Google Rolls Out a New Quantum Processor

Bristlecone weighs in at an impressive 72 qubits, which is theoretically big enough to out-perform a classical system.

At the American Physical Society conference in Los Angeles, Google Quantum AI lab announced the Bristlecone quantum processor. According to Google, the new 72-qubit processor is intended to provide “a testbed for research into system error rates and scalability of our qubit technology, as well as applications in quantum simulation, optimization, and machine learning.”

Google has already developed and successfully tested a 9-qubit linear array system. With Bristecone, they hope to scale the technology up to 72 qubits while maintaining a similar error rate. The Google team calculates that 49 qubits is the minimum size necessary for achieving quantum supremacy -- the speed at which a quantum computer outperforms a classical computer on a well defined computational task, so Bristlecone has the potential for bringing the fledgling science of quantum computing a big step closer to the real world.