Russian scientists present to Putin the nation's 'most powerful' quantum computer

Various reports say the claim is far from true.
Sejal Sharma
Rosatom presented Vladimir Putin with the most powerful quantum computer in Russia
Rosatom presented Vladimir Putin with the most powerful quantum computer in Russia


Russian scientists are claiming that they have created the most powerful quantum computer in the history of their nation.

They even presented the computer to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited the exhibition of quantum technology achievements by Rosatom, the State Nuclear Energy Corporation.

But as per a report, the claim is far from true and the computer won’t be breaking modern encryption codes anytime soon.

How powerful is the computer exactly?

At 16 qubits, the quantum computer is tiny in comparison to those developed by IBM, Dwave, etc. who have previously built quantum systems with hundreds of qubits, reported The Register.

Interesting Engineering reported earlier this month that researchers at Google claimed that the latest iteration of their quantum computer ‘Sycamore’ can compute complex calculations in seconds. Notably, Google’s computer is powered by 53 qubits, as opposed to Russia’s 16 qubits.

And last month, IBM's Eagle quantum computer, at a scale of 100+ qubits, beat a supercomputer in solving complex mathematical calculations.

Does the computer pose a risk?

Capable of interpreting data faster than run-of-the-mill computers or even supercomputers, quantum computers not only evaluate massive amounts of data but are also capable of enhancing the performance of artificial intelligence. But can they crack the RSA?

One specific type of encryption, RSA, is particularly at risk against quantum computers. Fortunately, this risk is not immediate.

Researchers at Fujitsu, an information and communication technology corporation, have discovered that in order to crack RSA, we would require a fault-tolerant quantum computer with a scale of approximately 10,000 qubits and 2.23 trillion quantum gates, which is well beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced quantum computers in the world today.

So, when Russia says they have built one of the most powerful quantum computers in the world, nations like the US and China can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Russian exhibition where the quantum computer was revealed, was taking place on the sidelines of the Future Technologies Forum at the International Trade Centre. The processor has been developed by a team of scientists under the coordination of Rosatom, within the framework of the government roadmap for quantum computing.

Putin said that the fundamental task is to transfer the entire Russian economy, social spheres, and authorities to qualitatively new principles of work - on the basis of big data, as per the press release. This he said was to improve the quality of management and productivity, and availability of services.

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