The development of a two-quantum bit (qubit) logic gate in silicon heralds the possibility of moving quantum computers from experimental lab to large-scale manufacture much faster than other global research efforts.
Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak and his team have created a two-qubit gate – a critical component, which allows qubits to talk to each other and will form the basis for a quantum computer chip.
It’s an advance that the UK’s premier physics magazine, Physics World, declared one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2015.
“We’ve taken a conventional transistor and turned it into a qubit. This is very significant for the future manufacturing of a commercial product because it means we can leverage off existing technologies,” says Andrew, who is Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales.
The researchers say their work will make it easier to build a silicon-based full-scale quantum processor chip compared to other more exotic materials or technologies.
“If you’re going to make a quantum computer to solve global problems, such as developing new drugs and materials, you’re going to need thousands of qubits, so we need to have robust manufacturing processes,” Andrew says.
Andrew’s group aims to design a prototype silicon computer chip that will go from 10 up to 100 qubits.
“If our prototype is successful, I believe that increasing the number of qubits could then occur rapidly,” Andrew says.
Banner image: Artist’s impression of the two-qubit logic gate device.
Credit: Tony Melov/ University of New South Wales