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China just achieved quantum supremacy…

China just achieved quantum supremacy…
August 21, 2023

The University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) just reached quantum supremacy. The university’s quantum computer managed to solve a calculation in 200 seconds that would take the fastest computer in China 2.5 billion years to solve. 

This comes almost exactly two years after Google achieved quantum supremacy for the first time in September 2019. And USTC’s quantum computer raised the bar.   The problem it solved was three orders of magnitude more difficult than Google’s prior calculation. Of course, USTC had more quantum computing power to work with. Its quantum computer is a 56-qubit machine. 

Google was only working with 54 qubits back in 2019, only 53 of which were working.   Important to note is that qubits don’t scale linearly. Just by adding a few extra quantum bits, the computing power grows exponentially. 

This is another major breakthrough in the world of quantum computing. Quantum computers have advanced to solve more complex problems. And they are becoming less error-prone. In industry speak, there is less “noise” in the system. (edited)

Two years have passed since Google’s first quantum announcement. Yet it hasn’t published any major announcements about its quantum computing research. Interesting… I am absolutely certain that Google’s quantum program is far ahead of what USTC just announced. Google has poured too much time, energy, and capital into quantum computing to just stop advancing the program.  

So I think Google has something extraordinary right now in the quantum computing space. Leading up to its announcement in 2019, its progress had been improving exponentially. The same has been happening over the last two years.  Google is keeping everything under wraps while continuing its work behind closed doors. 

As I look into 2022, I predict we’re going to see some more breakthroughs with quantum computing. There is so much happening in the space, and with error correction, these computing systems will be capable of tackling and solving problems that were impossible to address even a year ago.

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