Chinese researchers claim to have achieved quantum supremacy
Researchers in China have claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy, building a quantum computer capable of carrying out calculations trillions of times faster than today’s most powerful supercomputers.
The computer, developed by a team of scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China in central Hefei, completed a calculation almost 100tn times quicker than existing supercomputers. The breakthrough comes a year after Google proclaimed itself the first to reach the milestone with its Sycamore machine.
According to Lu Chaoyang, a professor in charge of the experiment at USTC, the Chinese computer achieved the breakthrough by manipulating particles of light. This contrasts with Google’s supercomputer, which relied on ultra-cold superconducting chips.
Christine Silberhorn, an expert in quantum optics at Paderborn University in Ger many, called the Chinese team’s work a “milestone experiment”.
While the use of quantum machines to solve practical problems is still years away, the emerging field is hotly contested, with the US and China racing to gain advantages in areas such as encryption and complex problem-solving.