Chinese Startup signs deal to overcome computational bottlenecks

China Mobile’s research institute has signed an agreement with Origin Quantum, a Chinese startup specialising in quantum computing.

Chinese Startup signs deal to overcome computational bottlenecks

China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom carrier with 900 million mobile subscribers, is looking into ways to use quantum computing to overcome the computational bottlenecks that 5G and 6G technologies face. China Mobile’s research institute has signed an agreement with Origin Quantum, a Chinese startup specialising in quantum computing.

“This is the first cross-sector cooperation between quantum computing and the telecom industry in China, which has big value in exploring potential applications of quantum computing in big data as well as complex network construction and optimization in the field of mobile communication,” said Guo Guoping, a professor of quantum computing at the University of Science and Technology of China and chief scientist at Origin Quantum.

Origin Quantum, based in Hefei, Anhui Province, will provide quantum communication algorithms based on verifications by its superconducting quantum computer, OriginQ Wuyuan, to assist in overcoming computational bottlenecks in 5G and 6G networks.

According to Cui Chunfeng, president of the China Mobile Research Institute’s future research institute, the 5G era has seen an exponential increase in computing demand from signal processing, network optimization, big data analysis, image processing, and other tasks. Traditional computer algorithms are struggling to keep up with such demand.

In the future, 6G will require even higher computing capabilities than 5G. It will be necessary to introduce new technologies, such as quantum computing, to help solve this challenge, Cui said.

Given its ability to harness the laws of quantum mechanics and solve calculations too complex for even the most powerful conventional supercomputers, quantum computing is widely regarded as one of the most groundbreaking technologies.

According to Dou Menghan, deputy director of the Anhui Quantum Computing Engineering Research Center, a quantum computer would process calculations that would take a supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

According to Dou, comparing the computing power of a quantum computer to that of a conventional computer is analogous to comparing a conventional computer to an abacus.

“We hope to explore the possibility of applying quantum computing to enable network optimization, network autonomy, network security, and the metaverse, and we hope to solve computational bottlenecks for the development of a future network,” said Cui of China Mobile.

According to the latest Global Quantum Computing Technology Patent Filings Ranking List released in October by the innovation index researcher incoPat and intellectual property media IPR Daily, Origin Quantum is ranked first in China and sixth in the world by the number of invention patents it has applied for in quantum computing.

According to Han Jian, head of the secretariat of the China Institute of Communications’ quantum computing committee, China has more than 1.3 billion phone users, and leveraging quantum computing to process telecom data is a new field that could grow into a multibillion-dollar market.

According to a report by global consulting firm McKinsey & Co., quantum computing will be worth up to $700 billion by 2035 in industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automotive, and finance.

In its 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–25), China stated that it will accelerate frontier science and technological blueprints such as quantum computing and quantum communication.

Internationally, US technology companies such as Google, IBM, and Microsoft are hastening the development of quantum computing platforms. Chinese tech titans such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent have also entered the quantum computing market.