China-based Origin Quantum announced this week that it had delivered its first commercial quantum computer, called Wuyuan. This is a milestone, as China becomes the third country after the U.S. and Canada to enter the quantum computing age, reports South China Morning Post. The machine uses superconducting chip technology and is equipped with its own software stack.
Origin Quantum’s Wuyuan is said to feature 24 qubits, though it is unclear how many quantum processing units (QPUs) it uses. The company also does not disclose any details about its QPUs. Meanwhile, SCMP reports that the quantum computer comes with an appropriate operating system, software, and a cloud computing platform that allows for shared remote use.
Origin Quantum does not reveal the customer it shipped its system to, though quantum computers can be used for pretty much everything, from solving mysteries of the universe to cracking codes, and inventing efficient medicines or weapons of mass destruction.
The company calls its Wuyuan the country’s first ‘practical quantum computer’ and is already working on an even more powerful system called Wukong that is set to be available “very soon.” And indeed the company could be well on its way to a follow-up, given that the Wuyuan was reportedly delivered to its buyer “more than a year ago.” Wuyuan is not the first quantum computer built in China, though this is the first one that was developed and built to be sold and used to solve challenging problems.
Ironically, while Origin Quantum is currently the only Chinese company that claims to have delivered a commercial quantum computer, the company was not blacklisted by the U.S. government last year, alongside numerous quantum computer makers from the People’s Republic. We’ll see how long that lasts, now that this announcement has been made.
Now, while Origin Quantum says that it builds commercial quantum computers and the Wuyuan is the first ‘practical’ quantum machine in China, it still looks to be a one-off product. Still, The Register notes that it is available to ‘other buyers’ citing the government-controlled GlobalTimes.