Google intends to build a commercial-grade quantum computer by 2029

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Googles Quantum Al Campus
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Global tech giant Google plans to construct a commercial-grade quantum computer by 2029 that can perform complicated calculations in tiny fractions of a second, the company said.

At the company’s virtual annual developer conference on the last day, Mr. Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, announced the timeframe and presented the new Google Quantum AI campus in Santa Barbara, California.

Mr. Pichai remarked that “quantum computing represents a fundamental shift because it harnesses the properties of quantum mechanics and gives us the best chance of understanding the natural world.”

Faster Computer

Quantum computers represent a significant increase in computing speed and performance.
The California-based company’s quantum computer will be 100 million times quicker than any other computer. It will hasten the development of solutions to some of the world’s most important issues, such as sustainable energy and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as unlock new scientific discoveries, such as more useful artificial intelligence.

Mr. Erik Lucero, lead Engineer, Google quantum AI pointed out that “as we look 10 years into the future, many of the greatest global challenges, from climate change to handling the next pandemic, demand a new kind of computing. Such innovation can build better batteries, create a fertilizer to feed the world without creating 2 percent of global carbon emissions as nitrogen fixation does today create more targeted medicines to stop the next pandemic before it starts, as we need to understand and design molecules better.”

The world’s strongest economies, including the US, Russia, China, and Japan, as well as tech giants IBM, Alibaba, Google, and Microsoft, are all vying for dominance in the area.

Google declared in late 2019 that it has achieved “quantum supremacy.”

This means that its quantum computer was the first to solve a calculation in less than four minutes that would have taken 10,000 years for the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

Abu Dhabi announced in March that it will build the country’s first quantum computer, which will be capable of processing information at far quicker speeds than classic technology.

Google wants to recreate “nature accurately” via quantum computers.

“You can’t simulate molecules very well using classical computers. As you get to even modestly sized molecules, you quickly run out of computing resources. With the error-corrected quantum computer, we will be able to simulate how molecules behave and interact, so we can test and invent new chemical processes and new materials before investing in costly real-life prototypes,” Mr. Lucero added.

Bits are binary units that are arranged in a combination of ones and zeroes in today’s computers. On a computer screen, everything we see is made up of a series of ones and zeros.

However, experts said that this binary system might be quite restricting. This system can be used to reflect simple information and calculations, but it is incapable of solving complex problems.

Even the world’s largest supercomputer would run out of memory if it tried to find the optimal answer to a problem with many options.

This is where quantum computers come in. According to Mr. Lucero, they use quantum bits or qubits, that can be entangled in a complex superposition of states, naturally matching the complexity of molecules in the actual world.

“We are on a journey to build 1 million physical qubits that work in concert inside a room-sized error-corrected quantum computer. That’s a big leap from today’s modestly-sized systems of fewer than 100 qubits,” Mr. Lucero concluded.

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