Two fundamental quantum techniques have been combined by a UNSW team in a integrated silicon chip for the first time, confirming the promise of using silicon for quantum computing.
Quantum computers that are capable of solving complex problems, like drug design or machine learning, will require millions of quantum bits – or qubits – connected in an integrated way and designed to correct errors that inevitably occur in fragile quantum systems. Now, an Australian research team has experimentally realised a crucial combination of these capabilities on a silicon chip, bringing the dream of a universal quantum computer closer to reality.
They have demonstrated an integrated silicon qubit platform that combines both single-spin addressability – the ability to ‘write’ information on a single spin qubit without disturbing its neighbours – and a qubit ‘read-out’ process that will be vital for quantum error correction. Moreover, their new integrated design can be manufactured using well-established technology used in the existing computer industry.
The team is led by Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak of UNSW Sydney, a program leader at the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) and Director of the NSW node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility.
Last year, Dzurak and colleagues published a design for a novel chip architecture that could allow quantum calculations to be performed using silicon CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) components – the basis of all modern computer chips.
In their new study, published today in the journal Nature Communications, the team combine two fundamental quantum techniques for the first time, confirming the promise of their approach.