Scientists confirm the promise of silicon for quantum computing

For the first time, scientists have measured the precision of two-qubit logic operations in silicon, an advance that might help develop a full-blown quantum chip.

By Tech Hunt

Scientists confirm the promise of silicon for quantum computing

 

For the first time, scientists have measured the precision of two-qubit logic operations in silicon, an advance that might help develop a full-blown quantum chip.

All quantum computations could be composed of one-qubit operations and two-qubit surgeries, which are the central building blocks of quantum computing.

At 2015, researchers in the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia were the first to build a quantum logic gate in silicon, which makes calculations between two qubits of information possible.


The progress cleared a crucial hurdle to generate silicon quantum computers a reality, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

“Fidelity (precision ) is a vital parameter which decides how viable a qubit technology is — you can only tap into the tremendous energy of quantum computing if the qubit operations are near perfect, with only tiny errors enabled,” said Professor Andrew Dzurak by UNSW.

The team used a technique that can evaluate qubit accuracy across all technology platforms — demonstrating an average two-qubit gate fidelity, or the precision, of 98 per cent.

Quantum computers will have a vast range of important applications in the future as a result of their ability to perform far more complicated calculations at much greater speeds, including solving issues that are simply beyond the capability of the current computers.

“However, for almost all of those important applications, millions of qubits will be necessary, and you’re likely to have to correct quantum mistakes, even if they are small,” Dzurak said.

“For error correction to be possible, the qubits themselves need to be quite precise in the first place — so it’s essential to assess their fidelity,” he explained.

“The more accurate your qubits, the fewer you’ll need — and consequently, the earlier we can ramp up the engineering and manufacturing to realise a full-scale quantum computer,” stated

The researchers said the study is further evidence that silicon as a technology system is ideal for scaling up to the big numbers of qubits needed for universal quantum computing.

Given that silicon has been in the heart of the global computer industry for nearly 60 decades, its properties are already well known and existing silicon chip production facilities can readily adapt to the technologies.

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