Quantum Supremacy to China?

(To Alessandro Rugolo)
07/12/20

We have long been talking about the evolution of quantum technology applied to computers and cryptographic algorithms. Three years ago we spoke in an article about the "post-quantum crypto project", an American project that aims to counter the use of quantum technologies by studying new encryption algorithms, theoretically more robust than the current ones.

In 2019 Alessandro Fiori took up the topic with a nice article which quickly retraces the history of cryptography to arrive at the state of the art of quantum computing, in which we spoke, among other things, of the Chinese project QUESS, thanks to which China aims to create a secure satellite telecommunications network.

In July this year, Mario Raso took up the subject again with a article on the use of algorithms (Grover, Shor ...) to break the encryption through the use of quantum computers in a relatively short time when compared to those used by classical computers or supercomputers.

Those who follow technological evolution have realized that in this field we are now proceeding very quickly, thanks to the enormous funding allocated by the superpowers to obtain an unparalleled strategic advantage.

Google last year announced that it had created a quantum computer (Sycamore) capable of performing operations in a time of 200 seconds that a classic supercomputer can accomplish in 10.000 years. At that time there was already talk of American "Quantum Supremacy" ...

But now Chinese scientists from the state agency Xinhua claim that they have succeeded in creating a quantum computer capable of performing Google's computer calculations 10 billion times faster. Of course we are talking about cutting-edge research and specific problems and not general capabilities. The problem of the treated case is known as "Boson sampling" and concerns the recognition (or prediction) of a determined behavior due to a particular photon characteristic.

China is investing about $ 10 billion in the National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences project, a mammoth infrastructure spread over an area of ​​37 hectares in the city of Hefei, Anhui province. A huge project that will attract the best scientists in the industry, not just Chinese.
A few months ago, Chinese company Origin Quantum (based in Hefei) announced the launch of its platform in cloud quantum computer-based 6-qubit superconducting quantum computer Wuyuan. The same company is working on a 24 qubit processor. 

The USA and China continue the race towards what is called "Quantum Supremacy" and which will give an advantage unattainable in the most disparate fields, from the military and defense world, to medicine and more generally to the modeling of complex systems in the civil sector.

To learn more:

Chinese Scientists Claim Breakthrough in Quantum Computing Race - Bloomberg;

Quantum Computing and Encryption - Online Defense

Chinese scientists claim breakthrough in quantum computing race (hindustantimes.com)

Google claims 'Quantum Supremacy' with Sycamore chip that out-computes modern supercomputers (hindustantimes.com)

Chinese claim to have built a quantum computer 100 trillion times faster than the world's most advanced supercomputer - The Muslim Times

Quantum computational advantage using photons | Science (sciencemag.org)

A quantum computer that measures light has achieved quantum supremacy | New Scientist

China scientists say they've achieved a quantum computing breakthrough | Fortune

China is opening a new quantum research supercenter | Popular Science (popsci.com)

China Focus: Chinese scientists expect better development of quantum science and technology - Xinhua | English.news.cn (xinhuanet.com)

Origin Quantum launches superconducting quantum computing cloud platform- China.org.cn

Photo: University of Science and Technology of China