A group of Chinese scientists have developed the world’s most powerful quantum computer that can perform at least one task 100 trillion times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer can.
We recall that in 2019, according to Google, they created the first machine to achieve “quantum supremacy”. Against this background, according to Chinese scientists, the quantum computer they created, called Jiuzhang, is 10 billion times faster than Google.
The description of the Chinese quantum computer, Jiuzhang, and the results of its calculations were published in the journal Science in December.
It is noteworthy that China has invested heavily in quantum computing. Xi Jinping’s government has spent $ 10 billion on quantum information processing.
According to Live Science, China is a world leader in the production of quantum networks where data encrypted using quantum mechanics is transmitted over long distances.
Why are quantum computers so important? They can use the unusual reality of the quantum world to cope with certain tasks much better than they did with the classic computers.
Where classical computers perform calculations using bits that can have one of two states (usually represented by 1 or 0), quantum bits or cubits can exist in many states simultaneously. This is what gives the quantum computer a crucial advantage and allows it to solve this or that problem faster.
A computer created by the Chinese performs its calculations using optical circuits when Google’s device, Sycamore, uses superconducting materials on a chip to make it look more like the basic structure of a classic computer.
To test Jiuzhang, the researchers assigned him the “Gauss boson sampling” (GBS) task, where a computer calculates the output of a complex circle used by light. (Light consists of particles known as photons, which belong to the category of particles known as bosons)
Success is measured by the number of photons detected. Jiuzhang recorded a maximum of 76 photons in one test and an average of 43 in several tests.
The time of each experimental calculation was about 200 seconds. Against this background, China’s classic fastest supercomputer, the Taihulight, would take 2.5 billion years to achieve the same result.
This suggests that a quantum computer can be 100 trillion times faster than this classic supercomputer.
However, this does not mean that China has a fully practical quantum computer. The new device is specialized and mainly useful for performing “Gaussian boson sampling” (GBS). Still, this is already a very big step for quantum computers.