Chinese scientists have built the world's first quantum computing machine, paving the way for this technology to outperform classical, or conventional, computers.
Scientists announced their achievement during a press conference in the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Studies of University of Science and Technology of China on Wednesday.
Recently, Chinese leading quantum physicist Pan Jianwei, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his colleagues, Lu Chaoyang and Zhu Xiaobo, of the University of Science and Technology of China, and Wang Haohua, of Zhejiang University, set two international records in quantum control of the maximal numbers of entangled photonic quantum bits and entangled superconducting quantum bits.
Pan said quantum computers could, in principle, solve certain problems faster than classical computers. Despite substantial progress in the past two decades, building quantum machines that can actually outperform classical computers in some specific tasks - an important milestone termed "quantum supremacy" - remains challenging.
The test results show the sampling rate of this prototype is at least 24,000 times faster than international counterparts, according to Pan's team.
At the same time, the prototype quantum computing machine is 10 to 100 times faster than the first electronic computer, ENIAC, and the first transistor computer, TRADIC, in running the classical algorithm, Pan said.
It is the first quantum computing machine based on single photons that goes beyond the early classical computer, The achievement was published online in the latest issue of Nature Photonics this week.
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