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About Quantum Hegemony

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) gave the 2021 Gordon Bell Prize, an annual award for outstanding achievement in high-performance computing, to a Chinese supercomputing team at the Supercomputing Conference (SC21) held in St. Louis on Nov 18, for their project entitled “Closing the ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Gap: Achieving Real-Time Simulation of a Random Quantum Circuit Using a New Sunway Supercomputer.”

Quantum supremacy, or quantum advantage, refers to a device capable of solving problems standard computers cannot in a feasible amount of time. Researchers at Google and the University of Science and Technology of China have both claimed to have developed devices that achieve quantum supremacy.

Determining whether a device achieves quantum dominance in a given task starts with sampling the interactions between quantum bits in a random quantum circuit (RQC). Due to the large number of interactions possible, modeling the interactions of the quantum bits can only be carried out by high-performance computers.

In their prizewinning project, Chinese researchers introduced a design process encompassing algorithms and parallelization as well as the architecture required for the simulation. Using the new-generation Sunway Supercomputer, they effectively simulated a 10x10x (1+40+1) random quantum circuit, which is considered a new milestone for simulation of RQC, far outpacing the most recent achievements of Google’s Summit supercomputer.

 

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