Major Quantum Computing Milestone Hit: Shows How Much Remains to Be Done
Believe it or not, deriving that 15=3x5 with 48% accuracy is a big deal.
For the first time, a functional solid-state quantum computer has completed a fairly simple math problem, factoring a prime number into its constituent parts. The solution itself isn’t that great an accomplishment — it was the number 15 — but it’s a major leap for quantum computers, because it’s a step toward factoring much larger numbers.
…The team built a quantum circuit made of four superconducting qubits, which are the logic gates of a quantum system, on top of a substrate made of sapphire. It also contained five microwave resonators. The fabrication itself was a breakthrough, because organizing nine separate quantum pieces required very precise, automated construction methods.
The qubits were entangled and verified using quantum experiments. Then the team used this circuit to factor 15 using Peter Shor’s factoring algorithm. That code says for any given integer N, the computer must find its prime factors. But it does this quantum-fast, finding the solution exponentially faster than the quickest known classical factoring algorithm.
(via Quantum Processor Calculates That 15 = 3x5 (With Almost 50% Accuracy!) | Popular Science)