China Continues to Dominate Quantum Race

May 28, 2022

BEIJING, China—Chinese scientists are making multiple breakthroughs in quantum computers and many scientific and military analysts within the United States government are admitting China’s claims are not “fake.”

Telltale signs of China’s legitimate lead over the U.S. came in 2017, when Chinese scientists beamed entangled photons from its Micius satellite to conduct the world’s first quantum-secured video call and new internal research suggests China’s lead in quantum computing is extending, according to Scientific American.

In October 2021, Chinese scientists unveiled the world’s fastest programmable quantum computer, a million times more powerful than its nearest competitor, Google’s quantum processor called Sycamore. The Chinese cracked problems that are currently not feasible for “classical” non-quantum computers.

A team of researchers led by Pan Jianwei from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) developed a programmable superconducting quantum computer—Zuchongzhi 2.1—so powerful, that it’s 10 million times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Fugaku supercomputer in Kobe, Japan.

Meaning, China’s quantum computer can accomplish in one millisecond what would take a typical computer 30 trillion years, reports Newsweek.

The programmable quantum computer was named after a 5th-century mathematician. China’s photonic quantum computer based on light—Jiuzhang 2—can also carry out calculations 100 trillion times faster than Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer, according to the Independent.

“We estimate that the sampling task finished by Zuchongzhi in about 1.2 h [hours] will take the most powerful supercomputer at least 8 yr [years],” Pan stated.

On May 4, President Biden signed two documents—an executive order and a National Security Memorandum—to increase America’s quantum capabilities on offense and defense, reports Newsweek.

However, the United States does not have enough qualified scientists or the budget to compete against the Chinese.

But don’t worry, President Biden asked Congress for $2.6 billion for foreign aid programs that promote gender equality worldwide, more than double the size of last year’s request, according to U.S. News.

Remember the $40 billion President Biden gave to Ukraine? The United States borrowed that money from China, according to the National Review.

Why are quantum computers so important? Whichever country controls quantum supremacy will be able to launch unstoppable cyberattacks that could render every password and computing device useless. From the smartphone in our pockets to GPS in aircraft to the supercomputers that process stock market transactions to national security—would be at the mercy of China.

Feature Image via Unsplash

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