Chinese scientists claim they have built a quantum computer. The scientists claim that the computer is able to perform computations nearly 100 trillion times faster than the present world’s most advanced super-computer.
This achievement, according to Chinese Xinhua Net, goes a long way to project China as reaching the first milestone on the path to full-scale quantum computing – a quantum computational advantage, also known as “quantum supremacy” – which indicates an overwhelming quantum computational speedup.
The team of Chinese scientists and engineers established a quantum computer prototype, named “Jiuzhang,” through which up to 76 photons were detected.
In the study, which was published in Science magazine online, the scientists claimed that Gaussian boson sampling (GBS), which is a classical simulation algorithm, was used to provide a highly efficient way of demonstrating quantum computational speedup in solving some well-defined tasks.
The paper reads:
“Quantum computers promises to perform certain tasks that are believed to be intractable to classical computers. Boson sampling is such a task and is considered as a strong candidate to demonstrate the quantum computational advantage. We perform Gaussian boson sampling by sending 50 indistinguishable single-mode squeezed states into a 100-mode ultralow-loss interferometer with full connectivity and random matrix—the whole optical setup is phase-locked—and sampling the output using 100 high-efficiency single-photon detectors.”
The breakthrough in quantum computing is the result of about 20 years of effort by renowned Chinese Physicist – Pan Jianwei’s team, which conquered several major technological stumbling blocks, including a high-quality photon source.
While commenting on some of the challenges encountered in the process of creating the computer, physicist Pan Jianwei, who led the group of scientists said:
“For example, it is easy for us to have one sip of water each time, but it is difficult to drink just a water molecule each time,” Pan said. “A high-quality photon source needs to ‘release’ just one photon each time, and each photon needs to be exactly the same, which is quite a challenge.”
Last year, Google said it has built a computer that could perform a computation that would otherwise, take the fastest super-computer 10,000 years, in 200 seconds. The feat took Google to quantum supremacy.
However, the team of scientists expressly claimed that the new prototype they have just built, could run processes 10 billion times faster than the 53-qubit quantum computer developed by Google.