The World's Fastest Quantum Computer Has Been Developed
The Emergence of the Fastest Quantum Computer
According to a foreign media report on June 23, last week, the technology giant Honeywell stated that the company currently has the world's fastest quantum computer, which has twice the quantum volume of the IBM machine, a key indicator. This means that Honeywell is beginning to fulfill its promise made in March to increase its quantum computing power by 10 times each year in the next five years.
The Fastest Quantum Computer Breakthrough
Honeywell's quantum computer is called H0, and it scores 64 on the measurement of quantum volume. This test not only measures the total number of qubits (the basic element of data processing in quantum computers) of the machine, but also measures the use of these qubits by the machine. This result far exceeds the 32 points scored by the IBM quantum computer Raleigh in January.
Quantum computing relies on the weird rules of atomic-level physics to solve problems that can hardly be solved by ordinary "classical" computers. So far, quantum computers are mostly very tricky research projects, and only performed better than classical computers in a narrow "quantum supremacy" test conducted by Google.
But as researchers add more qubits and learn to protect them from interference, it is expected that the performance of quantum computers will become more powerful. Researchers predict that quantum computers are good at tasks including optimizing financial portfolios, machine learning, and designing new materials such as solar panels or batteries.
Research on the Fastest Quantum Computer
A few decades ago, Honeywell was primarily a top manufacturer of mainframes, but it sold this business and no longer focused on the computer industry. Until recent years, the company quietly formed a team of 120 researchers in Colorado and Minnesota, and used its expertise in materials science and industrial operations to solve quantum computing problems.
Tony Utley, president of Honeywell's quantum computing division, said that as the company adds more qubits, the quantum volume of Honeywell H0 will increase from today's 64 to 640,000. He said: "You can imagine a quantum computer as an auditorium with many seats, and now we are trying to fill these seats."
The Fastest Quantum Computer Progress
Utelli also revealed that Honeywell is developing a system called H1 whose performance will be better than H0.
The number of qubits in a quantum computer is very important. The greater the number of qubits, the more solutions researchers can use, which in turn can help solve more complex problems. But the number of qubits by itself is not a perfect measure of computer performance, which is why IBM proposed quantum volume.
451 Research analyst James Sanders said: "IBM's quantum volume benchmark is one of the earliest attempts to solve this problem. As quantum computers become more powerful, other benchmarks will inevitably be eliminated." But for now. In other words, at least the machine performance of IBM and Honeywell can be easily compared.
IBM now has 18 quantum computers, and it has made its own commitment to improve performance through a plan to double the number of qubits every year. Dario Gil, head of IBM research, said that IBM is confident in its own approach, but believes that Honeywell's approach has potential.
Honeywell's quantum computer uses a design called ion trap, which can hold qubits. IBM and Google use very different methods, called superconducting qubits, which require quantum computers to be cooled to absolute zero. Microsoft and Intel are looking for other methods, hoping to surpass their competitors. It is unclear which method will win.
Honeywell’s Utelli says that different aspects of the computational problem may be outsourced to different types of quantum computers. What is certain is that quantum computers will go hand in hand with classical computers, helping to improve their capabilities, rather than completely replacing them.