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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

China Building World's Biggest Quantum Research Facility

??Artist's impression of The National Laboratory for Quantum Information Science in Hefei, China.

China is building what it calls the worlds largest quantum research facility, to develop a quantum computer and other revolutionary forms of technology that can be used by the military for code-breaking or on stealth submarines.

Credit: Stephen Chen

China plans to develop a quantum computer and other "revolutionary" technologies for military applications by building the world's largest quantum research facility, according to researchers and authorities involved in the initiative.

Leading Chinese quantum scientist Pan Jianwei says the National Laboratory for Quantum Information Science will play an important role in China's ambition to achieve "quantum supremacy" by 2020, "with calculation power 1 million times to all existing computers around the world combined."

The Chinese Academy of Sciences' Guo Guoping says developing a general-purpose quantum computer could take even longer.

He notes a large facility with centralized resources could expedite such breakthroughs by pooling the collective, multidisciplinary skills and expertise of researchers across China.

However, Guo strongly doubts a code-breaking quantum computer could be developed by 2020, and says it is more likely that researchers worldwide will have created primitive quantum systems for handling some specific tasks.

From South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
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