It looks like Quantum Computing could arrive sooner than expected, as a UK-based company has discovered a method for manufacturing quantum chips at scale using existing processes – something that could greatly accelerate research.
Quantum Motion, a startup founded by UCL and Oxford University students, have been able to create a stable qubit on a standard silicon chip. Part of the process includes cooling the chip down to a temperature just above absolute zero, from there, the Quantum Motion team were able to isolate a single electron and measure its quantum state.
As reported by Sifted, the discovery was also peer-reviewed by scientific journal PRX Quantum. The quantum state could only be measured for nine seconds, which doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but up to now, researchers have been measuring Quantum chips in nanoseconds, so this is a pretty major leap.
Speaking about the breakthrough with Sifted, Quantum Motion cofounder and professor of Nano electronics, John Morton, explained that this could be “a blueprint to shortcut our way to industrial-scale quantum chip production”, removing the need for rare materials by adapting to the way chips are already produced today.
In theory, a million of Quantum Motion’s electron-spin qubits could be packed onto a 1cm square chip, but then the issue becomes cooling, as the chip needs to kept at just above absolute zero temperatures. One solution to this could be a server-rack sized powerful refrigerator capable of holding many chips.
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KitGuru Says: This is an interesting development for Quantum Computing and could help the likes of Google, IBM, Intel and other smaller researchers moving forward. Hopefully we’ll see more big breakthroughs in the years to come.