Google recently said that they had achieved quantum supremacy, a milestone that indicates the technology’s ability to solve unfeasible calculations for ordinary computers. This was made possible by Google Sycamore, a quantum supercomputer that solved, in 200 seconds, an issue that the world’s fastest machine would take 10,000 years to solve. IBM, which also invests in the sector, contested the methodology adopted by Google to achieve the result.
The American site CNET had access to the computer and released its first images. With a very different look and having to support a very advanced cooling system, Sycamore has a very unusual aspect when compared to home computers. Check out below some photos of the model.
Quantum computing requires a suitable environment with an advanced cooling system. This is because fluctuations in temperature can influence the result of calculations performed by the chip. Therefore, Google uses its supercomputer in a metallic cylinder that aims to keep the temperature close to zero using the helium element, besides keeping external interferences such as electric pulses away from the main chip.
Google Sycamore uses up to 216 channels of coaxial cable to communicate with the qubits, varying according to the type of research being conducted. Qubits, in turn, are the data used in quantum computers, which can transcend the binary capacity (zero and one) of conventional systems.
Rivalry with IBM
Large companies, as well as Google, have quantum computing solutions, including giant Microsoft and IBM. IBM contested the results obtained by Google with Sycamore, claiming that the company’s estimate is flawed when it compares the results of the supercomputer to the Summit, IBM’s model and does not consider some parameters of computer hardware. Thus, the final result would be different according to the testing methodology used.
Affordable quantum computing
For now, quantum computing technology is still too far from becoming accessible to the point of replacing conventional binary computing. Thus, supercomputer initiatives should remain in the field of research and development for a few more years. The complexity of the hardware and cooling system also shows that it will be difficult to compress these computers for now.