Researchers might have broken one of the biggest obstacles to practical quantum computers with something called ‘hot’ qubits.
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As many of you already know, the quantum computer is built around the quantum bit, or qubit.
The colder and more isolated the qubit is, the less likely it is to flip to another quantum state when it’s not supposed to. But well-isolated qubits are also difficult to keep cold, and the more qubits a computer has, the more heat the system generates, and so we have to figure out how to keep these large quantum computers operating at an optimal temperature either by improving the cooling systems or by creating qubits that can operate at warmer temperatures.
This is where researchers believe they have made a major breakthrough by using quantum dots embedded in silicon rather than basing their qubits off superconductors. This approach allows the qubits to operate at hotter temperatures…like 1.5 kelvin hot. That’s 15 times hotter than the main competing chip-based technology being developed by Google, IBM, and others.
So is this the breakthrough quantum computers need? Find out more in this Elements.
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How an Accident Sparked a Quantum Computing Breakthrough
Hot qubits made in Sydney break one of the biggest constraints to practical quantum computers
“A proof-of-concept published today in Nature promises warmer, cheaper and more robust quantum computing.”
Quantum Computing Milestone: Researchers Compute With ‘Hot’ Silicon Qubits
“The Delft work was performed at QuTech, a research institute of Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research.”
Operation of a silicon quantum processor unit cell above one kelvin
“Quantum computers are expected to outperform conventional computers in several important applications, from molecular simulation to search algorithms, once they can be scaled up to large numbers—typically millions—of quantum bits (qubits).”
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