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Faster, Better, More Useful: Targeting Quantum Advantage in 2024

A roundup of predictions for how the industry will pursue quantum advantage and supremacy in 2024

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

January 3, 2024

2 Min Read
Google researchers work on the setup they used to demonstrate quantum supremac
Google researchers work on the setup they used to demonstrate quantum supremacy. Google AI Quantum

Commentators agree that the tipping point for quantum computers will come when they can perform a task faster or more effectively than classical computers. They are predicted to use less energy to achieve these improved results too.

The terms are often used interchangeably but by general agreement, quantum supremacy means that a quantum computer can solve any task that is impossible for a classical computer in a reasonable time. That task does not have to have a practical use.

By contrast, quantum advantage specifically refers to solving a task that has a real-world application. This is sometimes qualified as “commercially useful quantum advantage.” Some experts believe the industry should instead pursue quantum results.

Several claims of quantum supremacy were made in 2023, notably from Google, whose researchers said their 70-qubit Sycamore processor had completed a real-life calculation in six seconds that would take one of the world’s fastest classical supercomputers 47 years. This provoked industry reactions, mostly praising the achievement, but with provisos.

Whichever company first achieves demonstrable quantum advantage that isn’t then rapidly disproven by competitors stands to make history. The hardware and qubit paradigm they use may also sway previously undecided adopters down that path. While this may still be some years away, progress towards this goal is an important one to watch in 2024.

Related:2024 Quantum Ecosystem: Use Cases, Business Impact, Future of Work

Enter Quantum has collected quantum supremacy and advantage predictions from experts to find out what to expect in the coming year and how to defend against the quantum threat to secure data. 

University of Chicago professor of molecular engineering Liang Jiang

In the coming year, I expect more interesting theoretical proposals and experimental demonstrations of quantum advantages with potentially useful applications to emerge.

I also anticipate achieving better control of our quantum systems, enabling exploration of various quantum error correction schemes, and even demonstrating improved quantum operations at the encoded level.

D-Wave president and CEO Alan Baratz

The industry will achieve a proven, defensible quantum supremacy result in 2024. 

Ongoing scientific and technical advancements indicate that we are far along the path to achieving quantum supremacy. 2024 will be the year where quantum definitively outperforms classical, full stop.

There will be clear evidence of quantum’s ability to solve a complex computational problem previously unsolvable by classical computing, and quantum will solve it faster, better and with less power consumption. The breakthrough we’ve all been pursuing is coming.

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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