Physicists from Australia are close to developing the first quantum chip

© Tony Melov/UNSWТак the artist presented his quantum chip developed by physicists from AustraliaPhysicists from Australia are close to developing the first quantum chip© Tony Melov/UNSW

Physicists and engineers from Australia found out how to «print» a full-fledged quantum computer of the plurality of qubits inside a miniature silicon chip using existing manufacturing technology of microprocessors, said in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports.

«We often think landing on the moon was the Supreme achievement of mankind. Now we are on the threshold of the next technological «leap», which could also greatly change the world as the visit of a man to the moon or the creation of the first personal computers. So far, we couldn’t fit all of the components of a quantum computer in a single chip, and now we have shown that it can be done, and in the usual factory of microchips,» said Andrew Dzurak from the University of New South Wales (Australia).

Zurek and his colleagues at the University for several years to develop the components required to build a full quantum computer. So, in 2010 they created a quantum single-electron transistor, and in 2012 — full silicon qubit on the basis of an atom of phosphorus-31.

In 2013, they assembled a new version of the qubit, which allows almost 100% accuracy to read the data from it and remained stable for a very long time. In October 2015, Zorak and his team have taken the first step to the creation of the first silicon quantum computer, combining the two qubit in module that performs the logical OR operation. Last year they managed to protect the qubits from noise, making a big step towards the creation of a «working» quantum computer.

Remained one step – learn how to integrate such qubits using the same semiconductor technology that the cell of the quantum memory. It was extremely hard, because «normal» semiconductor qubits can interact with each other only a short distance away.

Solving this problem in the beginning of this year, Australian scientists have wondered about how you can «glue» the qubits together and to learn to «print» them as do electronics manufacturers when creating circuits.

The problem is how to explain Jurak, was the fact that the qubits are much more sensitive to various disturbances and inaccuracies in the transmission of data than transistors or memory cells, which makes them extremely difficult to join in a chain and connected to the tire data. In fact, every qubit and the communication system it must be set up individually, which is not possible to produce them industrially.

The dawn of the quantum century

Australian physicists have managed to circumvent this obstacle, «glue» each qubit with a small set of conventional transistors and the special units, the so-called «floating gate», which automatically adapt to the features of the cells of a quantum computer and allow them to «communicate» with each other» and transmit data to the outside world.

«Our architecture includes several conventional transistors, which control the operation of a giant two-dimensional grid of qubits, using almost the same principles and protocols that are used today in conventional computer memory. For example, including electrodes over the qubits, we can write data to it, changing its spin, and including electrodes between them, we can get them to connect with each other and carry out the calculations,» explains Menno Waldhorst (Menno Veldhorst), a colleague of Juraku.

As noted by both scientists, in their chip already built-in protocols of quantum error correction, which are necessary for the actual calculations and the organization of work of quantum computers containing thousands and millions of qubits. The main task today, as stressed by Zurek, lies only in the manufacture of such a chip. Some of its elements, as noted scientist, has already been successfully manufactured and tested in his lab.

«Of course, our design might undergo some changes during the production of real chips, but all the key components necessary for carrying out quantum computations, already in it present. In any case, we were able to show how you can combine in a single chip millions of qubits that is needed to create a truly useful and powerful quantum computers,» concludes physicist.