The sci-fi dream of quantum computing has been real for years now. Back in 2019, Google partnered with NASA to create a Quantum Computer that performed calculations far faster than traditional PCs.
In the two years since Google's Quantum Computer went live, a Chinese research team led by Jian-Wei Pan have upped the anti. Last year, the team already improved upon Google's efforts by using light-based photonic qubits instead of current-powered superconducting qubits. However, they've already improved on that design with Zuchongzhi.
China's Zuchongzhi Quantum Computer
Once again spearheaded by researcher Jian-Wei Pan, the Chinese research team have created the world’s fastest Quantum Computer. The goal was to create a computer with “Quantum Advantage" over Google's supercomputer. This means that their new device would be able to solve complex computations that would take the rival device years to complete.
According to the study published via ArXiv, the team succeeded. Powered by their Quantum Processor, Zuchongzhi, the team performed a calculation in 1.2 hours that would take “take the most powerful supercomputer at least eight years”.
Quantum computing specifications are far different from those of traditional computing. With that said, Zuchongzhi is described as a “2D programmable computer" that can simultaneously utilise 66 qubits.
The demonstration provided in the team’s research only used 56 of the 66 available to solve their sampling task. However, the problem that was solved is described as “around 100 times" more complex than Google's Sycamore supercomputer’s demonstration. Sycamore used 54 qubits compared to Zuchongzhi's 56. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that Zuchongzhi is leagues ahead.
A Quantum Leap
The world of quantum computing is evolving exponentially. Zuchongzhi's current lead on the technology is a massive step above what's come before. China's huge lead will only lead to furious competition. In the report, the describes their computational advantage as so:
“Our work establishes an unambiguous quantum computational advantage that is infeasible for classical computation in a reasonable amount of time. The high-precision and programmable quantum computing platform opens a new door to explore novel many-body phenomena and implement complex quantum algorithms.”
In just over two years, the team has crushed Google and NASA's combined efforts. Will that lead continue?