China Stakes Its Claim to Quantum Supremacy
Google won international acclaim for its prototype quantum computer last year, which completed a calculation in minutes that would have taken supercomputer thousands of years. On Thursday, the Chinese quantum research group declared that it had achieved quantum supremacy, citing results acquired with its system called Jiuzhang, which completed calculations thought to take two billion years of effort in just minutes.
However, while the two systems draw many similarities in terms of quantum computing, the way they function is fundamentally different. Google builds quantum circuits using superconducting metal that has been chilled to extreme temperatures whereas the Chinese quantum team records results by manipulating photons. Although the world still hasn’t achieved useful quantum computing, the two different types of technology producing results is a promising step in the process.
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