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Quantum of no solace: Chinese progress alarms US

17th November 2021 - 16:18 GMT | by David Walsh in Washington DC

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Advanced quantum computers for the US are at least ten years away, the GAO concluded in a recent report. (Photo: Alexander Ovcharenko/Alamy)

What can the US do to catch up with China in the race for quantum computing supremacy?

Quantum-wise, recent years seem to have been good for China and dismal for the West. To cite just one example, the New Scientist magazine reported in September 2021 that Beijing is closer to ‘quantum supremacy’, after creating a machine able to solve in a single hour a problem that would take the world’s fastest traditional supercomputer eight years.

The US defence and security establishment is paying attention, although in an October 2021 report the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that game-changing quantum systems for cryptography and secure communications are probably ten years and billions of dollars away.

Speaking to Shephard …

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