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China's Baidu launches 10-qubit quantum computer

China's Baidu launches 10-qubit quantum computer
25 Aug, 2022
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Chinese search engine giant Baidu has unveiled its first quantum computer and is ready to make it commercially available, the company said at the Quantum Create 2022, a quantum developer conference held in Beijing.

Baidu’s quantum computer is named Qianshi and it is powered by a 10 qubit (quantum bit) processor. Qubit is the basic unit of quantum information. Higher qubits mean more computing power. In May, IBM said that it plans to roll out a quantum computer with a 4,000-qubit processor by 2025. As of now, IBM has released quantum processors with up to 127 qubits. 

Baidu also claimed that it has developed the world's first quantum hardware-software integration solution named Liang Xi, which can be used to offer quantum services driven by Qianshi and quantum computers made by other companies. These services can be accessed via mobile apps, PCs, and the cloud, the company said. 

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Baidu claimed that the Liang Xi is compatible with a wide range of quantum chips. The company itself has designed a new 36 qubit superconducting quantum chip and has developed numerous practical quantum applications, such as quantum algorithms which can be used to design new materials for novel lithium batteries or simulate protein folding. 

“With Qian Shi and Liang Xi, users can create quantum algorithms and use quantum computing power without developing their quantum hardware, control systems, or programming languages," Runyao Duan, Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing at Baidu Research said in a statement

Baidu has filed over 200 technology patent applications on quantum technologies in the last four years. 

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China has been in a neck-to-neck competition with the US and EU in the quantum race. The government of China is also building a National Laboratory of Quantum Information Sciences with an estimated investment of $10 billion. 

India announced in February 2020 that it will spend ₹8,000 crore on a national mission on quantum technologies. In April, Finland signed a joint declaration with India to set up an Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on quantum computing. 

Several IT companies in India have also stepped up investments and tie-ups with academic institutions to boost research in quantum technologies. 

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