University researchers are developing an innovative quantum device
Quantum computing uses the realm of quantum physics in an effort to dramatically increase the speed at which computers can process information. Chinese scientists report that their prototype can perform calculations that would take billions of years for a normal computer to solve. It happens when a country is embroiled in a technological race with the United States over who can achieve quantum supremacy.
The findings on quantum computing were published in the journal Science on Thursday, behind the machine by scientists at China University of Science and Technology in Hefei.
The chief professor of the experiment, Lu Chaoyang, said the team had achieved a breakthrough by manipulating light particles.
China’s official news agency Xinhua claimed the computer was 10 billion times faster than the Google Sycamore machine that was launched last year.
The study also claimed that the prototype was 100 trillion times faster than the Japanese Fukagu supercomputer, which was launched in June and was widely regarded as the fastest computer in the world.
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Chinese news: Scientists have developed a quantum computer 100 trillion times faster than Fugaku
Chinese News: Chinese prototype has allowed team to declare quantum superiority with world’s fastest model
Mr. Lu detailed how his team’s quantum computer differed from Google’s, and the American machine used ultra-cold superconducting chips instead of Chinese manipulation of light particles.
The scientist added that he admired Google’s work, and told the Financial Times: “Creating a quantum computer is a race between people and nature, not between countries.”
Mr Lu then said that the machines had a limited level of performance, adding that they could “only perform certain work and not all work”.
He continued: “It is not yet fully programmable. We are working on that. “
Chinese news: Lu Chaoyang said the prototype is manipulating light particles to increase processing speed
Chinese news: The US and China have invested billions in technology
If quantum computers are built on a scale, they will be able to create an exponential increase in computing power, with a significant impact on the countries that use it.
Mr Lu welcomed the development of his team and said: “Scientists are close to useful quantum machines that can do something insignificant.”
Other experts in the field welcomed the development, with Kristine Silberhorn, a quantum optics expert at the University of Paderborn in Germany, describing the work of the Chinese team as a “turning point experiment.”
Richard Marey, chief executive of London’s quantum computing company ORCA, added: “There are still people who question whether quantum computers will be a reality. As the two systems have reached this benchmark, this argument sounds quite unlikely. “
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In an effort to beat the United States to quantum superiority, China announced it would invest $ 10 billion (£ 7.44 billion) in the new National Quantum Information Science Laboratory earlier this year.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has spent a billion dollars (744 million pounds) this year on research into artificial intelligence and quantum information.
When Google announced his Sycamore machine last year, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, quickly credited Mr. Trump’s administration.
She said on Twitter, “It’s official! The United States has reached quantum supremacy! (…) We are proud to have contributed to this major milestone by introducing the next generation of quantum technology in the United States!
Chinese news: In addition to Russia, Beijing has also invested heavily in space exploration
Chinese news: Experts fear China will use technological superiority for global dominance
The United States and China have entered into a race to develop new technologies for fear that the other country could use its superiority to advance military efforts.
Earlier this year, Beijing and Moscow announced that they would cooperate in space exploration and other related technological advances, focusing on the United States.
It came after John Ratcliffe, Mr Trump’s director of National Intelligence, wrote an option in the Wall Street Journal warning that China had plans to “dominate” the world “economically, militarily and technologically.”
The chairman of the joint leaders, General Mark Milley, also warned that the United States must accelerate the development of robotic weapons in order to beat China in the technological field.
He told the US Naval Institute: “They would not only want to align us, but also to defeat us, to dominate us, to be able to defeat us in armed conflict by the middle of the century.”