Quantum Computing World Record Broken by Australia


Author :Justin Brunnette

Category: IT News

Quantum Computing World Record Broken by Australia

The quantum computer race has been heating up as we have seen some landmark achievements in recent months. In the closing months of 2017, IBM had revealed the world’s first working 50-qubit quantum computer which could hold a quantum state for 90 microseconds. In March of this year Google had completed “Bristlecone”, the largest quantum CPU at 72-qubits. Now arrives the success of the largest quantum computing simulation to date.
Physicists at the University of Melbourne have set a new world record in quantum simulation on a classical computer. The simulation was run on Pawsey Supercomputing center’s “Magnus” supercomputer, performing 60 qubit equivalent. The previous record holder was IBM who have been able to simulate 56 qubits. To put this into perspective, it would be the same as running over a billion laptops that had 16 gigs of ram each or a staggering 18,000 petabytes of memory.
The feat was accomplished by utilizing just 13.8 terabytes of memory from Magnus. This was possible because the research team did not need to simulate entire quantum states but rather a highly structured mathematical equation.
Professor Hollenberg of University of Melbourne explains, “A truly random state of about 50 qubits is pretty much the limit one can simulate at present, but if you consider a quantum computer doing something useful like running an algorithm it is no longer in a random quantum state, but in a very specific one that can take up substantially less memory to simulate.”
The simulation in question known as Shor’s Algorithm, or a Quantum Factoring Algorithm which calculates the two prime numbers that produces the product of the semi-prime number 961,307. Although this algorithm could theoretically be run on any run of the mill laptop, it would take so long that the atoms comprising the laptop decomposing into energy would take less time (due to entropy and all).
It is this precise difficulty that cryptographers utilized for the RSA public-key encryption system the internet relies on. But Aidan Dang, a student at University of Melbourne, developed a simulation of Shor’s algorithm that could be run on a supercomputer.
The researchers explain that this will help in the understanding of some of the potential applications of quantum computers once they have become fully viable. This head start can allow us to prepare in the future on how quantum computers will operate, on applications of softwares and the potential problems it can solve.
Professor Hollenberg states that stable universal quantum computer that have over 100 qubits may be enough power to solve problems that no classical supercomputers can which may be within the next decade. Simulations like these will be one of the best ways to prepare institutions when quantum computers make their debut.

Original Article:https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/quantum-leap-in-computer-simulation