Researchers at Google have created a computer that can carry out calculations way beyond the reach of traditional computers, it has been reported.
The scientists say it marks the achievement of something called “quantum supremacy”.
Quantum supremacy is when a special device, called a quantum computer, can carry out a single calculation that no conventional computer would be capable of within a reasonable time.
According to the Financial Times, the quantum computer – called Sycamore – worked out whether an algorithm produced a genuinely random sequence of numbers.
It took three minutes and 20 seconds to come up with an answer – something the most powerful commercially available conventional computer would have taken about 10,000 years to do.
The FT said a paper by Google’s researchers was briefly posted on a NASA website announcing the breakthrough before being removed.