The drumbeat around development of quantum computing continues to grow in mainstream media, as evidenced by a report in today’s Wall Street Journal (China Seeks a Quantum Leap in Computing). While timelines for practical deployment remain uncertain, expectations for quantum computing continue to grow. In the U.S., for example, the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) has called for greater public-private collaboration to speed commercial development while also cautioning against excessive near-term expectations.
Significant quantum computing development programs, with generous government funding, have sprung up around the world, but visibility into China’s quantum computing effort is somewhat veiled. The WSJ reports, “The U.S., Germany, France and India are among the countries that have each committed upward of $1 billion in state funding to be spent on quantum technologies research over the next few years. Beijing doesn’t release numbers on its planned investments, but Chinese media reports and U.S. policy research groups, including Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank Rand Corp. and McKinsey, have placed its commitment over a similar period to between $1 billion and more than $15 billion.”
China has said technology trade restrictions by the U.S. (mostly advanced semiconductor chips) are impeding China’s quantum computing development efforts. Here’s brief excerpt from the WSJ article, written by Karen Hao:
“Baidu Inc., a Chinese internet pioneer known for its Google-like search engine, said in late August that it had built its own version of a quantum computer, an experimental device that exploits the quirks of quantum physics to perform calculations at speeds far beyond those of conventional electronic computers.
“The advance follows similar ones made in recent years by International Business Machines Corp., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and other companies in the U.S., which is widely viewed as the world leader in quantum computing research.
“Baidu said its new computer—an assemblage of metal plates and wires that looks a bit like an oversize chandelier—is accessible free of charge via a website and mobile app to researchers, engineers and even schoolchildren. U.S. companies, including IBM and Google, also offer websites to access their quantum computers.”
By providing public access to its quantum computer via the web, Baidu is helping ramp up commercial quantum development in China. Quantum computing is expected to provide dramatic advantages over classical computing in several areas, among them optimization, logistics, materials simulation, AI, and drug development.
Link to Wall Street Journal article, https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-competing-us-quantum-computing-11664997892?mod=hp_lead_pos13