Headlines 

Google, Alibaba Spar Over Timeline for ‘Quantum Supremacy’

Google’s quantum computing researchers have been planning a party—but new results from a competing team at China’s Alibaba may have postponed it. The China-America corporate rivalry on an obscure frontier of physics illustrates a growing contest between nations and companies hoping to create a new form of improbably powerful computer. In March, Google unveiled a chip called Bristlecone intended to set a computing milestone. It could, Google said, become the first quantum computing system to perform a calculation beyond the power of any conventional computer—a marker known as quantum supremacy.…

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Odds and Ends 

IBM makes 20 qubit quantum computing machine available as a cloud service

IBM has been offering quantum computing as a cloud service since last year when it came out with a 5 qubit version of the advanced computers. Today, the company announced that it’s releasing 20-qubit quantum computers, quite a leap in just 18 months. A qubit is a single unit of quantum information. The company also announced that IBM researchers had successfully built a 50 qubit prototype, which is the next milestone for quantum computing, but it’s unclear when we will see this commercially available. While the earliest versions of IBM’s…

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Odds and Ends 

Intel moves towards production quantum computing with new 17-qubit chip

Intel’s quantum computing efforts have yielded a new 17-qubit chip, which the company has just delivered to its partner in that field, QuTech in the Netherlands. It’s not a major advance in the actual computing power or applications — those are still in very early days — but it’s a step toward production systems that can be ordered and delivered to spec rather than experimental ones that live in a physics lab somewhere. Intel’s celebration of this particular chip is a bit arbitrary; 17 isn’t some magic number in the quantum…

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