File photo shows the quantum simulation laboratory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Cai Yang)
A research team including renowned Chinese quantum physicist Pan Jianwei announced Friday a significant computing breakthrough, achieving quantum computational advantage.
The team established a quantum computer prototype, named "Jiuzhang," via which a maximum of 76 photons was detected. The study was published in Science magazine online.
This achievement marks that China has reached the first milestone on the path to full-scale quantum computing -- a quantum computational advantage, also known as "quantum supremacy," which indicates an overwhelming quantum computational speedup.
No traditional computer can perform the same task in a reasonable amount of time, and the speedup is unlikely to be overturned by classical algorithmic or hardware improvements, according to the team.
In the study, Gaussian boson sampling (GBS), a classical simulation algorithm, was used to provide a highly efficient way of demonstrating quantum computational speedup in solving some well-defined tasks.
The average detected photon number by the prototype is 43, while up to 76 output photon-clicks were observed.