The world is abuzz with news that Google has achieved "quantum supremacy" - a milestone indicating that a quantum computer has been used to perform a calculation that appears impractical on even a supercomputer. The inter-corporate debate about whether this has truly been achieved notwithstanding, this is a remarkable scientific achievement in our field.
It’s been thrilling to see “quantum supremacy” openly discussed on CNN, in the New York Times, and The Washington Post. Our field is moving rapidly and we couldn’t be more proud to be a quantum tech startup.
What does this demonstration mean in a practical sense? First, it largely undercuts the few persistent naysayers who have made cases against the viability of quantum computing. Second, it sets us on the path to achieving Quantum Advantage: actually solving a problem of commercial relevance better using a quantum computer than a conventional one. We generally think that this will come in the next several years in problems like chemistry. For this problem all we need from a quantum algorithm is to realize a slightly better approximation than the poor computational approximations used in conventional computers today.
Getting to the threshold of Quantum Advantage will require major advances in the performance of the underlying quantum computing hardware. And this is precisely where Q-CTRL comes in. While hardware manufacturers like Google, Rigetti, IonQ, and IBM will increase system size and complexity, Q-CTRL’s software will help stabilize the hardware, homogenize performance across ever-growing devices, and even build the foundations for compatibility with the quantum error correction protocols we’ll need in the long term.
We couldn’t ask for a better time to be working in the field of quantum technology. By focusing on the toughest challenge in the field - hardware error and instability - the team at Q-CTRL is helping the world realize the true potential of quantum computing.