large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google’s quantum computer is 100m times faster than your CPU

Google has announced progress in its research into quantum computing, with certain problems solved vastly faster than with traditional computer chip technology.

It’s early days yet, but quantum computing could well mark a quantum leap (see what we did there?) in processing speeds at some point in the future.

Regular old computer processors handle data in binary form, or ones and zeroes. Quantum computing utilises tiny particles called quantum bits (qubits for short) that can represent both at the same time.

If your head is spinning as much as ours at such a thought, then just know that this would make for a computer that could handle far more simultaneous calculations than traditional CPU technology. This would be particularly useful for highly complex processing problems.

Google appears to have proved that recently, albeit in a limited fashion. It recently revealed some of the results it had obtained from its experimental D-Wave 2X quantum super computer, which it bought some two years ago.

While many have argued that the D-Wave 2X isn’t a true quantum computer going by established definitions, Google has obtained some promising results from two specific tests.

“We found that for problem instances involving nearly 1,000 binary variables, quantum annealing significantly outperforms its classical counterpart, simulated annealing,” it writes on its research blog.

Apparently, it proved to be more than 100 million times faster than “simulated annealing running on a single core.”

Related: What is Google X?

We’re still some way off from a practical, everyday application of this technology. Building a quantum computer remains an incredibly tricky, impractical process. Some have said that it’s roughly equivalent to the state of affairs computer technology was in back in the ’30s and ’40s.

But the benefits for large-scale computing tasks like air traffic management are clear enough that every computer company worth its salt is investing in it. Expect to hear much more on quantum computing over the coming years and decades.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.