The Iranian Navy’s “Quantum Processor” Unveiled
The Iranian Navy has a new addition to its arsenal. Last week, senior commanders of the Army of the Islamic Republic presented what they claimed to be a groundbreaking “quantum processor” at the Imam Khomeini Naval University. However, it was soon discovered that the device was not actually quantum technology, but rather a development board available for purchase on Amazon for less than $600.
The event took place in the coastal city of Nowshahr, in the Mazandaran province of northern Iran. Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Deputy Coordinator of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army and former Navy Commander, had the honor of presenting the device after delivering a speech on the country’s advancements in cutting-edge technologies. According to local news agency Tasnim News, the device was touted as the “first processor of quantum algorithms.”
Supposedly developed by the Imam Khomeini University of Naval Sciences and Technologies, the “quantum processor” was said to enhance the detection of surface vessels by countering misleading enemy navigation data with a series of quantum algorithms. However, the device showcased to the public was far from being a quantum computer.
As Gabriel Noronha, a former US State Department adviser on Iran, revealed on Twitter, this so-called “quantum processor” is actually a development board with an ARM processor that can be purchased on Amazon for $589. The Iranian photos clearly show that it is a ZedBoard Zynq-7000 board with only 512MB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 architecture processor, which is incapable of qubit processing.
Iran International highlights the mockery Iran faced on social media due to this incident. A few days after the ceremony, the country’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, acknowledged the need for tools relevant to the modern era, stating, “In the age of artificial intelligence, quantum intelligence, and the Internet, it is not possible to work with the same tools as 40 years ago. The tools must be relevant to the times.”
This is not the first time Iran has been caught in such propaganda. In 2020, the Iranian ICT Minister unveiled an alleged spacesuit that turned out to be a $20 children’s costume with the NASA patches torn off. Shortly after, the Revolutionary Guard claimed to have developed a detector antenna capable of identifying people infected with COVID-19 within a 100-meter radius.
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