China has managed to build the world’s first ever quantum computer, which clocks in at a whopping 24,000 times faster than its international counterparts.
Created by researchers at the University of Science and Technology at Hefei in the Anhui province, the quantum computer is a highly advanced machine, capable of performing multiple complex calculations simultaneously, like predicting the movement and behaviour of subatomic particles.
The short of it is that traditional computers process one operation at a time, whereas quantum computers can look at multiple states of data and calculate their outcomes simultaneously.
While the theory behind quantum computing has been around for decades, actually building the architecture required has proven to be a challenge. So far, researchers have only been able to replicate the technology with very small amounts of memory, less than what’s in your smartphone.
That’s why China’s development is so important; it marks the first single photon-based quantum computing machine that goes beyond the early classical computer. Despite using a fraction of the memory hardware, the Hefei quantum computer is already 10 to 100 times faster than ENIA, the first ever digital computer built in 1946. The advancement paves the way for scaled up quantum computers in the future, that will far outclass any supercomputers currently in existence.