The Baidu logo on display at the World Internet Conference (WIC) held in Wuzhen, Zhejiang, China, November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING: Chinese search engine giant Baidu unveiled its first quantum computer on Thursday, ready to be made available to external users, and a global leader in making the technology practical. I am participating in the competition.

A quantum computer called “Qianshi,” developed by Baidu, has a 10 quantum bit (qubit) processor, Baidu said in a statement. The Beijing-based company has also developed a 36-qubit quantum chip, the company said.

Governments and companies around the world have been touting the potential of quantum computing for years. Quantum computing is a type of fast computation at very low temperatures, taking computers to unprecedented processing speeds.

However, current real world applications in this area are still very basic and limited to a small group of early clients.

The United States, China and the European Union (EU) have launched heavily funded projects in quantum computing, hoping to make progress in the field. This is often seen as one of the foundations upon which new world supremacy will be determined.

Global governments and businesses will invest about $16.4 billion in quantum development by the end of 2027, according to market research firm IDC.

US tech giant IBM says it plans to make a quantum computer with more than 4,000 qubit processors commercially available in 2025. IBM has so far released a 127-qubit quantum processor.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google also aims to develop a million-qubit computer by the end of the decade.

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