Chinese physicist aims for quantum computers
A Chinese scientist expects to lay a firm foundation that will foster the creation of a general-purpose quantum computer in 10 to 15 years.
Pan Jianwei, a renowned Chinese quantum physicist, spoke on Tuesday during the Sixth World Laureates Association Forum in Shanghai, financial news magazine Yicai reported.
"We will be able to achieve coherent manipulation of several hundred and then several thousand of qubits in five years," Pan said, using the term for quantum bits.
Pan is a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China.
He added that scientists would be able to manipulate several million of qubits in 10 to 15 years, thus laying a foundation for general-purpose quantum computers.
Quantum machines' astronomical computing power arises from their basic building blocks, called quantum bits, or qubits. Unlike bits in today's computers that present binary data — as either 0 or 1, similar to the on and off of a light switch — qubits can harness the strange property of quantum mechanics known as superposition and exist as 0, 1 or anything in between, like increments on a control knob.
Pan and his team recently created a quantum supercomputer prototype, Jiuzhang 3.0, that is able to solve a Gaussian boson sampling problem 10 quadrillion times faster than Frontier, the world's current most powerful supercomputer.
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