Chinese scientists claim to have built a quantum computer which is 100trillion times faster than the world's most advanced supercomputer - Japan's Fugaku, the Daily Mail has reported.
In June 2020, Japan took the lead in the supercomputer race, with a machine which is 2.8 times faster than the previous title holder. The Fugaku supercomputer was developed by research institute RIKEN and Fuijitsi Ltd and the processor technology comes from UK-based ARM.
The prototype of the groundbreaking Chinese machine is able to perform a calculation which would take a traditional computer billions of years to figure out. The breakthrough means the country has achieved quantum supremacy, a significant milestone as China and the US compete to lead in quantum computing technology.
While big tech firms such as Google, Microsoft, IBM and Intel are said to be avidly pursuing quantum computing technology, scientists in China have claimed quantum supremacy for themselves.
The latest research, conducted by experts at the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, was published in science journal and suggested no existing computer is able to perform a task as quickly and the technology is unlikely to be overturned, Bloomberg reports.
The breakthrough represents a quantum computational advantage, also known as quantum supremacy, in which no traditional computer can perform the same task in a reasonable amount of time and is unlikely to be overturned by algorithmic or hardware improvements, according to the research.
While still in its infancy, quantum computing is seen as the key to radically improving the processing speed and power of computers, enabling them to simulate large systems and drive advances in physics, chemistry and other fields.
Chinese researchers are competing against major U.S. corporations from Alphabet Inc.'s Google to Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. for a lead in the technology, which has become yet another front in the U.S.-China tech race, the Bloomberg reported.
Google said last year it has built a computer that could perform a computation in 200 seconds that would take the fastest supercomputers about 10,000 years, reaching quantum supremacy. The Chinese researchers claim their new prototype is able to process 10 billion times faster than Google's prototype, according to the Xinhua report.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's government is building a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences as part of a big push in the field.
In the U.S., the Trump administration provided $1 billion in funding to research into artificial intelligence and quantum information earlier this year and has sought to take credit for Google's 2019 breakthrough.
Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka took to Twitter in October 2019 to credit her father's government for Google's claims of quantum supremacy.
She wrote: 'It's official! The US has achieved quantum supremacy! In a collaboration between the Trump Admin, Google and UC Santa Barbara, quantum computer Sycamore has completed a calculation in 3 min 20 sec that would take about 10,000 years for a classical comp.