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China claims fastest quantum computer in the world

2020-12-07 19:46 by
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A team of physicists from China have built a quantum computer that casts a long shadow over Google's boasts of a Quantum Supremacy breakthrough in 2019. The Chinese team's new Quantum Computer - Jiuzhang - completed a calculation 10 billion times faster than Google's prototype could muster, or 100 trillion times faster than the world's fastest supercomputer would be able to accomplish. As Nature magazine explains - "the team achieved within a few minutes what would take half the age of Earth on the best existing supercomputers" (an estimated 2.5 billion years of processing on the on Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer).

Previously, only one computer has reportedly ever achieved this feat, as Sycamore, Google's quantum processor, comprising 54 qubits, was described in a 2019 Nature paper as having taken just 200 seconds to complete a task that the American multinational technology company claimed would take a state-of-the-art supercomputer 10,000 years to finish. Thus, Google claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy.

Jiuzhang used a new method of manipulating 76 photons to do calculations instead of Google's, which uses superconductive materials, the report said.

The development of quantum computers may pose significant risks to the current encryption methods that are used to protect much of the information stored on the internet, including cryptographic algorithms that currently keep Bitcoin secure.

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