December 3, 2021

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- We've built a quantum computer 10 million times faster than the world's most powerful supercomputer

– We’ve built a quantum computer 10 million times faster than the world’s most powerful supercomputer

Quantum computers are still an emerging and experimental technology, but that doesn’t stop players from getting involved in the race and showing off great progress. Now Chinese researchers are reporting a major breakthrough, and they don’t spare in superlatives.

A research team at the University of Science and Technology in China has designed two different quantum computers that not only achieve so-called quantum supremacy – meaning they can do something that normal computers can’t – but that smash even the most powerful of classical computers. ..

Among other things independent And Next Web wrote about the case.

Million times faster than Google’s system

One of the machines, dubbed Zuchongzhi 2.1, was claimed in its own right Research document (requires payment) To be 10 million times faster than the world’s most powerful supercomputer and a million times more powerful than Google’s Sycamore quantum processor – As previously mentioned by Digi.no.

These may seem like huge numbers, but they are very common with extreme calculations when it comes to the performance of quantum computers compared to classical computers.

As reported by Digi.no in 2019For example, the Google system was said to be able to perform certain types of calculations in just minutes, while the most powerful supercomputer would have spent 10,000 years doing the same.

Zuchongzhi 2.1 is based on superconducting technology, without the details being completely clear, and will include 66 functional qubits (quantum bits), which Google’s system of comparison is 53.

Light machine is also built

Chinese researchers have also built a quantum system based on particles of light, photons, called Jiuzhang 2. This has been discussed in a separate, separate paper. Research document (requires payment) And they have, according to researchers, an insane 1024 Performance times higher than today’s most powerful supercomputers when it comes to certain types of problem solving.

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The performance of this machine was measured by what is called “boson sampling” in English, which involves capturing photons sent through a complex optical network based on calculations of the photons’ behavior.

The task is very difficult for ordinary computers due to the fact that photons have complex quantum properties that make behavior unpredictable and make it difficult to build reliable simulation models.

Chinese researchers also in the past He demonstrated a quantum computer based on light and claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy. This computer is said to have captured 76 photons in 200 seconds, as the same task would have taken 600 million years to complete the world’s most powerful supercomputer – the Japanese Fugaku.

Controversial

It’s useful to keep in mind that quantum computers are a new technology that still lacks global performance standards and is also used for very specific tasks that are unsuitable for conventional computer technology. Thus, computers are not expected to replace regular computers, but rather serve as an accessory.

Claims of quantum supremacy, a term used for quantum computers capable of performing calculations that classical computers cannot solve within a reasonable time horizon, are also controversial.

Google claims quantitative superiority using the sycamore chip It was rejected by IBM, for example, and then Google countered and provided evidence.

It remains to be seen whether the new Chinese systems will stand up to similar criticism, and whether the broader research community agrees that the systems have indeed achieved a quantum edge.