Light may be the missing ingredient in making usable quantum silicon computer chips, according to an international study featuring a University of Queensland researcher.
The team has engineered a silicon chip that can guide single particles of light - photons - along optical tracks, encoding and processing quantum-bits of information known as 'qubits'.
Professor Timothy Ralph from UQ's Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology said that the use of photons in this way could increase the number and types of tasks that computers can help us with.
"Current computers use a binary code - comprising ones and zeroes - to transfer information, but quantum computers have potential for greater power by harnessing the power of qubits," Professor Ralph said.
"Qubits can be one and zero at the same time, or can link in much more complicated ways - a process known as quantum entanglement - allowing us to process enormous amounts of data at once.
"The real trick is creating a quantum computing device that is reprogrammable and can be made at low cost."
The experiment, conducted primarily at the University of Bristol, proved that it is possible to fully control two qubits of information within a single integrated silicon chip.
"What this means is that we've effectively created a programmable machine that can accomplish a variety of tasks.
"And since it's a very small processor and can be built out of silicon, it might be able to be scaled in a cost-effective way," he said.
"It's still early days, but we've aimed to develop technology that is truly scalable, and since there's been so much research and investment in silicon chips, this innovation might be found in the laptops and smartphones of the future."
A surprising result of the experiment is that the quantum computing machine has become a research tool in its own right.
"The device has now been used to implement several different quantum information experiments using almost 100,000 different reprogrammed settings," Professor Ralph said.
"This is just the beginning; we're just starting to see what kind of exponential change this might lead to."
Professor Timothy Ralph | EurekAlert!
New method for simulating yarn-cloth patterns to be unveiled at ACM SIGGRAPH
09.07.2020 | Association for Computing Machinery
Virtual Reality Environments for the Home Office
09.07.2020 | Universität Stuttgart
New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices
Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...
Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class
In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...
Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...
07.07.2020 | Event News
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
10.07.2020 | Life Sciences
10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences
10.07.2020 | Life Sciences