In China, a quantum computer model sets a new world record

In China, a quantum computer model sets a new world record

In China

Zuchongzhi's machine reaches 56 qubits and beats Google's mighty Sycamore by 2. The results of the experiment, still unpublished, open new frontiers of development

(photo: Pete Linforth via Pixabay) A Chinese research team gives away a new prototype of a quantum computer with 56 qubits, which could even surpass the quantum processor by 54 qubit so far record holder, the Google Sycamore. The new model, called the Zuchongzhi machine, like all quantum computers is still in the development phase in the laboratory. Created by scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China, this could prove to be even more powerful than its predecessors and above all it adds a step in the path towards achieving the goal: to have quantum computers available for common and widespread use. According to the authors, Zuchongzhi is able to carry out in just over an hour a task that the most performing supercomputer (but not quantum) to date already in use completes in 8 years. The results, not yet peer reviewed, are available for a preview consultation on arXiv.

Zuchongzhi and Sycamore in comparison

The new Zuchongzhi, a name that probably - but is not explicit in the work - comes from the Chinese mathematician, astronomer and engineer who lived in the 1st century AD Zu Chongzhi is actually based on 66 qubits, although 56 qubits were used for this first experiment. The authors compared some performances with that of the quantum processor Sycamore, which in 2019 announced the first application of the so-called "quantum supremacy" (i.e. the ability to perform an action that a classic PC cannot do).

In that case, the Google computer was able to perform a calculation in a short time that another non-quantum computer would have solved in about 10 thousand years. In this case, according to the authors of the model, we go even further, given that the operation carried out by Zuchongzhi would be 100 to 1,000 times more complex than that carried out by Sycamore. The limitations of the research concern for now the fact that it is not yet peer reviewed and therefore it is necessary to wait for the publication to get more details.

The differences are linked to the methods of realization of the prototype. Sycamore is based on a device made up of electrons and superconductors, on which are based the qubits that make these complicated operations possible. In the case of Zuchongzhi, on the other hand, optical circuits and photons were used to make them. Another novelty, according to the authors.

From novelty to applications

“The high precision and programmability of the platform on which the quantum computer is based - the authors write in the paper - opens a new way to explore new phenomena based on many-body systems and implement complex quantum algorithms ”. The other operations may involve more precise generation of random numbers for password generation, data protection and other aspects of cryptography, the improved study of chemical reactions and much more.

What is a computer quantum

Quantum computer prototypes have already been available for some time, but these products cannot yet perform extensive operations, as they must be used under particular laboratory conditions, such as very low temperatures. In general, therefore, these are not technologies that will be ready and usable quickly. But every step forward, even today, brings us closer to the goal.

The future of technology will probably be partly represented by quantum computers, which are based, instead of on bits, on quantum bits or qubits, quantum information unit. While the traditional PC bit is a binary digit that can take the value 0 or 1, and is the minimum amount of information needed to distinguish two equiprobable events, with the qubit things get complicated, making the instrument more powerful thanks to this greater complexity. The quantum bit is a quantum device, made up of very thin layers of superconductors (at least in the case of Sycamore, the conception of the Chinese model is different), and can be 0 or 1 or both, due to strange and fascinating properties of quantum mechanics. The same ones underlying Schrödinger's cat paradox. In this way, the amount of actions they can perform at the same time and in a very short time is really high.

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Quantum computers Physics Google quantum mechanics globalData.fldTopic = "Quantum computer, Physics, Google, quantum mechanics"

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