Research on quantum computers has been going on for several decades. Phases with many important breakthroughs were repeatedly replaced by periods in which things did not seem to be progressing at all. In the past three years, however, the subject has once again gained considerable momentum. Experts report that more progress was made during this period than in all previous years. In addition, researchers assume that a change of time is imminent.
For the first time, all of the components required to build a powerful quantum computer are actually available. The challenge now is to assemble these individual parts into a functioning system. For this purpose, Google has set up its own research campus in the US state of California. In addition to the classic research facilities, a quantum data center and its own chip production facility are also being built there. The goal: A commercially usable quantum computer is to be built by 2029.
Google wants to massively increase the number of qubits
The schedule doesn’t sound particularly ambitious at first. After all, IBM has according to its own information . The companies are therefore more likely to view their engagement as a kind of research. Because the development of quantum computers actually promises the opposite: Because the arithmetic units called qubits can not only assume the state 0 or 1, but also combine both states, several calculations can be carried out in parallel. In theory, this massively reduces the time required. In practice, however, the quantum computers available to date only have a three-digit number of qubits.
That number is still too small to meet the hopes associated with the technology. already developed a commercial quantum computer . But this is more of a somewhat creative communication. Because the IBM computer is used by some companies. In fact, it is still nowhere near as powerful as conventional supercomputers.
There are still some problems to be solved
Google therefore wants to go a massive step further and install at least one million qubits in the planned commercial quantum computer. However, the sheer mass of computing units alone is not yet decisive. Rather, the challenge for the researchers is to ensure that the qubits remain in the desired quantum state for as long as possible. So far, the devices have been very susceptible to interference in this regard. This in turn can lead to arithmetic operations being carried out incorrectly or even having to be terminated.
Google is therefore working on various approaches to ensure that errors are corrected automatically. The research work required for this is likely to keep the company busy for a few more years. Against this background, the target year 2029 sounds quite ambitious again. At least the company has now announced that it will work with a number of companies and research institutions to develop and test application scenarios at an early stage