China’s Baidu promises its new ultra-high-speed machine, Qian Shi, to pave the way to the “long-awaited industrialization” of quantum computing.
The Beijing-based company is making its first quantum computer available for external use as companies and governments worldwide race to join the gap between the technology’s vast potential and practical application.
The company also announced what it said was the world’s first all-platform quantum hardware-software integration solution, dubbed Liang Xi. Baidu says it will allow users to access quantum computing “anytime and anywhere, even via smartphone.”
Qian Shi runs on a 10-qubit processor, which should offer “a stable and substantial” quantum computing service to the public, Baidu said in a statement. It noted that it was also working on a 36-qubit chip.
Japan’s Fujitsu could start commercial sales of 64-qubit-strong quantum computers as early as next year, according to Nikkei Asia. It is reportedly working to build a machine with over 1,000-qubit power by 2026.
The American tech giant IBM expects to achieve a 1,000-qubit milestone next year and sell machines with more than 4,000 qubit processors in 2025. At 127 qubits, its processor unveiled last year is still the world’s most powerful.
While quantum computers with more than 1,000-qubit processors should bring some breakthroughs, it is thought that it will require machines with one million-qubit power to achieve truly revolutionary feats – something that Google targets to build by the end of the decade.
According to market researcher IDC, governments and companies will spend nearly $16.4 billion on quantum computing by the end of 2027, with the US, China, and the EU all investing heavily in the field.
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