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The Simplest Quantum Computer That Could Beat Classical Computers

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A collaboration that included researchers from Google, NASA and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has drawn a line between quantum and classical computations to answer the question: ”What is the smallest computational task a quantum computer can achieve that is prohibitively hard for today’s classical computers?”

The research, published in Nature Physics (, is the first to identify benchmarks for experimental teams hoping to build near-term quantum computers that might be capable of surpassing the power of classical computers.

“The advantage offered by quantum computers is subtle. Some applications can have an exponential quantum speed-up over classical computers, while others receive no benefit at all,” said Prof Michael Bremner, Chief Investigator at the UTS node of the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. “Understanding when quantum computers become useful is essential, especially when we are limited to using the noisy intermediate-scale devices that currently exist.

“Many things can affect the utility of a quantum computer for a given application: the number of qubits, the required circuit depth, and the level of noise in the system are just a few. We attempted to find the frontier between classical and quantum computing; we...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.