This new breakthrough created a broken 256-qubit quantum computer

In 2019, Google announced that its 53-qubit machine had achieved enormity – performing unmanned aerial services – but IBM disputed its claims. The same year, IBM launched its 53-bit quantum computer. In 2020, IonQ unveiled the 32-qubit machines that the company said were “the most powerful computers in the world.” And this week IBM unveiled its new 127-qubit quantum processor, which the media described as a “little production miracle.” “The big issue, in my view, is working,” said Jay Gambetta, vice president of IBM’s quantum computing president.

Now QuEra is said to have developed a device with more qubits than its competitors.

The ultimate goal of quantum computing, of course, is not to play Tetris but to develop high-end computers to solve problems of interest. Fans speculate that when these computers are powerful enough, perhaps in a decade or two, they will be able to bring about changes in the fields such as medicine and economics, brain science and AI. Quantum machines may require thousands of units to deal with such challenges.

The amount of qubits, however, is not the only factor that is important.

QuEra also shows the evolution of its device, in which each qubit contains a single atom, which is very cold. These atoms are precisely organized into multiple lasers (experts call them optical tweezers). Installing qubits enables the machine to be repaired, to correct the problem being investigated, and to adjust it in real time during computation.

“Different problems will require atoms to be put into different systems,” said Alex Keesling, CEO of QuEra and co-founder of technology. “One of the things that is unique about our machines is that every time we drive, several times a second, we are able to redefine the geometry and connections of the qubits.”

Advantages of the atom

QuEra machines were developed from design and refined technologies for several years, under the direction of Mikhail Lukin and Markus Greiner at Harvard and Vladan Vuletić and Dirk Englund at MIT (both on the QuEra founding team). In 2017, the first model of the device from the Harvard team was used only 51 section; in 2020, it showed a 256-qubit machine. Two years later the QuEra team expects to reach 1,000 qubits, and then, without much change of platform, expects to continue expanding the system to hundreds of thousands of qubits.

Mario was made from QuEra qubits.


It is the unique QuEra platform – the physical way in which the system collects, as well as the way in which information is stored and modified – that should allow for such a jump.

While Google and IBM’s quantum computing machines use superconducting qubits, and IonQ uses closed ions, the QuEra platform uses politically neutral atomic algorithms that create qubits with an intriguing combination (i.e., “multiplication” ). The machines use laser pulses to connect atoms, attracting them to the power of the “Rydberg state,” described in 1888 by Swedish scientist Johannes Rydberg – where they are able to produce more ideas with greater courage and greater reliability. These Rydberg method to quantum computing has been in use for decades, but technological advances – for example, with laser and photonics – were needed for this to work reliably.

“Unreasonable entertainment”

Computer scientist Umesh Vazirani, head of the Berkeley Quantum Computation Center, when he first heard of Lukin’s research on the subject, felt “ridiculously happy” – it seemed like a strange process, though Vazirani doubted his assumptions. He said: “We have developed a number of advanced systems, such as superconductors and ion traps, which have been developed over a period of time. “Shouldn’t we think of different ways?” He was interviewed by John Preskill, a scientist at the California Institute of Technology and director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, who confirmed to Vazirani that his fun was worth it.

Preskill finds the Rydberg (not just QuEra) platforms interesting because they make qubits that are highly interconnected – “and that’s where quantum magic is,” he says. “I’m so happy to be able to find the unexpected in such a short time.”

In addition to comparison and understanding quantum materials and power, QuEra works on quantum algorithms to solve the complexity problems that exist Complete NP (that is, very strong). “These are just the first examples of the many opportunities associated with science,” says Lukin.

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