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Computing

Google has built the world’s most advanced quantum chip

The record-setting device could beat conventional supercomputers at solving some problems.

The news: Google announced its new Bristlecone quantum chip. It contains 72 quantum bits, or qubits, which are used to perform calculations. Until now, the most advanced quantum chip, built by IBM, had 50 qubits.

Why it matters: Some researchers—including those at Google—say that quantum devices with over 50 qubits may outperform regular supercomputers at some (specific) tasks. That’s what’s known as “quantum supremacy.”

But: More recently, some research has suggested that supremacy may require rather more than 50 qubits. And if it’s to beat regular hardware, Google will have to ensure that its chip is stable and relatively error-free.

Deep Dive

Computing

Erik Prince wants to sell you a “secure” smartphone that’s too good to be true

MIT Technology Review obtained Prince’s investor presentation for the “RedPill Phone,” which promises more than it could possibly deliver.

Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry

The arrests of several top semiconductor fund executives could force the government to rethink how it invests in the sector.

Inside the software that will become the next battle front in US-China chip war

The US has moved to restrict export of EDA software. What is it, and how will the move affect China?

Hackers linked to China have been targeting human rights groups for years

In a new report shared exclusively with MIT Technology Review, researchers expose a cyber-espionage campaign on “a tight budget” that proves simple can still be effective.

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