China As The World Leader For Quantum Computing
A team of Chinese scientists has developed the most powerful quantum computer in the world, capable of performing at least one task 100 trillion times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputers.
The Chinese team based at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei reported their quantum computer called Jiuzhang is a billion times faster than Google’s. A description of Jiuzhang and it is a feat and calculation was published on December 3rd in the journal Science. Jiuzhang would be the second quantum computer to achieve quantum supremacy anywhere in the world.
China has invested a lot in quantum computing with the government spending 10 billion dollars on the country’s National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences. The country is also a world leader in quantum networking, where data encoded using quantum mechanics is transmitted across great distances.
Quantum computers can exploit the unusual mathematics governing the quantum world to outperform classical computers on certain tasks. Classic computers perform calculations using bits that can have one or two states, quantum bits or qubits can be presented in many states at the same time. This will allow you to solve problems more quickly than normal computers.
The Chinese computer makes calculations using optical circuits. Google device, Sycamore uses superconducting materials on a chip and more resembles the basic structure of classical computers.
Jiuzhang itself is an optical circuit, detected a maximum of 76 photons in one test and an average of 43 across several tests. Its calculation time to produce the list of numbers for each experimental run was about 200 seconds. The quantum computer can do GBS 100 trillion times faster than a classical supercomputer.
Chinese scientists claim to have built a quantum computer that is able to perform certain computations nearly 100 trillion times faster than the world’s most advanced supercomputer, representing the first milestone in the country’s efforts to develop the technology.
The researchers have built a quantum computer prototype that can detect up to 76 photons through Gaussian boson sampling, a standard simulation algorithm, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing research published in Science magazine. That’s exponentially faster than existing supercomputers.
The breakthrough represents a quantum computational advantage, also known as quantum supremacy, in which no traditional computer can perform the same task in a reasonable amount of time and is unlikely to be overturned by algorithmic or hardware improvements, according to the research.
While still in its infancy, quantum computing is seen as the key to radically improving the processing speed and power of computers, enabling them to simulate large systems and drive advances in physics, chemistry, and other fields.
Chinese researchers are competing against major US corporations from Google to Amazon and Microsoft for a lead in the technology, which has become yet another front in the US-China tech race.
WHAT IS QUANTUM COMPUTING?
Quantum computing is based on quantum bits or qubits. Unlike traditional computers, in which bits must have a value of either zero or one, a qubit can represent a zero, a one, or both values simultaneously.
Representing information in qubits allows the information to be processed in ways that have no equivalent in classical computing, taking advantage of phenomena such as quantum tunneling and quantum entanglement.
As such, quantum computers may theoretically be able to solve certain problems in a few days that would take millions of years on a classical computer.
In the UK, the first commercial quantum computer will be built in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, as part of a £10m project aiming to make the UK a leader in the technology. US quantum start-up Rigetti will develop the computer alongside manufacturing firm Oxford Instruments, Standard Chartered, software start-up Phasecraft and the University of Edinburgh.
Google said last year it had built a computer – named Sycamore – that could perform computation in 200 seconds that would take the fastest supercomputers about 10,000 years, reaching quantum supremacy.
That claim was disputed by IBM. Google said it had chosen a random number generating problem which was difficult and prohibitively time-consuming for a classical machine. But in a technical paper and blog post-IBM has shown that it is possible on a normal computer if it has enough storage.
The company’s own supercomputer – named Summit – solved it in just two-and-half days. Although that is vastly slower than the 200 seconds achieved by Sycamore, if true, it would still prevent Google from claiming to have made a literal ‘quantum leap.’
The Chinese researchers claim their new prototype can process 10 billion times faster than Google’s prototype, according to the Xinhua report.
Xi Jinping’s government is building a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences as part of a big push in the field.
In the US, the Trump administration provided $1 billion in funding to research into artificial intelligence and quantum information earlier this year and has sought to take credit for Google’s 2019 breakthrough.