Suzannah Lyons at ABC News (Australia):
Using a processor with programmable superconducting qubits, the Google team was able to run a computation in 200 seconds that they estimated the fastest supercomputer in the world would take 10,000 years to complete.
The news was first reported last Friday by the Financial Times, after a paper about the research was uploaded to a NASA website and then taken down.
“To our knowledge, this experiment marks the first computation that can only be performed on a quantum processor,” the Google AI Quantum team and their collaborators wrote in the paper, which the ABC has seen.
It’s a milestone, said quantum physicist Steven Flammia of the University of Sydney, who was not involved in the study.
“Prior to this experiment, there was no convincing demonstration of a quantum computation that someone had done on a programmable quantum device that couldn’t be done on a conventional computer,” Professor Flammia said.