A Chinese start-up has reportedly developed and delivered a working quantum computer, in a move likely to add to US unease
A Chinese start-up has developed a quantum computer and delivered it to an unnamed customer, according to a state media report on Monday.
The 24-qubit “Wuyuan” system uses superconducting chip technology and was delivered more than a year ago, according to a report by the state science ministry’s newspaper Science and Technology Daily.
The system was developed by start-up Origin Quantum, founded in 2017 by Guo Guoping and Guo Guangcan, leading quantum physicists at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, in China’s eastern Anhui province.
The report said the start-up had developed several computers since delivering Wuyuan in 2021.
For Wuyuan, Origin Quantum created a custom operating system, software and a cloud computing platform, in addition to a range of superconducting quantum chips, Origin Quantum co-founder Guo Guoping told Shanghai-based news website The Paper on Monday.
He said a more powerful quantum computer named Wukong would be available “soon”.
Guo told the site quantum computing would deliver benefits in daily life within three to five years.
“Quantum computers can act as accelerators. For example, a problem might take 10 traditional supercomputers a month to calculate. If a quantum computer is added to the computing group, the calculation time may be reduced to three to seven days,” he told the site.
The Science and Technology Daily report, which gave few details about Wuyuan, is the first official confirmation that quantum computing technology has been used in a completed system in China.
The report said the system makes China the third country after the US and Canada capable of delivering a complete quantum computer system.
The development is likely to be viewed with unease in the US, which has been working to restrict China’s development of advanced technologies such as 5G, high-end semiconductors and quantum computers by limiting Chinese firms’ access to advanced microprocessors and chip manufacturing equipment.
Last year Alan Estevez, head of the US Commerce Department’s bureau of industry and security, said the administration was looking to expand its sanctions into new areas.
Asked whether the department was considering restrictions on quantum computing and biotechnology, Estevez told the CNAS think tank, “If I was a betting person, I would put down money on that.”