Manipulating photons for microseconds tops 9,000 years on a supercomputer

Given an actual beam of light, a beamsplitter divides it in two. Given individual photons, the behavior becomes more complicated.

Enlarge / Given an precise beam of sunshine, a beamsplitter divides it in two. Given particular person photons, the habits turns into extra difficult. (credit score: Wikipedia)

Ars Technica’s Chris Lee has spent a superb portion of his grownup life enjoying with lasers, so he is a giant fan of photon-based quantum computing. At the same time as varied types of bodily {hardware} like superconducting wires and trapped ions made progress, it was doable to seek out him gushing about an optical quantum pc put collectively by a Canadian startup known as Xanadu. However, within the 12 months since Xanadu described its {hardware}, firms utilizing that different expertise continued to make progress by chopping down error charges, exploring new applied sciences, and upping the qubit rely.

However the benefit of optical quantum computing did not go away, and now Xanadu is again with a reminder that it hasn’t gone away both. Due to some tweaks to the design it described a 12 months in the past, Xanadu is now in a position to generally carry out operations with greater than 200 qubits. And it is proven that simulating the habits of simply a kind of operations on a supercomputer would take 9,000 years, whereas its optical quantum pc can do them in only a few dozen milliseconds.

That is a wholly contrived benchmark: simply as Google’s quantum pc did, the quantum pc is simply being itself whereas the supercomputer is attempting to simulate it. The information right here is extra concerning the potential of Xanadu’s {hardware} to scale.

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