Lin Luo, Alibaba's deputy director for global government and public affairs, told Bloomberg: "Right now, Europe is really a weak region for us, very weak".
Google unveiled its Bristlecone quantum processor Monday at the annual American Physical Society meeting in Los Angeles. Error rates and scalability are two of the biggest limitations of current quantum research.
Quantum supremacy is key milestone on the journey towards quantum computing.
"The user experience offered on cloud will without doubt help us further enhance our platform".
Quantum computers are an area of huge interest because, if they can be built at a large enough scale, they could rapidly solve problems that cannot be handled by traditional computers.
There is reasonable expectation that Bristlecone will be able to perform equally well to the original 9-cubit design in terms of error rates, but with significantly improved throughput capabilities.
"We are cautiously optimistic that quantum supremacy can be achieved with Bristlecone", said Julian Kelly, a research scientist at the Quantum AI Lab. We can assign a single system error by applying random quantum circuits to the device and checking the sampled output distribution against a classical simulation.
Google reckons it's on the cusp of demonstrating "quantum supremacy" with the development of a 72-qubit processor. "Our strategy is to explore near-term applications using systems that are forward compatible to a large-scale universal error-corrected quantum computer", noted Kelly in a blog post. This would be equivalent to 49-qubits, so Google considers that Bristlecone could be the first quantum processor to outperform a regular supercomputer. That said, Bristlecone is a transitory, proof-of-concept processor, which, according to the researchers, "requires harmony between a full stack of technology ranging from software and control electronics to the processor itself. Getting this right requires careful systems engineering over several iterations".
Quantum supremacy is generally thought to need computers of 50 qubits or greater, which given the finicky nature of bits that exist in both 0 and 1 states at the same time and the vast amounts of power and cooling needed to control them, makes creating and running larger quantum computers a daunting task.