To break the arithmetic bottleneck, big names gather in Shanghai to discuss quantum computing and photonic chips

Author:TuringQ,Published:2021.07.08,Last Edited:2021.07.08

The 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference was held on 8 July this year in a combined offline and online format. As the first optical quantum computing company in China, TuringQ held the "Quantum Computing and Photonic Chip Forum" for the first time at the World AI Conference, to build a platform for communication and dialogue among famous quantum scientists in China, to discuss the problem of "lack of core and soul" in China's information industry, and to contribute Chinese wisdom and Chinese solutions to promote the application of quantum information technology.
In the post-Moore era, scientists around the world are looking for new computing systems and architectures to break through the arithmetic bottleneck, and quantum computing is a relatively mature theoretical system.
China is also at the forefront of the world in terms of layout and research in the field of quantum technology. Industrial giants such as Huawei, Tencent and Baidu have set up quantum laboratories and research institutes to research and explore the application of quantum computing technology in related fields and industries.
Jin Xianmin, director of the Research Centre for Integrated Quantum Information Technology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and founder of TuringQ, said at the forum that the arithmetic power and functions of mobile phones and computers are now very powerful, but people's demand for improved arithmetic power is endless, and perhaps we are on the eve of a real explosion of computing power. There are three prerequisites for achieving a universal quantum computer - the ability to manipulate millions of quantum bits, low environmental requirements, and high integration. The optical quantum path is the only technology system that can meet these conditions, and is the most viable path to large-scale general-purpose quantum computing.
The TuringQ team has now mastered the core technology and process of three-dimensional and ultra-high-speed photonic chips with independent intellectual property rights, from design and flow to packaging and testing, and then to system integration and quantum algorithms, which can realize the whole chain of optical quantum computing chip development.
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Wall Renovation Technology, Zhang Wen believes that accelerated computing is an eternal pursuit of mankind. The innovation of computing tools and the improvement of accelerated computing capabilities have given rise to leaps in productivity, and the progress of cutting-edge technology is increasingly dependent on the technological enhancement of accelerated computing.
Quantum computers are expected to provide superb computing power in areas that are difficult for classical computers to compute effectively, but at present quantum computing cannot completely replace classical computers, and there are still bottlenecks in terms of practicality, cost and software, and the number of quantum bits and quantum error correction capability need to be further enhanced before quantum computers can be successfully commercialised. Possible commercialisation routes for quantum computing in the short to medium term are clouding and exporting dedicated computing power.
Wallen Technology will also launch a new quantum computing simulation acceleration library, efficiently explore new quantum algorithms and quantum circuit architecture designs, adopt GPUs as standard devices for simulating quantum computing, and explore the use of large-scale interconnections to boost the number of quantum bits manipulated
Weng Wenkang, Chief Scientist of Huawei's Quantum Computing Software and Algorithms, pointed out in his presentation that quantum computing will bring exponentially more computing space, and that a superconducting processor the size of a fingernail can carry 50+ quantum bits (100nm), surpassing the memory capacity of all classical computers.
Many people will ask when quantum computers will replace classical computers. The probability is that quantum computers will not replace classical computers in the near future. The maturity of "special-purpose" quantum computers in areas such as quantum system simulation, quantum chemistry, combinatorial optimization and machine learning is expected to be 3-5 years, while the maturity of "general-purpose" quantum computers in areas such as large number decomposition, database search, quantum dynamics and quantum artificial intelligence may take 10 years or more.
According to Zhang Shengyu, Tencent's distinguished scientist and head of Tencent's Quantum Lab, quantum computing will be a way to change the entire human understanding of nature and has huge potential applications in areas such as network security, scientific computing, financial forecasting, logistics planning, artificial intelligence, new drug research and development, materials design, energy management, etc. Some large companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Honeywell, Tencent , Ali, Huawei, Baidu, etc. have built their own teams for industrial layout.
IBM suggests that companies should start preparing for quantum computing immediately, and that quantum computers have the potential to transform the industry's value chain. Because quantum computing is so difficult to learn, the 'fast-follow' approach is not only expensive, but will only get further and further ahead of the first movers, but it will take some time to build an internal 'quantum competence centre'. Hardware development for quantum computing is progressing steadily at present, but there is still a long way to go, and it may not be smoothly linear.
Zhang Long, deputy director and doctoral supervisor of the Shanghai Institute of Optical Precision Machinery, Chinese Academy of Sciences, believes that electronic computers based on the von Neumann architecture can no longer meet the requirements for arithmetic power and power consumption in the era of big data, where the demand for arithmetic power doubles every three and a half months, far exceeding the supply of Moore's Law. The fundamental response to increasing computing power is to increase the speed and reduce the power consumption of computing. Optics will enable computer chip designers to overcome the fundamental limitations of electronics.
Photon has ultra-high information capacity, ultra-low transmission power consumption and delay, ultra-low channel interference characteristics, photonic chip will be the basic core technology of future technology development, in the field of data computing, optical communications, etc. with extremely significant applications, the current development of photonic chip is similar to the year when the development of large-scale integrated circuits at the beginning of the key node, the key pre-explosion node.
At present, no country in the world has formed an absolute advantage in the field of photonic chips, the global photonic chip research and development at this stage is at the same starting line, with a major strategic opportunity to overtake the other side of the road, the key core technology is a national important weapon, China needs to take the lead in the field of photonic chips not yet fully mature.
Wu Junjie, director of the Institute of Quantum Information and State Key Laboratory of High Performance Computing at the School of Computer Science of the National University of Defense Technology, said that most algorithms for electronic computers output exact calculation results, while most algorithms for quantum computers output probabilistic sample results. The current physical devices do not have quantum error correction, which adds to the uncertainty, so quantum computing seems to be more suitable for dealing with artificial intelligence-type applications.
You Lixing, researcher and director of the Superconducting Electronics Research Laboratory at the Shanghai Institute of Microsystems and Information Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, believes that light is an important path towards the future of science and technology, light can solve some technical problems that electricity cannot solve, and currently light and electricity can complement each other, photoelectricity mix to promote technological progress, as the technology of light gradually matures, "laying eggs along the way" will have many new applications born.