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On the first day of April, something huge happened in the computing industry.
The quantum computer research team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences suddenly publicly announced that they had made significant progress on quantum computer research! The head of the research team announced that they had developed a quantum computer processor using carbon-based semiconductor technology. And that this processor was groundbreaking.
According to inside sources, the processor utilized the characteristics of Majorana fermions. So far, they had reached 90 qubits.
Many scientific researchers who were in the field of integrated circuit design and information technology came into work after the weekend with sleepy eyes.
When they saw the news through various media channels, they all glanced at their calendars. After making sure it wasn’t the fourth of July, they all looked astonished.
A quantum computer with 90 qubits!
Is that even possible?
After people who were involved in the related research fields heard about the news, they all began to frantically search for the research in the academic database.
However, many people were disappointed that they could not find a paper on the “90-qubit” computer.
Forget about finding any research papers.
Most people hadn’t even heard of the research team behind all of this. Other than the research team leader, who was relatively well known, it was difficult to find information on the rest of the team members.
This felt like a level-50 guild leader had assembled some level-30 noobs and was able to defeat a level-100 boss.
Similar situations like this had happened before, and all of them had shocked the academic community.
Not to mention how abrupt this was.
The research team only claimed to have achieved success, but they did not provide any evidence.
However, even though some people had doubts in their minds, most people thought this was plausible.
After all, this was a research team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This was one of the major national scientific research projects, which was funded by the state. The consequences of falsifying research results might be more serious than producing no results at all!
Because of this, both the academic community and the industry had differing opinions on the claims made by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
On a Chinese university forum, integrated circuit design engineers were going crazy over the news.
[This has to be fake! They’re not providing any proof, do they think we’re dumb? A quantum computer using 90 qubits. Even Google’s quantum annealing algorithm is no match for this! I think they’re lying to receive funding!]
[I don’t think so, this is the research team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, not to mention it is still a major national scientific research project.]
[Who cares if it’s a major scientific research project? Remember what happened with the Haixin project? We’re making the same mistake again!]
[Can you not bring up Haixin?]
[Sigh, if only everyone were as reliable as Academician Lu.]
[It’s not like we’re the only ones falsifying research results for funding! Look at the west!]
Due to the intense discussions, the forum moderators had to come out and restrict the debates.
The discussions on the forum were only a tiny fraction of the whole conversation.
Similar discussions were also occurring on other university forums; from WeChat to Weibo, it seemed like everyone was talking about this.
In addition to these laymen’s discussions, controversies also occurred in the technology field.
However, relatively speaking, these discussions were more rational and professional. They were mainly focused on the practical aspects.
For example, at a recent Internet security summit, experts from the Computer Network Information Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed that the development of quantum computers might pose a threat to the information security field and that they had to deal with this problem as soon as possible.
People put out constructive suggestions.
What was repeatedly brought up was exactly what Lu Zhou wrote in his letter, which was to find a more secure encryption algorithm.
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
Inside the Microsoft headquarters building, Nadella was sitting in the CEO office. He scowled as he meticulously read the report in his hand.
The topic of quantum computers was trending on the Internet, not only in China but also in North America.
The vast majority of people believed that this was fake news or academic fraud.
However, Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, took this matter much more seriously.
This was because China had recently created too many scientific miracles.
The office door opened, and a tall and skinny man walked in.
Anyone in the quantum computing field would have recognized this man.
This man was none other than the former director of the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center—Professor Schmidt.
Professor Schmidt was working for Microsoft, which was largely unknown by the industry.
“Were you looking for me?”
“Yes.” Nadella put down the report and looked at Professor Schmidt. He asked, “What do you think about the quantum computer from the Chinese Academy of Sciences?”
“The one with 90 qubits?” Professor Schmidt said with a mocking and sarcastic tone. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and said, “They’re dreaming.”
Nadella raised his eyebrows.
Professor Schmidt continued to speak in a confident tone, “No one understands the technology behind Majorana fermions better than us. We are at the forefront of academia in this area. It is impossible to achieve 90 qubits with the currently available technology. This isn’t just an engineering bottleneck; it’s also a theoretical bottleneck! If this is true, they would first have to solve the problem of quantum entanglement collapse at a theoretical level.”
This wasn’t something that could be achieved simply by reducing the background noise and turbulence.
If that were possible, this field would be developing at a much faster rate.
“So you’re saying… that they’re lying?”
Nadella looked at Professor Schmidt’s confident smile and sighed in relief. However, there was still some doubt and worry in his mind.
After Professor Schmidt left, he read the report over and over again. He tried to find information on the team members behind this research.
However, he couldn’t find anything.
Maybe it’s really fake news?
Nadella stared at the sky outside his window, and he suddenly felt uncertain.
He had a gut feeling…
Every choice I make will affect Microsoft’s future in the quantum computer race…
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