The Chinese tech giant scrapes Japan’s Fugaku and Google Sycamore (a quantum processor) and takes first place in the world’s most powerful and fastest computer rankings with the development of Zuchongzhi 2.
Zuchongzhi 2 Chinese or power war with the most powerful quantum computer
China is making amazing progress in computer technologies as the country seeks to rely less on foreign technology. Offering high levels of performance and versatility, Beijing has just unveiled its 2022 supercomputer called Zuchongzhi 2, which has already made it possible to get positive results against the West. The Chinese supremacy over quantum computers is clear, and Chinese researchers and companies are said to have far more patents on quantum technologies than Americans and Europeans.
Beijing, in turn, has made significant investments in this technology that has precedents. In 2021, a Chinese government directive revealed by the Financial Times indicated that all foreign hardware and software in running the country should be replaced with its domestic equivalent. The Chinese Zuchongzhi 2 will be 10 million times faster than Sycamore, more powerful on certain accounts and will have the advantage of fully operating at room temperature. Its performance is explained by its optical approach, which differs from that of Google’s metal-cooled superconductors.
There will be enough space to increase the power of this processor even more. This high-tech beast is equipped with a 66-kilobit quantum processor that is said to be 10 million times faster than the world’s best supercomputer. For example, Zuchongzhi 2 can calculate in a millisecond “fraction” of a task that the world’s fastest conventional computer would take 30,000 billion years to accomplish. Or, a machine could theoretically compute a random walk on 66 chess boards at once—a task that is impossible for any computer today.
The response to Donald Trump’s ban on Huawei?
Its processor was developed by Chinese researchers from the Center of Excellence in Information and Quantum Physics of the Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with several research centers in Shanghai. The Trump administration’s actions, by removing Chinese tech giant Huawei from US soil, and then by withdrawing its Google license to Android, played their part in Beijing’s decision to separate from “foreign technologies” in all of its public administrations.
The US justified the Huawei ban on the grounds of espionage, and Beijing certainly fears the same thing from the Americans.
Understanding the race for quantum computers
Why are quantum computers so important today in a world marked by the rise of espionage and data sanitization?
The potential of quantum computers is enormous. In fact, unbreakable encryption issues can be resolved in no time. Some experts claim that quantum computers can hack the highly secure decentralized blockchain of cryptocurrency bitcoin, for example, in no time. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will benefit from massive innovations thanks to this technology, as well as medicine and chemistry.
Also, supercomputers are commonly used by the US and Chinese military to analyze certain scenarios in order to improve military tools for all possible situations.
IBM is positioning itself with 1,000 qubits by the end of 2023
Quantities are used regularly to study geographic environments and ocean data to update certain predictive trends.
Some of these tasks will take a long time, even with the latest supercomputers. Nextgov notes: “Even the smallest computing particles need time to go from 1 to 0.”
However, quantum computers can overcome the physical limits of binary computer systems by creating a superposition of the values 1 and 0. Superconducting quantum computers use qubits that obtain a linear combination of states (1 and 0) by a quantum mechanical phenomenon. In other words, qubits can be 1 and 0 at the same time.
The current generation of quantum computers uses about 50 qubits. To crack an advanced code, thousands of qubits would be required. In November, US technology company IBM reportedly built a 127-qubit superconducting quantum computer, and it will unveil a 400-qubit computer this year. By 2023, IBM plans to have 1,000 qubits.
Given the increasing importance of these processes as the Fourth Industrial Revolution accelerates, it is no exaggeration to say that quantum computers will play a central role in key societal functions, from defense research to the advancement of scientists.