/Conventional Silicon Technology May Help Build Quantum Computers Sooner – Market Research Finance (via Qpute.com)

Conventional Silicon Technology May Help Build Quantum Computers Sooner – Market Research Finance (via Qpute.com)

Quantum computers show promise to revolutionize the way we look at hard computing problems, from developing advanced artificial intelligence to simulating complex chemical reactions to create the next generation of drugs and materials. In reality, building such machines is a complex task as they involve exotic components and have to be kept in a highly controlled environment. The ones that have developed to date still can’t outperform traditional machines.

A team of researchers from the UK and France has recently demonstrated that it may be possible to build a quantum computer model from traditional silicon-based electronic components. This could support the development of quantum computers sooner than expected.

How Quantum Computers Work?

The theoretical approach of quantum computers derives from the laws of nanoscale or quantum physics. While quantum computers use binary numbers, 0 and 1, for storing information, quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits, that could be in a combination of ‘0’ and ‘1’ at the same time as quantum physics allows particles to be in different states or places simultaneously.

Quantum Computer development is still in its initial stages and several technologies are available without any of them dominating the scenario. The most advanced prototypes are made from either a few ions trapped in a vacuum chamber or superconducting circuits kept at near-absolute-zero temperatures.

The challenge is scaling up these small demonstrators into larger interconnected qubit systems that will posses high computing power to perform useful tasks faster than traditional computers. Developers are looking for other technologies that can be more suitable for building these computers. Recently, researchers are starting to believe that the very same technology that enables the digital devices, the silicon transistor, the basic unit present in all microprocessors and memory chips can solve the problem.

The possibility of encoding a quantum bit of information in each silicon transistor and using them to build large-scale quantum computers seems like a promising idea. By using the same technology, the developers could take advantage of previous billion-dollar infrastructural investments and reduce costs. This means that clever engineering and hard work that went into the development of modern microelectronics could be used to build increasingly powerful quantum computers.

Silicon quantum chip.

Researchers at Cambridge University, Hitachi R&D, University College London and CEA-LETI in France have published a study under Nature Electronics that suggests that the use of silicon chip could in quantum electronics is a great idea. The researchers explained how they have used engineering solutions from conventional silicon circuits and applied them to interconnect different quantum devices on a chip.

The team has developed a circuit that operates at near-zero temperatures and employees all commercial transistors. Some of these transistors are so small that they can be used as qubits. The architecture is highly similar to the one used for random access memory (Ram) in the current laptops and smartphones. There is still a long way to go before a fully-fledged quantum computer becomes available for retail, but the current progress made by the researchers regarding silicon quantum chips can bring us one step closer to the quantum future.

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