China and India Compete in Developing Quantum Computers

China and India are engaged in a race to develop their own quantum computers, with the United States’ IBM set to achieve a significant milestone in this field. India, although a latecomer compared to China, has approved a funding package of US$730 million for its National Quantum Mission (NQM). The NQM aims to deliver intermediate-scale quantum computers with 50-1,000 physical qubits by 2031. The US and India have also established a joint Indo-US Quantum Coordination Mechanism to foster collaboration in quantum research. However, India is currently working on a 7-qubit quantum computer, while China has already launched the 66-qubit Zuchongzhi 2, which remains the fastest quantum computer in the country. Origin Quantum, a Chinese company, plans to develop a 1,000-qubit quantum computer by 2025 but has faced challenges launching its 72-qubit quantum computer, Wukong. It aims to launch Wukong by the end of this year. The development of quantum computers has also faced obstacles due to US sanctions on exports of high-end semiconductors and supercomputers to China. Origin Quantum, however, is unlikely to be affected as it has not received foreign funds and has outsourced its superconducting chip production. In addition to developing quantum computers, Origin Quantum is also exploring applications in the medical field. IBM, on the other hand, has launched the world’s fastest quantum computer, Osprey, and plans to debut the 1,121-qubit Condor this year. Quantum computing with more than 1,000 physical qubits allows for over 50 logical or usable qubits capable of performing various calculations and creating commercial value.

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