A team of researchers from China claim to have achieved a breakthrough in quantum computing. The team claims that their prototype can process certain tasks at profoundly faster speeds than any supercomputer, and is even faster than Google’s own quantum computer. This leap in the technology puts China among the top world leaders in the race of quantum computing.

The research conducted by Jian-Wei Pan, Chao-Yang Lu, and colleagues at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, shows that they have achieved quantum computational advantage. The research was published on Science magazine online.

The team of researchers built a quantum computer prototype named “Jiuzhang.” The researchers used Gaussian boson sampling (GBS), which is a classical simulation algorithm, as a way to demonstrate its quantum computing advantage by solving well-defined tasks. According to the researchers, up to 76 output photon-clicks were observed through the quantum computer.

The quantum computing advantage, also known as quantum supremacy means that a traditional computer cannot solve the same problems or process the same tasks in a reasonable amount of time—computations that take seconds for quantum computers can take years for a traditional computer to process. Establishing this in a research shows that the quantum technology developed is light years ahead and cannot be reached by traditional computational methods.

According to the report by Xinhua news agency, the quantum computing system can implement large-scale Gaussian boson sampling 100 trillion times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer.

The research team also claims that their prototype can process 10 billion times faster than the 53-qubit quantum computer developed by Google, which itself can process tasks in 200 seconds which can take about 10,000 years to be processed by traditional supercomputers.

Microsoft, Google, IBM and Amazon are leading the way in quantum computing technology in the US. This latest development pits China against USA in the quantum computing race.

China is establishing a $10 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences. The huge investment shows that the country sees great potential in the technology and wants to push its boundaries even further.

Quantum computing is said to be the future of technology, which can help achieve breakthroughs in science and other fields. The computers are built on the foundations of quantum physics to store and manipulate information, rather than relying on the traditional 1s and 0s. Their immense computational power can create new avenues for research and development, and perhaps even create doorways leading to possibilities which were once thought to be impossible.