Another quantum breakthrough tips up

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 15, 2018

There is still going to be a long road ahead before we see a quantum chip become commercially available, but from the sounds of it, Intel's latest developments are promising. While there's been significant progress, quantum computing research is still nascent.

Quantum computing has the potential to tackle problems that today's conventional computers can't handle.

Silicon spin qubits are smaller and stronger than their superconducting siblings, which should allow them to be scaled for commercial systems of the future. Another team, led by Professor Jason Petta from Princeton University in the USA, was able to transfer the state of the spin of an electron suspended in silicon onto a single photon of light. Electrons can spin in different directions, so when one spins down, the data signifies the binary value 0, when it spins up, it signifies the binary value 1. However, similar to how superconducting qubits operate, these electrons also have the probability of a spin that is both up and down at the same time.

QuTech researchers, now working in partnership with Intel, were able to perform some quantum algorithms, including the well-known Grover search algorithm (basically, they could search through a list of four things).

However, qubits are as fragile as the egos of some men on Twitter, so any noise or unintended observation can cause them to bleed their data. This fragility requires them to operate at extremely cold temperatures, which creates challenges for the material design of the chips themselves and the control electronics necessary to make them work.

"We made these qubits in silicon chips, similar to what's used in classical computer processes", study author Thomas Watson from Technical University Delft in the Netherlands told Ryan F Mandelbaum of Gizmodo. This development paves the way to larger spin-based processors capable of more complex applications. They are also very large, operating in systems the size of 55-gallon drums, which makes it hard to scale up the design of the quantum system to the millions of qubits needed.

Intel can leverage its silicon "manufacturing know-how".

A related Nature article, has been published. Fabricated in the same facility as Intel's advanced transistor technologies, Intel is now testing the initial wafers.

Meanwhile, Intel has invented a spin qubit fabrication flow on its 300 mm process technology using isotopically pure wafers sourced specifically for the production of spin-qubit test chips. Within a couple of months, Intel expects to be producing many wafers per week, each with thousands of small qubit arrays.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE