Chinese researchers say they have developed the most powerful quantum computer

Chinese scientists claim to have created the most powerful quantum computer to date. In a publication, the scientists say they solved a math problem in 1.2 hours with 56 qubits, which would make the computer more powerful than Google’s.

The results were obtained on the Zuchongzhi quantum computer created by a Chinese team at the University of Science and Technology in Shanghai. The researchers describe their results in a paper on ArXiv. It explains how they had Zuchongzhi calculate the output distribution of arbitrary quantum circuits. According to the scientists, that calculation is ‘a hundred times more complicated’ than the calculation that Google had performed in 2019. That happened with a computer that had a Sycamore quantum processor with 54 qubits. Until now, this was regarded as the fastest quantum computer calculation to date.

The Chinese scientists’ computer would have a maximum of 66 qubits, but 56 qubits would have been used for this calculation. The scientists say a practice calculation was performed in 1.2 hours, something that “the most powerful supercomputer would take at least eight years.” According to the scientists, the calculation shows how much the power of the quantum computer grows exponentially when more qubits are used.

An earlier quantum computer of the Chinese scientists, Jiuzhang, also made calculations on 53 qubits in 2019, but that computer was only suitable for one task. Zuchongzhi can be programmed to perform different types of tasks.