Supercomputer Sets World Simulation Record

JULICH, Germany, April 1 (UPI) — An IBM Blue Gene supercomputer built for Germany’s Julich Research Center set a world record for the largest quantum computer simulation.

The Julich supercomputer — named Jugene — simulated the largest quantum computer system in the world with 42 bits.

A quantum computer is expected to provide an enormous improvement in computer processing speeds but scientists note the devices, as yet, only exist as small prototypes in laboratories. The new research makes their simulation possible.

“The computing power of a quantum computer grows exponentially with its size,” center Professor Kristel Michielsen said. “This is both an enormous opportunity for future applications and also a great challenge for simulations at the moment.”

He explained that if a quantum computer is expanded by one single computer bit, its computing power is doubled due to the laws of quantum mechanics on which it is based. The computing power of a classical computer, he said, grows linearly with its components — 10 percent more transistors mean 10 percent more performance.

For the world record, the Julich researchers and the Computational Physics group of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands developed simulation software that can run efficiently on a large number of processors.

On the basis of that software, scientists say it will be possible to simulate in detail the phenomena and dynamics of quantum-mechanical systems.

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