General, Research, Technology

In China, a quantum computer was created that solved the most difficult problem in 200 seconds

Chinese scientists have developed a quantum computer that could solve one of the most difficult problems in 200 seconds... Even the most powerful classical computer would have spent computing about 2.5 billion years... The phenomenon in which a quantum computerturns out to be much more powerful than usual, it is customary to call the quantum advantage. Google first announced its quantum advantage in 2019, but its success has been criticized. As part of this article, I invite you to briefly understand what a quantum computer is, what kind of problem it was able to solve and how. And does this mean that in the near future, our home computers will become thousands of times more powerful?

The invention of the quantum computer could change the life of humanity

What is a quantum computer?

In short, in classic computersbits are used to store information. And in quantum computers, so-called qubits are used for this, which contain much more data. This is why it is believed that quantum computers are potentially much more powerful than classical computers. However, at the moment, scientists do not know how to control a large number of qubits, and there are only a few dozen of them in quantum computers. But in ordinary computers, the amount of RAM is several gigabytes, that is, tens of billions (!) Of bits.

At the moment, quantum computers look something like this

What is Quantum Advantage?

Quantum computers in the future reallycan replace the usual ones, but at the moment they are far from perfect. However, even with only a few qubits with them, they solve some problems thousands of times faster than even the most powerful computers. Such achievements are called quantum advantage and in 2019 the company shared such successGoogle. The quantum computer Sycamore developed by her solved one difficult problem in 3 minutes. And for the supercomputer Summit, it would have taken over 10,000 years. But skeptics noted that when set up correctly, the Summit computer completed the task in a matter of days. So the fact of achieving quantum supremacy by Google is still questioned.

Sycamore quantum computer

Interesting fact: the term originally mentioned above sounded like "quantum superiority". But then this phrase was considered politically incorrect and replaced with "quantum advantage".

Chinese quantum computer

In 2020, Chinese scientists tried to achieve quantum supremacy. To do this, they developed a computer designed to solve the problem of sampling bosons... In short, the system needswas to calculate the passage of light particles (photons) through an optical device. This problem was formulated several years ago, but it is simply impossible to create a mathematical formula for its solution. According to the authors of the scientific work, the TaihuLight supercomputer would take about 2.5 billion years to solve this problem. But the quantum computer completed the task in just 200 seconds.

One of the most powerful computers in the world - Sunway TaihuLight

See also: A 50-qubit quantum computer will be created in Russia

The solution was made possible thanks to one trick.Since the problem deals with light particles, the same photons were used in the computer instead of qubits. Thus, scientists have simplified the task directly "at the iron level." It turns out that the researchers really managed to achieve quantum superiority. But this time it was not without criticism. The fact is that the device created for solving the problem can only be called a computer at a stretch. It uses quantum computing with qubits, but cannot be programmed. That is, at the moment such a computer cannot be used for other tasks. But the fact that the quantum advantage has been achieved is already there.

If you are interested in the news of science and technology, subscribe to our Telegram channel. There you will find announcements of the latest news from our site!

However, over time the programmablea system based on quanta will probably be created anyway. When that happens, technology will advance at lightning speed. For example, humanity will be able to quickly invent drugs for dangerous diseases and even learn the secrets of the universe. You can learn more about how a quantum computer works in this video.