Chinese researchers recently unveiled a quantum machine capable of performing a calculation in just over an hour, which could take several years for the fastest supercomputer.
This achievement is the latest milestone in a series of exciting developments in quantum computing over the past two years. During this period, several teams of researchers succeeded in reaching ” Quantum supremacy ‘, that is, the threshold at which a quantum computer performs a task that is almost impossible to complete for a device based on a conventional architecture.
Initially crossed in 2019 by The Google, using superconducting qubits (which can simultaneously act as ” 1 “and the” 0 Relying on current flow to perform complex calculations), a Chinese team also surpassed that feat at the end of 2020, using a single-mission machine. baptized Jiuzhang, uses optical qubits (which are light-dependent and exhibit superior performance).
As part of the work recently published on the prepublish server arXiv, another Chinese team led by Jian Wei Pan From’Shanghai University of Science and TechnologyHe also succeeded in achieving quantum supremacy, using a superconducting qubit machine more powerful than that of the California giant.
baptized ZuchongzhiTheir quantum computers can simultaneously handle up to 66 superconducting qubits. In total, 56 of them were used by the team to evaluate its performance, via ” Quantum Circuits Random Sampling Task Including particularly complex operations, this was a suitable candidate to demonstrate the advantages of quantum computing.
« Zuchongzhi’s sampling mission in about 1.2 hours will take at least eight years for the most powerful supercomputer ‘, the team appreciates. ” Our work highlights the subsequent advantage that this highly accurate programmable quantum platform provides for calculations that conventional machines have not been able to complete within a reasonable time.. »
The researchers also determined that the task was about 100 times more difficult than the task the wizard solved. sycamore from The Google In 2019. The latter uses 54 qubits against 56 for ZuchongzhiThis new performance highlights the importance of the seemingly small increase in the number of bits, which leads to a significant improvement in processor performance.
If these numbers stay well below 76 photonic qubits to be manipulated by the quantum machine JiuzhangIts processor included an unprecedented configuration of lasers, mirrors, prisms and photon detectors and was not programmable, unlike sycamore or Zuchongzhi.