutes that would take a traditional supercomputer thousands of years.

The results of its study appear in the scientific journal Nature. Google says it has achieved quantum supremacy, which means the quantum computer did something a conventional computer could never do.

"For those of us working in science and technology, it’s the “hello world” moment we’ve been waiting for—the most meaningful milestone to date in the quest to make quantum computing a reality," Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a blog post announcing the breakthrough. "But we have a long way to go between today’s lab experiments and tomorrow’s practical applications; it will be many years before we can implement a broader set of real-world applications," he continued.

Competitor IBM is disputing that Google achieved the benchmark, saying Google underestimated the conventional supercomputer.

Quantum computing is an advanced computing technology that is still at a relatively early stage of development.