- Russian scientists say they are building a 16-qubit quantum computer, according to information from the country’s nuclear energy company.
- The device was reviewed at the Forum for Future Technologies in Russia.
- Work on the device dates back to 2015, according to reports.
- Image: Rosatom
A team of Russian physicists presented a 16-qubit quantum computer at the Forum for Future Technologies in Russia that appears to combine the trapped ion and photonic approaches, according to a post from Rosatom, the Russian State Nuclear Energy Company .
The computer is the first quantum computer to be developed in Russia, according to the post, which was translated into English by the computer.
These devices are still in the early stages of development and are small by the standards already achieved by global quantum leaders. Still, it has the potential to be a powerful tool for research and development, said the scientist. The team added that they had used the device to simulate simple molecules.
The development of quantum computers is a major technological advance, and will likely have a significant impact on various industries. Russia’s investment in quantum computing is a sign of the country’s commitment to this new technology.
The program officially started in 2019, according to the article. However, Ilya Semerikov, a researcher at the Optical Laboratory of LPI Quantum Systems Complex, said that work on the trapped ion device started in 2015. The team first built a quantum clock for GLONASS, Russia’s global positioning system.
“There is a big discussion about whether to include our ion platform in it. And I thank Rosatom, who believed in us at that time,” said Semerik in the post. “Our quantum computers, which are important, are already doing useful things – modeling molecules, and not engaging in scientific abstractions.”
At the demonstration, Russian President Vladimir Putin – perhaps jokingly, perhaps not – said that what was important now was for researchers not to retire.
Apart from these devices, Russia is also developing other quantum computers. Among other programs, the Russian government announced in 2021 that it will invest $790 million in quantum computing research over the next five years. This investment is part of a larger effort by Russia to develop its technological capabilities and become a global economic leader.
The development of quantum computers is a race between different countries, and Russia isn’t the only one investing heavily in this technology. The United States, China, and the European Union are also investing billions of dollars in quantum computing research.
Quantum computing contest winners will have significant advantages in a number of industries, including cryptography, materials science, and drug discovery.