Engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have announced the invention of a "radical" architecture for quantum computing, essentially allowing quantum bits (qubits) -- the basic unit of information in a quantum computer -- to be placed hundreds of nanometres apart and still remain coupled. The invention is based on novel "flip-flop qubits" that UNSW said promises to make the large-scale manufacture of quantum chips dramatically cheaper and easier. To operate the flip-flop qubit, researchers need to pull the electron away from the nucleus, using the electrodes at the top; doing so creates an electric dipole. The conceptual breakthrough is the creation of an entirely new type of qubit using both the nucleus and the electron. The new chip design allows for a silicon quantum processor that can be scaled up without the precise placement of atoms required in other approaches.
Building a quantum computer has been called the'space race of the 21st century' – a difficult and ambitious challenge, with the potential to deliver revolutionary tools. Now an invention by engineers in Australia may have brought us one step closer to achieving the goal. The team designed a new kind of quantum bit, which can retain information for 10 times longer than ever previously achieved. The new quantum bit, known as a'dressed qubit' has been designed by researchers at the University of New South Wales, and is made up of the spin of a single atom in silicon, merged with an electromagnetic field (artist's impression) Quantum computing takes advantage of the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time. In traditional computers, data is expressed in one of two states – known as binary bits – which are either a 1 or a 0. But quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits.
The race to create superfast computers is accelerating. A rethink of one of the most fundamental parts of a quantum computer could pave the way for ultra-powerful devices. Andrea Morello at the University of New South Wales in Australia and his colleagues have a design for a qubit – the smallest unit of quantum information – that could help get round some of the difficulties of manufacturing quantum computers at an atomic scale. At the moment, making quantum systems using silicon is difficult because the qubits have to be very close to each other, about 10 to 20 nanometres apart, in order to communicate. This leaves little room to place the electronics needed to make a quantum computer work.
A major step towards building quantum computers capable of performing formidable calculations at a fraction of the speed of current machines has been achieved. Computer scientists claim to have made a'game-changing leap' by building a logic gate – a building block of a digital circuit – using the strange properties of subatomic particles in silicon. They say these could eventually lead to new types of quantum microchips that would revolutionise the digital world. Researchers have created the world's first quantum logic gate on silicon (illustrated in an artist's impression). They say it is a'game-changing' step forward in the development of practical quantum computers Quantum computing takes advantage of the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time.