Google Quantum AI lab has unveiled the Bristlecone, a new quantum processor. Presented at the American Physical Society meeting in Los Angeles, the computer chip hit a record-setting power of 72 quantum bits (qubits).

“The purpose of this gate-based superconducting system is 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,” says Julian Kelly, Research Scientist, Quantum AI Lab, in a blog post.

Traditional computers store data as binary digits (bits). They are represented as either a one or zero. Quantum machines utilize qubits, which can exist in different states at once, vastly increasing speed and performance.

One challenge that faces quantum computers is error rates. Quantum bits are still unstable, and any noise can cause errors. However, the Google system “demonstrated low error rates for readout (1 percent), single-qubit gates (0.1 percent), and most importantly two-qubit gates (0.6 percent)” as its best result on a 9-qubit device.

The team is looking to translate the 9-qubit tech results across all 72 qubits of Bristlecone. With such a feat ahead, the team remains confident.

“We are cautiously optimistic that quantum supremacy can be achieved with Bristlecone, and feel that learning to build and operate devices at this level of performance is an exciting challenge,” says Kelly.

Below you can see the installation of the Bristlecone chip at the Quantum AI Lab by Research Scientist Marissa Giustina.

(Image Credit: Julian Kelly, Research Scientist, Quantum AI Lab)