The Chinese have created the world’s most powerful programmable quantum computer – it has 56 qubits

The development of Chinese researchers called Zuchongzhi. It is a two-dimensional programmable superconducting quantum processor capable of combining up to 66 qubits. To demonstrate its capabilities, scientists from the Celestial Empire used 56 qubits. The system was tasked with modeling random quantum circuits – performing long sequences of operations on qubits and measuring the results. And the more qubits in the system, the more complicated the solution to the problem. Getting the same results on a classical supercomputer would be extremely difficult because of the need to calculate the huge number of possible states the system can be in (two to the same degree as the number of qubits).

“According to our calculations with the task of modeling random quantum chains Zuchongzhi coped in 1.2 hours, while the most powerful supercomputers in the world for it will take at least eight years,” the researchers point out in their article. The scientists also note that their work demonstrates the clear superiority in computing power over the classical computers, which do not allow to perform such calculations in a reasonable time.

The problem that China’s Zuchongzhi quantum computer solved is about 100 times more complex than the one solved by Google’s Sycamore quantum processor in 2019, which has been called the most powerful in the world. The Sycamore quantum system used 54 qubits, while the Zuchongzhi used 56, and in doing so demonstrated a result proving that as the number of quantum bits increases, the performance of the quantum system increases exponentially. Thus, the new Chinese development is the most powerful programmable quantum computer in the world, and has the potential to increase productivity (when activated all available 66 qubits).

By the way, the same team of Chinese scientists demonstrated another quantum computer in 2020. It was based on 76 photon qubits and used a complex setup of lasers, mirrors, prisms, photon detectors and was not programmable, like Zuchongzhi or Sycamore.