Popular Science reports that China is building a huge US$10 billion research center for quantum applications with the ultimate goal of creating a quantum computer with a million times the computing power of all others presently in the world.
The 37 hectares (nearly 4 million square feet) center will be built in Hefei, Anhui Province. PopSci bloggers Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer note that the center’s announcement follows news that the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently made the world’s first video call via quantum-encrypted communications and the completion of a quantum-encrypted fiber optic trunk cable.
The new super center, called the National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences, is slated to open in 2020. It reportedly has two major research goals: quantum metrology and building a quantum computer whose mind-boggling power dwarfs anything in the world today.
PopSci says the center will support military and national defense efforts, as well civilian innovators.
Quantum computing taps the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any given time. This allows processing to occur at vastly faster rates while consuming less energy than current computers. This enormous increasing in computing power is expected to propel artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to new levels.